Thursday's intriguing people
Peng Liyuan's fame as a singer in China may enhance or even overshadow her politician husband's image.
January 20th, 2011
01:32 PM ET

Thursday's intriguing people

Peng Liyuan

The wife of Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping is "China's most dazzling folk singer," according to a profile in Newsweek.

Peng is arguably more famous than her husband. She has millions of fans, thanks to frequent appearances on China Central Television over many years. She is a major general in the People's Liberation Army and is China's AIDS ambassador to the United Nations.

When Xi succeeds Hu Jintao as president next year, as most observers expect, China's first couple "will approach the glamour of the Kennedy administration," Kent Ewing writes in Asia Times.

"China will have a first family that mixes fame and beauty with power and privilege," Ewing observes.

Izzeldin Abuelaish

Abuelaish is a Palestinian doctor who trained in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Italy, England and the United States. He made a name for himself as a respected gynecologist who lived in Gaza but also spoke Hebrew and worked in Israeli hospitals.

In fact, he was the first Palestinian to be receive a staff position at an Israeli hospital.

"I worked all my life - a doctor with one leg in Israel and one leg in Gaza - to be an example of coexistence," he says on his website.

He was known as a peace activist even before January 2009 when an Israeli tank - responding to a Palestinian mortar attack - fired two shells into his home and killed three of his daughters and a niece. His wife had died of leukemia a few weeks earlier.

In the moments after his daughters were killed, his cries of anguish were heard on media outlets the world over. But audiences also heard him utter these words: "I shall not hate."

After the tragedy, Abuelaish moved to Canada and founded Daughters for Peace, a registered charity that advocates peace and understanding between Palestinians and Israelis and provides college scholarships for young Middle Eastern women.

Abuelaish is on a promotional tour for his book, "I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor's Journey on the Road to Peace and Human Dignity."

"I know that what I have lost, what was taken from me, will never come back," he writes in the book. "But as a physician and a Muslim of deep faith, I need to move forward to the light, motivated by the spirits of those I lost. I need to bring them justice. ... I will keep moving but I need you to join me in this long journey."

Tammy Bruce

Sarah Palin's current favorite pundit is not what you might expect.

The conservative writer, radio host and Fox News contributor was a registered Democrat until 2008. She is an outspoken feminist who once was the president of the Los Angeles chapter of the National Organization for Women, according to a bio on her website.

She worked on election campaigns for Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer of California as well as Bill Clinton's presidential campaign, but she also voted for Ronald Reagan and both Bushes.

She has confronted anti-abortion demonstrators, according to a Slate profile.

Now Bruce is all about Tea Party values and Palin.

Palin has used Bruce at least three times in recent months to help get her message out or bounce back from gaffes, according to Slate. A 14-minute interview with Palin figures prominently on Bruce's website.

And oh, by the way, Bruce is an out-of-the-closet lesbian.

"Informing her commentary is the fact that she is also a gay, pro-choice, gun owning, pro-death penalty, Tea Party Independent Conservative," her website says.

No pigeonhole in the world will fit that resume.

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Filed under: China • Gay and lesbian • Gaza • Israel • Most Intriguing People • Sarah Palin • Tea Party
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. big-hank-in-the-grass

    gay, pro-choice, pro-death gun owner? dangerous.. 🙂

    January 20, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kyle

      Right, because anyone who doesn't fit a mold and can't be categorized by our simplistic and moronic media is dangerous. /sarcasm

      January 20, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      If nothing else she would make a terrific cruise director on The New Love Boat TV Show.

      January 20, 2011 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
  2. USA! USA! USA!

    January 20, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Lenoirlady

    Talk about a Schizo? What a biography.

    January 20, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jim Brieske,

    Kent Ewing of the Asian Times is a true democrat liberal kiss a** writer who does more damage to the United States than good. He wrote:
    "When Xi succeeds Hu Jintao as president next year, as most observers expect, China's first couple "will approach the glamour of the Kennedy administration," Kent Ewing writes in Asia Times."
    Xi and his famous folk singer wife Peng are Communists! Depicting them as "approaching" (Ewing manipulates the truth again, refuses to minimize the greatness of John Kennedy yet Kennedy had his head blown off by his own people) the glamour of the Kennedy administration is outrageous and disregards the Chinese who are suffering and have suffered at the hands of a well established Chinese dictatorship.
    The fact is no one in the West or anyplace outside China really knows who the Chinese Communist rulers are or what they truly do. So they can not be compared to our American Camelot. I would say, they are more likely a Chinese Amityville.
    Ewing damages our country by presenting a false pleasant picture of China. It enables the Chinese to dominate us because Americans become complacent when they should be asking, should we trust the Chinese? They don't allow us free travel throughout their country.
    To me that says, they must not want us to see some things.

    January 20, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      The Han Chinese never dominated or occupied their neighbors or taken over their land (the Mongols are not Chinese). They do not seek to dominate America, but to achieve excellency is part of their culture. To deal with disasters and famines are part of their history. It is also the aspiration and history of almost any people, whether be they Americans or Chinese. The Xi's are going to send their only daughter to Harvard. Perhaps if you spend sometime in China, you would start to understand the complexities of countries like China or India. Kent Ewing has been trying to report as fairly as possible. In fact, the likes of people like you in China (and there are many) would really be upset with Ewing comparing their leaders to anything American. Perhaps you can send your daughter to study in Beijing University.

      January 20, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim Brieske,

      Paul. I see you are still a naive liberal democrat moron. Harvard, what a kiss *ss move by Xi and Peng. Two expert Chinese illusionists. I don't care about what you say regarding Chinese history. The fact is the non teeth brushing Mao killed over 70 million of his own people. There are fuking huge pictures hanging everywhere in China of this Communist psychopath.
      Many Americans had sided with Adolf Hitler before we entered World War II. Let's disregard the fact he murdered over 6 million Jews and hang huge pictures of him everywhere in the USA.
      The Chinese leaders are very dangerous and insane. Otherwise, they would take down all the pictures of Mao.

      January 20, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      Jim, with all due respect, you have no idea what you're talking about. As someone who has actually spent some time in Beijing (in fact, I was there last week), I can tell you that the entire city has exactly one photograph of Mao, at the center of Tiananman Square. We feature more presidential photos and busts around this country than they do. Now, do I think China is the greatest country on Earth? No, and I agree that their economic practices are terrible and need to be stopped. The truth is though, your rhetoric serves only to harm the relationship between two great nations. Drop the Republican doom-and-gloom story and you might see that the world isn't the black and white place that Sarah Palin makes it out to be. The Chinese people are hard working, friendly and generous. Never before have I been treated so warmly by the people of a country I have visited (and I have seen much of the world).

      January 20, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • TruthNY

      @Jim – you really have no inkling of what you are saying
      @Paul – I highly doubt Jim's children would be even get accept to schools/universities in Beijing. Their educational requirements far exceeds that of the U.S.

      January 20, 2011 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim Brieske

      TruthNY. I have a higher I.Q. than you. Please go fuk yourself.

      January 20, 2011 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim Brieske

      Michael. Everything you saw in China, the Chinese government allowed you to see. You are just as stupid and naive as TruthNY, who also has his liberal mouth eating recycled food from inside of his b*tt.
      Millions of Chinese have pictures of Mao all the over fuking place. Have you traveled all over China on your own? No!China is enormous. You are such a fool and a security risk to the people of the United States. You should be executed immediately, since you approve of citizens being murdered.
      Do you think a man who murdered 70 million of his own people deserves a picture anywhere on Earth other than in the Genis Book of World Records? Every major city in China has a picture of Mao hanging somewhere. Hundreds and hundreds of millions of Chinese people have at least one Mao picture in their home. They are like a cross protecting them from evil.
      Sadly the evil are the Communists who are in control of everything they do. That's the real China. So die or shut up about China.

      January 20, 2011 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brad

      Ignore Jim, he is just a hater. The assertion that Mao murdered 70 million is ridiculous. yes, millions have died during his reign. But those deaths came from his terrible policies and perverse economic incentives. So, he is guilty of negligence. You can't compare Mao to Hitler. Hitler has said explicitly he wanted to wipe the Jewish race off the face of earth; where Mao placed his ideology over pragmatism, and entrusted power to a few failry deraned people (e.g his wife jiang qing). The great "famine" in the early 60's was largely a man made disaster, 40+million people died because the perverse incentive structure that Mao set up. Of course, he should take the blame. but to say that he "murdered" those people is grossly inaccurate.
      Jim is probably someone who grew up in the 60's who is still suffering from cold war syndrome. Too bad, the world is changing rapidly, and much of what we used to call "communism" no longer exists. China is actually more capitalistic in many aspects than America. (e.g no social security, less regulation, etc...) Jim's own ignorance and his lack of civility (throws out the F-bomb for no apparent reason). He probably is also over dosing on prescription drugs. Which many americans do nowadays, the side effects include extreme fear and moodiness. Which Jim has shown that he has plenty of.
      As an American i have lived and traveled (yes all around china) for 11 years in China. I have studied its history and the people. It's people like Jim that we have to ignore, because imbeciles like him are a thing of the past, and do not represent the newer generation of American people. These people who are fed with Limbaugh's hatred will died off in a few decades, so let's not get to work up about their hateful rhetoric.

      January 21, 2011 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
  5. jennifer


    January 20, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Michael

    She's a schizo becase she can't be labelled with a popular ideology? I think not. Everybody who lets their political party define their beliefs are the crazy ones.

    January 20, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  7. wakeup

    Lan Ping was a famous actress as well when she wed Chairman Mao Zedong and eventually came to power only second to Mao in Communist China. Don't fool yourself into believing China is not the same communist nation it has been the last almost 90 years. The president is by name only, Hu is a dictator elected by the Communist party and is not democratically elected. They call him president only to subdue western disdain for totalitarianism, It is dangerous to bow down and embrace the once demonized communist regimen ripe with continuous oppression. We have through corporate greed put ourselves into a position of subordination and need to peacefully let washington know that we do not approve nor would our founding fathers of the off-shoreing of our once great nation.

    January 20, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  8. ChineseInTX

    I found many American have cold war mindset. All communist is bad. There is nothing wrong w. cmmunist itself, it originated from the west on the base of achieving equal and just society. It is when the politics mixed w. the ideology which caused the problem. Anyway, joining communist party is oneof the many steps to climb social ladder. One should not generize the individuals based on the "label" – communist, Muslim, Jews, ...... you name it. BTW, the would be first couple do have good reputation in China.

    January 20, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Pegleg pun'kin

    Well as my dear departed grandad said many times, if you can't say something nice about someone don't say anything so I will not say anything

    January 20, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  10. EB

    I like pancakes 🙂

    January 20, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  11. roosevelt

    "Peng is arguably more famous than her husband. She has millions of fans, thanks to frequent appearances on China Central Television over many years. She is a major general in the People's Liberation Army and is China's AIDS ambassador to the United Nations."

    Now if that ain't the Tiger Mother from ... you know where.

    Imagine being one of their kids.

    I'm sure in that house the motto is : "If you're not first...You're LAST!"

    Oh my God...I just thought about it...Imagine being her husband...

    I bet the garbage is always taken out on time in that house.

    January 20, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim Brieske,

      roosevelt. I am sure the garbage is taken out. They most likely have 10 servants.

      January 20, 2011 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  12. wake up

    paul- ur miss informed sadly. china has taken over neighbors countries. believe me the dali lama would like to return home!

    January 20, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • catathome

      according to your say, you should return the america to the native people !!

      January 20, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • ragincajun

      unfortunately, you need to live up to your handle and wake up. Paul is correct. Tibet ended up in Han Chinese hands because of (depending on whether you prefer the British version or the Chinese version) politcal dealings made by the British to preclude Russia from obtaining Tibet, or by the Dalai Lama's predecessor by treaty to the Qing Dynasty Chinese government. Either way, it's no more an invasion than the North's occupation of the Confederacy.

      On the other hand, I think the issue you are aiming at is whether it is fair. I agree, the Tibetans should be allowed to live as they want in their own homeland. But Tibet is part of China either because the British gave it to them, or because the Tibetans gave it to them. The Chinese did not conquer it.

      January 20, 2011 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  13. UP2007

    Tammy Bruce is awesome. I'd love for her to take on the liberal women in a face to face discussion/debate (esp. the extremely uniformed like Joy Behar). She would make them cry. Or go on the View. That would be amazing.

    January 20, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jess Wonderin

      Silly me–I have never seen Joy Behar in uniform.

      January 20, 2011 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • UP2007

      why yes, silly you. Now you know.

      January 20, 2011 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Holy Cow

    She is a real hotty, what a piece of work.

    January 20, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  15. tom

    everyone has there own views.....but isnt it the tea party tring to do away with gay rights? basically she jumps all over the page from left to right and there isnt a party for her....(the tea party republicans) are just using year we will have the black coffee democrats....they will steal the show....but it all boils down to money what lobbiest has the most money....u know they are tking kick backs and bribes just smart enough to not get caught bc they passed loopholes around them....they need more than just dems and republicans in congress....bc they arent getting the job done.....

    January 20, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
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