Waiting Game

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The news today from the White House is that Chief of Staff Andrew Card resigned.

I certainly did not know Card well, but I spoke to him several times at White House events for the media. He was very cordial. I was always struck by his almost insane work schedule — it was one of the most punishing Washington work schedules that I had ever heard. His job never stopped: It was 24/7 — he was always, always working. Few people outside Washington realize the impact of the job of the chief of staff or the hours. Card was at the White House working before the president each day and did not leave the White House until the president had retired for the night. That schedule is tough even for a year or two, but Andy Card has been doing this for years. Of course while he was at work at the White House his day was non-stop. It was not a job of leisure. I am sure he liked his job, but don't fool yourself — it is a very, very, very tough job. It is also a very rewarding and powerful job. Everything that goes to the president goes through the chief of staff. (I have pushed one of my colleagues who has worked in the White House for years to write a book about the chiefs of staff and how different each is, how each has played a different role in history, has held a different influence on the president, etc., but so far I have been unsuccessful at persuading him. It seems to me that this is an untold part of our history.)

I have received many e-mails asking me about Mary Winkler, the minister's wife accused of murdering her husband. The question I get is: "Why did she do it?" I have no idea why she shot him — assuming she did. I say "assuming" because I am merely relying on press accounts of a confession. There is always a small part of me that wants to wait and see — to make sure that she did indeed confess. Sometimes reports get a little ahead of the facts in a criminal investigation. Incidentally, not all statements by defendants are actually confessions, but sometimes they get over described as such. In other words: wait for more facts.

Check out the pictures sent to me by some e-mailers. I could not help but post the pictures!

In Monday's GretaWire, I mentioned that I had spent late Sunday night at the emergency room with a sick pet. I received so many e-mails asking for details, so here they are. The pet is a cat named Ozzy (Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne gave him to me four years ago.) He has a bladder infection (I feared an obstruction) and is now on antibiotics and valium (to relax his bladder, not for emotional distress!) I am sure he is quite pleased that so many people e-mailed me about him, since he is rather arrogant and self-absorbed (I often catch him admiring himself in the mirror!) I gave Ozzy his medicine this morning and he must be feeling better — he was so mad he almost put me in the human emergency room. He has sharp claws and was not amused at having me pry his mouth open and shove pills down his throat and a banana flavor antibiotic liquid.

Now for some e-mails:

E-mail No. 1

Dear Greta,
I must respond to E-mail No. 3 concerning Mary Winker. First, I would say that the writer would also have to say that Debra Lafave had "good medical reasons for her actions." Come on, give us all a break. Murder is murder, unless self-defense is the reason. I have a very dear friend, who lost her 7-year-old daughter to an unexpected illness a couple of years ago and soon after she was diagnosed with Lupus and is often in unbelievable pain, but she is still the same sane person she always has been. When are people going to STOP making excuses for bad behavior? Bad behavior is a choice.
Sue Lange

E-mail No. 2 — refers to e-mail posted Monday:

Why does E-mail No. 3 think we should care if Mary Winkler has Lupus or is bipolar? She murdered her husband. Why is that so hard for people to understand? There should not be any silly excuse for murder.
Also tell the weirdo from Tallahassee, Florida that at least he gets printed.
George Hreha
Alexandria, OH

E-mail No. 3

This may all be out in left field because I cannot pull my thoughts into focus as I would like. I have watched the traumatic happenings regarding Natalee Holloway since the beginning and I admire you so much for your concern and media exposure. I remember something about a "hole" (for lack of a better description) in the landfill that emitted such an odor that no one would go near it. Can you look at film on the landfill and see if such a place existed? I cannot get it out of my mind and keep thinking that Paulus van der Sloot would use this odiferous location to dispose of Natalee thinking it would be off limits because of the unpleasant gaseous emission. Just such a picture has been haunting me since the onset at the landfill.
Rockmart, GA

E-mail No. 4 — This next e-mail is very informative. Many may not know this, so this e-mail explains who owns e-mail once they are sent. Let's hope this puts this topic to rest:

Mr. Trexler, like many people, has a misunderstanding of e-mail privacy or the lack thereof. E-mail, by its very nature, is an inherently insecure method of communication and therefore totally lacking in privacy. Even if FOX News Channel issued a privacy policy guarding the use of received e-mail it would still be subject to interception anywhere along the transmission path and unless encrypted could then be forwarded and shared with others any number of times. Besides this, Mr. Trexler seems to be under the illusion that the e-mail he sent you still belongs to him and subject to his restrictions on its use. This is not true any more than if he were to send you a conventional letter. Why the e-mail doesn't even belong to you, but instead belongs to the corporate entity you work for, The FOX News Channel, as they are the ones supplying the computers, e-mail servers, software, etc., you use to conduct business for them. Corporations routinely view and monitor employee e-mail to guard against security breaches, etc., and are well within their rights to do so. While there may be ethical issues that might govern the use of this e-mail, I can find nothing that would give Mr. Trexler the expectation of privacy he is expressing and think he is better off leaving this alone as the longer he goes on the more foolish he appears. Keep up the good work.
David Baity
Information Systems

E-mail No. 5

Hi Greta,
I just want to comment on the Winkler case where the woman shot her preacher husband. I believe when all is said and done she will come out OK. I noticed on FOX News that Steve Farese is her attorney. He is from the town I live in and is very good I have been told he has won several murder cases that I know of and rumor has it he has won a lot in other states.

E-mail No. 6

I am in no way defending Mrs. Winkler, but I believe there is more here than has come out yet. I also was married to a man who was, and still is, supposed to be a minister. I received so many beatings and abuse from him no one would believe. I for a month had to cook rice in one of the old type popcorn popper, because I was out of cooking gas, he claimed he did not have the money for, while taking out friends and people who worked for him to fancy restaurants. I was too embarrassed to let anyone know what was going on. I hear this man is still preaching the Gospel. He has two daughters whom he refuses to speak to or of. He has grandchildren he does not acknowledge. I did not kill him; never even thought of doing it. I just packed my children and left, never looking back. I don't agree with her killing her husband, but on the other hand I can see how people could be pushed too far. His father died a few months ago and my daughters went to the funeral because of their grandfather. He acted as if they were not there. He has never spoke the first word to two of my grandchildren. I thank GOD every day I am away from him, and now living a very happy life.
Thank you,
Brenda [edited out last name]

E-mail No. 7

I know the Winkler family because I grew up in the Church of Christ. Many members in Tennessee have an old fashioned view of marriage where the husband is the absolute head of the house and his wife is to cower in total subjection. This leads to abuse of wives and children over time. I know of many preacher wives who have ended up in serious therapy over this. I don't know the whole story but I would almost wager my next months salary on my theory. I hope I am wrong.
John McCort

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