Daily Archives: December 26, 2009

Dennis Kucinich Comments…

Russia Today interviewed Congressman Kucinich and he commented on Afghanistan, War, Generals and more. Give a listen…

Dear Mr. President:

I don’t know if you get to read incoming e-mail. I doubt it, as I know the value of your time in running the country and still finding some room for your wife, children and dog. However, I would like to offer you a couple of points from my not-so-unique position as an unemployed American with two college degrees who worked on your campaign steadily for many months last year… and who is now getting more and more disappointed in your progress, or lack thereof.

“Progress” is the key word here. The expectation of so many of us who walked from door to door or sealed and sent mailing pieces or stood at intersections waving signs instead of going home to our families in the evening was that your Presidency, tied with the majorities for the Democratic Party in both Houses of Congress, would bring us out of the fiscal slurry that the Bush Administration had sunk our lower extremities in. Oh, I know you have made accomplishments… that somehow you and Bernanke saved us from a Depression with a fairly hideous Recession, that you started a process to close Gitmo and began making buddies again with the rest of the world. I know all of that.

What I can’t understand is why, after the huge effort you put into the election campaign making us all convinced you were a Progressive Hope for all of us, you have really become a mostly talk and let others do the action kind of guy. I speak specifically about Rahm Emanuel, who seems to really run the domestic policies that are fed out to the Congress,  about Tim Geithner and the rest financial service types who made sure their industry was protected first while your small voters, who could not commit the millions in campaign bucks that you seem all too willing to sell us off for, cut down on their grocery shopping and debated the best way to come up with their kids’ tuition over mortgage payments, and about the Military’s need to keep us involved in the most unnecessary confrontation anyone could imagine, making our international debt so huge that even words don’t describe it.

I can’t understand why the Health Care deals where made with the Pharmaceutical companies and the lobbyists from the Insurance industry, and the Liebermans and Nelsons and  other bought and paid for types, and not with the cast majority of people who elected you…people who once thought there was a chance at a single-payer solution to Health Care and who continued to think they would still get an advantage with the now vanished Public Option.

We thought you wanted to change things.

Instead, you have worked yourself into a sticky and overgrown corner where just getting out is nearly impossible. While it is possible that you might reevaluate the situation before the Fall and the 2010 Congressional elections start and get into the fray yourself (and, frankly, tell your current policy wonks to listen to the people who elected you OR ELSE), the reality seems to be that all the changes we had hoped for have been sidelined by the most controllable of uncontrollable things.

I hope you had a chance to watch, or listen to, or at least read a transcript of Bill Moyers’ Journal from the 18th of the month (and one that had not been edited by your staff to remove the highlights that they are most involved in). If not, I think you should note that the first half of the program is something is something that you should pay close attention to. It’s called “Is Washington For Sale?” and it features some very clear words from Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone and Economist Robert Kuttner. You can see it on line at http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/12182009/watch.html, if you are able to get on line. I hope you can. Hell, you’re the President. Call PBS and ask them to send you a DVD!

It is so important that you become aware of what the community of Americans, who gave the government to you and the Congress not so long ago, think. All our futures are tied together, but you have your hand on the knot.

Regards,

Bill Tchakirides

Shepherdstown, WV

Juan Cole comments on the failed plane bomber…

This is a clip from a longer article… but I agree with Juan. Abd al-Mutallib was not a sophisticated bomber and was probably trying to get attention from Al Qaida.

A piece of the article here:

clipped from www.juancole.com

The details of the attempted attack on the Amsterdam/ Detroit flight Friday are still murky and I don’t trust the only official from whom we are hearing details, Rep. Peter King of New York. The LAT says Homeland Security is now downplaying the purported al-Qaeda or Yemen connection around which rumors swirled earlier Friday, saying that the al-Qaeda thing may have been “aspirational”.

Umar Farouk Abd al-Mutallib, 23, a Nigerian engineering student at the University College of London, took the flight from Lagos Nigeria to Amsterdam and thence to Detroit. Someone set him up with a leg pouch filled with an incendiary chemical that was supposed to set a big fire on board when he injected it with chemicals from a syringe.

It was a replay of the shoe bomber episode, in other words, and suspiciously enough occured on the anniversary of the Richard Reid attempt.
No cause for complaisance here, but contrary to what rightwing politicians are saying, no cause for panic, either.
blog it

Cartoon(s) of the Week … hard choice to make!

There were too many good ones this week and I had too much time on my hands reviewing them, So here are my favorite four:

Mike Luckovich in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Yes, it has been a great Christmas for lobbyists… and we once thought that with Obama they’d get a lump of coal in their stocking!

– and –

Tony Auth in the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Isn’t Scrooge supposed to learn that he has been wrong?

= and –

Tom Toles in the Washington Post:

And it looks like the strategy is well on its way…

– and –

Clay Bennett, Chattanooga Times Free Press:

Belief is a strange thing…

More on the Detroit airline explosion failure..

This led Salon’s report this morning… more at the Salon site:
clipped from www.salon.com
The passenger, who was traveling on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 from Amsterdam, was not identified. He was being questioned Friday evening, according to one of the officials, both of whom spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was continuing.
The motive of the Christmas Day attack was not immediately clear.
“He appears to have had some kind of incendiary device he tried to ignite,” said one of the U.S. officials.
Authorities initially believed the passenger had set off firecrackers that caused some minor injuries.
Passenger Syed Jafri, a U.S. citizen who had flown from the United Arab Emirates, said the incident occurred during the plane’s descent. Jafri said he was seated three rows behind the passenger and said he saw a glow, and noticed a smoke smell. Then, he said, “a young man behind me jumped on him.”
“Next thing you know, there was a lot of panic,” he said.
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And this from CNN:

The administration official said there was no evidence that Abdulmatallab was a hard-core, trained member of al-Qaeda.

The suspect, identified as a Nigerian national, claimed to have extremist ties and said the explosive device “was acquired in Yemen along with instructions as to when it should be used,” said a federal security bulletin obtained by CNN.

The FBI is investigating, bureau spokeswoman Sandra Berchtold said.

The remains of the device used are being sent to an FBI explosives lab in Quantico, Virginia, for analysis, the sources said.
The suspect, identified as a Nigerian national, claimed to have extremist ties and said the explosive device “was acquired in Yemen along with instructions as to when it should be used,” said a federal security bulletin obtained by CNN.The FBI is investigating, bureau spokeswoman Sandra Berchtold said.