Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas! Slouching Towards a New Year

Eugene Robinson
Dana Milbank

"This morning's vote brings us one step closer to making Ted Kennedy's dream a reality," - Harry Reid
"It's promising that the nation is so passionately engaged in debate about wonkish policy initiatives -- public option vs. Medicare buy-in, carbon tax vs. cap-and-trade. This nation is at its best when it's going somewhere and doing something, not when it's standing still." - Eugene Robinson

Probably the best story on this Christmas Day is that there was a peaceful celebration in Bethlehem this year: "Palestinians and pilgrims from around the world came together in the town to celebrate the event.
Hundreds attended morning mass at St Catherine's Church, in the Church of Nativity complex on Manger Square. About 15,000 tourists are expected to stay in the town during the holiday period."

We think that everyone who lives in Gaza are Hamas supporting Muslims, but that is not the case. The region is much more diverse than the simplified politics we assign there. In fact: "Some 300 Christians over the age of 35 from the Gaza Strip were given permission by the Israeli military to travel to Bethlehem and stay for 24 hours to celebrate Christmas." Of course, its celebrate, then go home, but at least they got to go to Bethlehem, which is much more exciting than sitting here in the snow in Colorado. Maybe Baloon Boy could fly me over, or I could use one of the police helicopters that have been grounded due to budget constraints... All reports have said what a festive atmosphere that permeated the celebrations, and nothing happened like trying to knock over the Pope. Even the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas attended the midnight Mass...
"This land will deserve to be called holy when she breathes freedom, justice, love, reconciliation, peace and security."

free the bin laden 30...
In the continuing saga of the wandering bin Ladens, who left Afghanistan before the 9/11 attacks in 2001, and went on foot, walking back to Saudi Arabia, a spokesman for the Iranian government acknowledged that the Saudi Embassy told them that a 17 year old daughter, Eman bin Laden, was there. The Iranian government doesn't know how in the world she got there, and if she can verify her identity and get the proper permits, she will be allowed to leave the country. No mention was made of the other 30 bin Ladens, who are being kept in a walled compound outside of Tehran.

The next step was taken by Omar bin Laden, who wrote a book with his mother about the time they lived with Osama. He cleverly has complimented Iran, allowing them to save face and give them a way out of the dilemma: "The Iranian government did not know what to do with this large group of people that nobody else wanted, so they just kept them safe. For that we owe them much gratitude, and thank Iran from the depth of our heart," he said.

He now hopes that the family will be given permission to leave Iran and join his mother, brother and two sisters in Syria, or himself and his wife in Qatar." It remains to be seen if this will have a happy ending or if Iran decides to keeo the family until Osama is found, or al Qaeda is disbanded and no longer poses a threat to them and others...

But it is a welcome distraction from the protests that are continuing inside Iran. Things will get hairy this weekend, and I'm afraid that the repressive forces will just go nuts and start killing the protesters. Instead of becoming an influential player in the region, Iran has become an embarrassment, making the fake president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad look liberal and reasonable in comparison...

health reform passes, now what...
I guess the Republicans can drop their outraged expressions and get down to celebrating in the New Year, taking a deep breath before donning their masks again in time for the next fight. If Obama tries to tackle the jobs situation, what kind of arguments will they come up with to try and shoot down all Democratic ideas? Rush Limbaugh feels that Conservatism is on the uprise, but that will only last until the painkillers wear off. We need people who are able to look at things more creatively in order to come up with solutions, because the job market will still be depressed for several years, people will get more desperate and depressed, and the next time some company on Wall Street is going to fail, we will have to let it fail all on its own.

Over 50 banks failed this last year, and four major oil refineries have shut down. There have been 16 bank robberies in Denver in the last two weeks, and the calls of domestic and child abuse has risen dramatically.

Our older generation of white males are still angry at the government but they can't articulate the reasons why. We may have more incidents like what Gator Taylor did in Virginia" did: "the 53-year-old Tennessee man had been angry at the government for months, even years... so after breakfast at a local eatery and a steak at Applebee's, he pushed his wheelchair through the door of the post office Wednesday afternoon, officials said, slammed what looked like a bomb on the counter and took three people hostage."
"I do think the American citizens and their anger is going to translate into some sort of citizen action." - Rush Limbaugh
"Just over eight hours later, after demanding only a pizza he shared with his captives and a pack of cigarettes for a hostage who smoked, the gunman let them go, wheeled outside in his chair and surrendered...The gunman said he had no money, and his 2007 red Dodge diesel pickup truck was about to be repossessed. Mostly, he railed against the government — high taxes, gun control and President Barack Obama.

During an arraignment Thursday in U.S. District Court in Roanoke on kidnapping and other charges, Taylor said nothing except a brief apology to people in the courtroom.
"I'm sorry I got everybody out on Christmas," he said." Yeah, thanks Rush, and all of you fearmongers out out there, keep on doing what you are doing, but ask yourself this: are you ready for a throwdown?

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