“A writer is someone who is interested in all the arts, in politics, and of course the psychology of people. Someone passionate about everything.”
– Susan Sontag, Radio France Interview (“Regarding Susan Sontag,” from HBO)

An excerpt from the latest book by Taylor Marsh:

…It’s one thing to want a traditional relationship in the old-fashioned sense of the word. That type of traditional relationship often doesn’t make room for a woman who has her own life and career going for her, too. If you’re self-employed, you have a better chance of juggling everything, but if not, some careers are very competitive, and women have to sacrifice a lot to have them, including time with their children. It’s also not like the workplace is a friendly place for women who still have most of the responsibilities at home. This can often mean the man has to pick up the slack and be graceful while doing it. The woman still sacrifices a lot for her choice to have a marriage, children and a career, which some people describe as “having it all.” […] …The age issue is critical, because in American society it’s seen as gross to hear or have a discussion about older women and men being sexually active. There is almost a cultural lust for media reports and storylines that celebrate hot, young passion. That two people over fifty would be using erotic movies, sex toys and fashion to excite one another has been traditionally seen as unseemly. Sex once was thought to be unimportant for women over fifty, which is likely why so many men over fifty were starting second families. […]

Podcast: Book introduction audio and commentary of "The Sexual Education of a Beauty Queen - Relationship Secrets from the Trenches.

Podcast: Introductory book audio reading, with commentary, from The Sexual Education of a Beauty Queen – Relationship Secrets from the Trenches.

Democrats Ratchet Up Rhetoric on Iran, From Gillibrand to Wyden to McCaskill

While a missile retaliation against Israel would be virtually certain, according to these assessments, Iran would also be likely to try to calibrate its response against American targets so as not to give the United States a rationale for taking military action that could permanently cripple Tehran’s nuclear program. “The Iranians have been pretty good masters of escalation control,” said Gen. James E. Cartwright, now retired, who as the top officer at Strategic Command and as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff participated in war games involving both deterrence and retaliation on potential adversaries like Iran. – The New York Times
It must be a presidential election year.

But let’s not pretend this isn’t due to an adversity to enlightenment and our international interests.

Cards meet table, if Israel feels threatened she should strike.  Everyone else will have to deal.  The world has suffered worse and so have the Jews.

So let’s have it, minus the part that nobody wants to jump.

George W. Bush and the neoconservatives proved to the world not having WMDs was as bad as having them, so what’s to keep Iran from flexing?

Some remember public school drills and the underside of desks. Who went soft?

…and what are we going to really do about Iran, past pontificating?

Pres. Obama is to meet with P.M. Netanyahu next week in Washington, just in case you’re wondering why the Senate just got busy on a non-binding sense of the Senate Iran resolution.

I’ve been purposefully ignoring the web pages devoted lately to Israel striking Iran, because I’ve been to enough foreign policy think tank forums to know that little of what’s being written or discussed is grounded in sane analysis. Tune in to one minute of Sean Hannity and you’ll get the worst of it.

Much of the Iran talk where Israel is concerned revolves around a “zone of immunity,” which I’ve written about before. Blake Hounshell has an excellent rundown of what’s been happening leading up to Netanyahu’s visit next week.
The key issue under discussion is what the appropriate “red lines” are — Iranian actions that would trigger a military response by Israel or the United States. For Israel, the bar is lower, but nebulous: Defense Minister Ehud Barak talks about Iran soon entering a “zone of immunity” that will make an attack impossible. …

[…] But threats have consequences, too. U.S. officials haven’t clearly articulated why they believe all this war talk is unhelpful, but I suspect two reasons. One is the rising cost of gasoline, perhaps the issue that terrifies the political side of the White House most heading into November. Tensions over Iran are already adding about $10 per barrel to the price of oil, some analysts say, threatening to choke off America’s nascent economic recovery and make Obama a one-term president.
Sen. Gillibrand joining in on the sense of the Senate resolution on Iran is representative of why I called her out on Afghanistan in my new book, because she’s yet to prove boldness on foreign policy, let alone any leadership. One of the many issues I address in my book, as I have around here, is the rhetoric females use in foreign policy, which has yet to shift beyond militaristic terms.

The Iran Resolution proves why being a sitting senator from New York is complicated, as Hillary’s Iraq war vote the fall after 9/11 proved conclusively. With a heavy Jewish voter base, Gillibrand reveals yet again that Democratic females in the position to show leadership inevitably fall in line with conventional foreign policy thinkers, which keeps U.S. foreign policy from progressing and shifting.

It’s also why I wrote in my book about having great hopes for Elizabeth Warren, but whose progressive leadership remains to be proven. Once in the Senate, Democratic females trend toward mimicking their hawk brothers, which remains a problem for anyone wanting a wider lens on U.S. foreign policy. Since Sen. Scott Brown has joined the sense of the Senate resolution, maybe some enterprising journalist can put the question to Warren. Her answer matters.

If Democratic women politicians don’t stand apart from 20th century foreign policy thinking, which is traditionally militaristic, they threaten to carve a policy portfolio that is domestically driven, leaving the wider world to men, which would be a tragedy for progressivism itself.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

To express the sense of the Senate regarding the importance of preventing the Government of Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons capability.
Mr. GRAHAM (for himself, Mr. LIEBERMAN, Mr. CASEY, Ms. AYOTTE, Mr. BLUMENTHAL, Mr. BOOZMAN, Mr. BROWN of Massachusetts, Mr. BROWN of Ohio, Mr. CARDIN, Mr. CHAMBLISS, Mr. COATS, Ms. COLLINS, Mr. COONS, Mr. CORNYN, Mrs. GILLIBRAND, Mr. HATCH, Mr. HELLER, Mr. HOEVEN, Mrs. HUTCHISON, Mr. INHOFE, Mr. MCCAIN, Mrs. MCCASKILL, Mr. MENENDEZ, Ms. MIKULSKI, Mr. NELSON of Florida, Mr. PORTMAN, Mr. PRYOR, Mr. RISCH, Mr. RUBIO, Mr. SCHUMER, Mr. UDALL of Colorado, and Mr. WYDEN) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on….

RESOLUTION
[…]

Read More

 19

Rick Santorum, from J.F.K. to Political Extremism, Catholics Go For Mitt

What a bone-headed campaign Rick Santorum is running. When I looked at the CNN exit poll numbers it confirmed it. Romney won Catholics in Michigan 44% to Santorum’s 37%. Extremists highlight […]

Read More

 8

Democracy Alliance Ousts Progressive Shakers

It doesn’t get any more inside political baseball than this, but it’s a hard hit for movement progressives and activists, some of whom have been serious movers and shakers.

Ryan Grimm reporting:

The groups […]

Read More

 5

Olympia Snowe Retirement Starts Rumor Mill Rolling

“Mitt Romney winning closely in his home state is like Charlie Sheen barely winning a primary in a Hooters.” – Paul Begala (via CBS “Morning Show”)

The day of Mitt Romney’s Michigan squeaker, Olympia Snowe […]

Read More

 4

Santorum: ‘That’s What Bullies Do, When You Hit Them Back They Whine’

**updated below**
CNN Projects Romney Wins Michigan

The Dow hit 13,000 today.

That’s not good for the Republicans, but listening to Ari Fleischer talk tonight on CNN about a “down economy” you’d never know it even happened.

It’s […]

Read More

 10

Obama: ‘Looking Out For One Another, That’s A Value’

Video compliments of TPM.

Read More

 5

Rick Santorum Regrets

“I wish I had that particular line back,” Santorum said Tuesday on Laura Ingraham’s radio show. – The Hill

People who are ready and equipped for the national spotlight, but also understand America, not just […]

Read More

 1

Mitt Romney ‘Not willing to light my hair on fire’ for Support

Worst of all, there is no clear end in sight for what has become, in the eyes of many Republicans, a joyless and prolonged nomination fight. Even Romney victories in Michigan and Arizona, the […]

Read More

 5

Michigan is All the Marbles for Mitt

Michigan Democratic strategist Joe DiSano has taken it upon himself to become a leading mischief maker. DiSano says he targeted nearly 50,000 Democratic voters in Michigan through email and a robo call to their […]

Read More

 13