Thursday, January 28, 2010

Obama Idealistic Republicans Still Say No, Iranian Insanity, Goodbye Mr Zelaya

Dana Milbank
EJ Dionne Jr

"To understand the State of the Union we must look not only at where we are and where we are going but where we've been." - Ronald Reagan
"One of the bedrock rules of political life is never to blame the American people: we are invariably decent, generous,hard-working, wise and, always, better than the people who govern us." - Steven Berkowitz
"And right now, I know there are many Americans who aren't sure if they still believe we can change -- or that I can deliver it." - Barack Obama

Did you like President Obama's State of the Union address? I almost wasn't going to watch it because an episode of Househunters was on HGTV. But I did, and ended up impressed, he gave the kind of speech that I would have given if I were President in his situation, but he was much more eloquent and gracious. He hit all the buttons, mentioned all of the reasons that I have been disgusted with the way Congress has been acting. His proposed actions were not over the top, a good mixture of ideas from all ideological spectrums, good first steps that I hope become reality. I like the Federal spending freeze and that he is going over the budget line by line. If the economy continues to recover and some people can get back to work, myself included, then anything else he accomplishes during his term is gravy. If he can further cut back the influence and bribing of Congress by lobbyists, then he will have done a Herculean task, because everyone likes easy money.

He addressed just about all of the complaints that the pundits and critics have flung at him, disarming any Republican response afterwards. In fact, watching the Republican response I felt like I was watching Obama lite, down to the fake applause at inappropriate times. It would have been a decent speech if the Virginia Governor would have listened to Obama's speech, then made remarks specific to it, instead of the bland, canned speech he gave that was written sometime before. At least it was better than the painful to watch one that Bobby Jindal gave that just about ruined his national ambitions... If you are a hardcore liberal, Obama's speech probably disappointed; it goes without saying that if you are an extreme conservative nothing that he could say would make you happy. But all in al, if you are an idealist who still believes that the Republicans need to be dragged kicking and screaming all the way to the negotiation table for some bipartisan action, then you joined with the President's wishes, and were a little bit proud to be an American in times like these.

Twitter responses:
"Obama "Baracked" the house tonight. Last five minutes of his speech, you could hear a pin drop. Even evil McConnell was teary-eyed."  - notgyet13
"In the very least, Obama is attuned to what's being said about him, and good at responding....with words, anyway."   -  marcelius
"Words are nice and all, but back it up with some action!"   -  Sedge68

follow the money... 
Historically, the Haitian government is supposed to be one of the most corrupt, though I'm not sure if we compare it to Iraq or Afghanistan. From the Denver Post comes an article that breaks down for every dollar spent on relief, where the money goes: "Each U.S. relief dollar roughly breaks down like this: 42 cents for disaster assistance, 33 cents for U.S. military aid, 9 cents for food, 9 cents to transport the food, 5 cents for paying Haitian survivors for recovery efforts, just less than 1 cent to the Haitian government, and about half a cent to the Dominican Republic.
The U.S. aid is part of nearly $2 billion in relief aid flowing into Haiti — almost all of it managed by organizations other than the Haitian government, which has been struggling to re-establish its authority since the quake. On Wednesday, a defensive President Rene Preval acknowledged his country's reputation for graft but said aid money isn't lining the pockets of government officials." Hopefully, we can believe them.

I haven't seen too many charity scams for Haiti, it looks like the the crooks are content with the $65 billion dollars they scammed for Afghanistan in the past 5 years, no sense going where their lack of good deeds would be scrutinized...

iran in hell...
A couple of days ago I noticed that Iran had kept out of the news for a few days and that was a good thing. Unfortunately, they have come roaring back, proving once again that their government is insane. I wonder if someone hasn't tainted their drinking water with nuclear waste, because the decisions they are making lack all humanity and common decency.

First, one of the most right wingnuts of their Parliament goes visiting on a tour of the Arabian Gulf states, and in Kuwait, lectures to them not to let the US use their countries to launch missiles at their nuclear bases: "States in the region which house U.S. military bases should know that these bases must not be used against Iran. The region should not become a launch-pad for aggression against Iran," 

Fine as far as it goes, except that Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar, all members of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, are home to major U.S. military bases. Bahrain is home to the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet.  He then went on threaten the US bases that Iran would devastate them if it should ever happen. Crazy talk with low threat level...

Then, Iran tells us that it had arrested two Germans for masterminding the last mass demonstrations during Ashura, the one where government forces shot, then ran over the nephew of Mir Moussavi with an SUV, in a move that was borrowed from busdrivers in Mexico City. Not German diplomats, not German reporters, not even German private contractors or businessmen or cooks or librarians, but maybe they were a couple of German security guards who left their posts at the embassy to organize and incite the demonstrations in Tehran. Crazier talk, with a slightly higher threat level...

Today, Iran announced that they had hung by their necks, two of the eleven protesters that had been convicted of "waging war against god" in trying to overthrow the Islamic Revolution. The Ayatollah Khomeini had the revolutionary idea that instead of having the religious scholars advise the rulers like in every other Muslim country, why not let the representatives of god take part and rule directly? He did this to justify his own part in taking over the leadership of Iran after the Shah was kicked out, and to serve his own egomania. Anyone who questions the decisions of the ruling ayatollahs can be accused of waging a war against god's representatives, in this case joining in a protest demonstration.

Not only are the charge so entirely bogus that it deserves aa shoe thrown at it, but it proves that the Iranian government has lost its moorings and gone adrift in the sea of madness. I fail to see how demonstrating against secular fraud and then lying about it and trying to ignore it like it never happened translates into some kind of war against god. Unless in their minds they consider themselves holier than thou, similar to the old despot emperors of China where they revered the emperor as the Son of Heaven. The Ayatollah Khamenei must be suffering from Alzheimer's, or it demonstrates that extreme right wing conservatism is the path to insanity. Craziest talk, threat level off the chart... Now I fear what tomorrow may bring.

back to normal...
The liberal elected leader of Honduras was escorted out of the Brazilian Embassy and accompanied to a waiting airplane by the newly elected conservative leader, kiss kiss, hug,hug. The generous leader of the Dominican Republic made it a party of three, and I guess they had a leaderfest (wearing leaderhosen?) in the limosine. Manuel Zelaya will now be living in the Dominican Republic, and might be put to work earning his keep by helping the people in the country next door, though all he knows how to be is a rich landowner, and there isn't much of a call for that in Haiti. I love happy endings, and as someone in Honduras was quoted as saying, maybe they now can get back to normal, what ever that is...

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