Sunday, October 31, 2010

Reminders From Me and Frank Rich

Reminder One, Mine:
In the midst of the election posturing, DO NOT FORGET: Every woe we are facing today is directly due to the crimes and misdemeanors perpetrated by the George W. Bush administration from 2000 through 2008. And whatever Barack Obama has faced since the moment he took office on January 20, 2009, and whatever he has done during his term has been to alleviate and correct the mess left by the Bush administration in 2008.
Reminder Two, Frank Rich’s:
As usual, Frank Rich’s column in the New York Times this morning cut through the bullshit that has taken over the media’s reporting on Obama’s presidency so far and the up-coming election.
In his lede paragraph, Rich wrote: “One dirty little secret of the 2010 election is that it won’t be a political tragedy for Democrats if a Tea Party icon like Sharron Angle or Joe Miller ends up in the United States Senate.”
And the reason is, Rich says: “The Tea Party’s hopes for actually affecting change in Washington will start being dashed the morning after. The ordinary Americans in this movement lack the numbers and financial clout to muscle their way into the back rooms of Republican power no matter how well their candidates perform.”
However, Rich also points out that the movers and shakers in the Republican Party will be thankful if the Tea Party candidates lose since they are a distraction and embarrassment. But the fate of the Tea Party candidates doesn’t really matter. The old-guard, far-right, hooray-for-the-wealthy-and-me-and-mine Bush administration GOP power brokers are going to call the shots in the Republican Party in any event.
And Rich says, “what the Tea Party ostensibly wants most — less government spending and smaller federal deficits — is not remotely happening on the country club G.O.P.’s watch. The elites have no serious plans to cut anything except taxes and regulation of their favored industries.”
“That’s not happening either,” Rich says. “Mitch McConnell (Minority Leader-KY) has explained his only real priority for the new Congress with admirable candor. ‘The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.'"
There you have it. Frank Rich has put it in a nutshell. The GOP has allowed the Tea Party candidates to be center-stage, to distract, to embarrass, to muddy the waters, to be the clown act in the Republican three-ring-circus, because the real aim from January 20, 2009 until the next election for president is to unseat Obama, no matter what it takes.
The Republican focus has not been about policies, it has not been about ending or continuing wars, it has not been about Health Care, and it has not been about the economy--which will correct itself in time.
The GOP’s cause celebre has been to make sure Obama does not win a second term. And in light of that fact, we can toss down the toilet the idea that Sarah Palin will run for Prez in 2012. That would be folly. The GOP will have to run an electable male candidate.
Ignorant, narcissistic female buffoons need not apply.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Daood/David Headley…Again

So…the New York Times came out with a news story this morning about David Headley (“U.S. Had Warnings About Plotter of Mumbai Attack”). Not to go into too much detail, but Daood/David Headley is the son of Serrill Headley who owned a couple bars in Philadelphia. I worked in one of them with Daood/David in 1983. He subsequently plotted the devastating terrorist attack on Mumbai in 2008.

Now we learn that two of Daood's three wives ratted him out to the US Embassy, telling the officials that they were sure their husband was plotting a horrendous deed. It is fascinating to find out he was married to all three women at the same time.

The US (as in, the FBI and the CIA) is claiming that they listened to what the women had to say, but thought they were simply women who were pissed off at an errant husband.

We also find out that the DEA says it used Headley as an informant but ceased the association in 2001.

Um…do I have some opinions about all this?

Are pumpkins orange?

Opinion Number 1
It is safe to assume that the DEA NEVER cuts off ties with informants who sell their souls to the DEA in exchange for favors like the DEA making it impossible for toxic governments (Pakistan and India) to do whatever they want and with great creativity to drug-dealing scum.

Opinion Number 2
Although American newspaper accounts are full of info about Daood’s arrests in 1988 and 1997 for drug-trafficking, they never mention that Daood tried to sell drugs in Pakistan in 1983 and his mother had to go to Pakistan and get him out of the jam.

Now I grant you, Serrill Headley could summon up salty tears to sob over her life in general (which version she changed to suit her reason for the histrionics), her disastrous love affairs and her son’s wayward ways. But she told me (yes, in tears) that Daood had been arrested in Pakistan and that she was going over to get him out. I know he went to Pakistan toward the end of 1983 to visit relatives, I know he contacted his mother that he was in jail. And I know she went to Pakistan and he returned to Philadelphia. All of us who worked in the Khyber Pass North bar were amazed she could do it. We conjectured she had friends in high places or spent a fortune on bribes or both.

This had to be in 1983, because I never saw any of the crew again after Daood fired me the day after the Raiders won the Super Bowl in 1984.

Opinion Number 3
What I cannot corroborate, but would bet my bottom dollar on, is: it was in 1983 that Daood started working for the DEA and he never stopped working for the DEA.

And that is why the NYT reported this morning: “An examination of Mr. Headley’s movements in the years before the bombing, based on interviews in Washington, Pakistan, India and Morocco, shows that he had overlapping, even baffling, contacts among seemingly disparate groups — Pakistani intelligence, terrorists, and American drug investigators. Those ties are rekindling concerns that the Mubai bombings represent another communications
breakdown in the fight against terrorism, and are raising the question of whether United States officials were reluctant to dig deeper into Mr. Headley’s movements because he had been an informant for the D.E.A.”

Some things are predictable, if not inevitable. Whenever he’s in trouble, Daood will always cut a deal, with whomever, wherever and do whatever it takes.