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Is everyone else watching this media ping-pong?

We find out that:

“Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has been briefed on the incident aboard Northwest Airlines flight #253 and is closely monitoring the situation.

We learn that Mr. Abdulmutallab may have boarded without a Passport? The flight originated in Amsterdam. Hello!?

We learn the system is “working”? However, Secretary Janet Napolitano sure is glad those passengers were on board and: Thanks!

By the way, she says, expect boarding delays and new screening.

To prove how competent everyone is they haul another Nigerian man with diarrhea off the same plane the very next day.( All right, two days later!)

In the mean time Congressman Peter King says he doesn’t like Napolitano’s “tone”. Does that mean she’s failed as woman? Or she didn’t have a man’s “tone”? WTF? No one questions whether the 48 hour wait was purposeful for the Prez. King displayed a great example of how to ask the wrong questions and look like a real sexist idiot.

We learn that, yes, SHS Napolitano, said something inane yesterday but gee, we only have forty screeners to prevent this kind of thing in the entire country. It’s the Republicans fault. I’m not sure why that matters, since the flight DIDN’T ORIGINATE IN THIS COUNTRY.

Mike Littwin at the Denver Post reminds us that WE are the front line on “War on Terror.” I like that sentimental reference to a Bushian statement. (Terrorism, not Terror.)

We then learn that it is the weak minded Liberals who caused this incident.

Jake Tapper had some ideas about who can claim success in a foiled bomb attack.

(Hint. It’s us; we decided to stop being sheep to 1960’s passenger protocol.)

Speaking of protocol, we learn from Carol Lee over at Politico that we are observing presidential protocol in action as to how unexpected problems are handled. I don’t know why this is news. Obama showed us how he managed problems the night of the McCain/Obama debate. He’s pretty cool all right; He lets the other chickens run around.

Then we find out that some Yemeni jihadists are claiming this schnook’s actions are a result of our bombing them. However, Obama calls them out, cuz doncha know, this guy left Yemen BEFORE the bombing occurred. This of course means we knew he was coming, we just didn’t know what for. Never mind that the Yemeni air strike was on the 17th, and Abdulmutallab didn’t show up in our flight zone until the 25th.  I guess Yemen is in some sort of bubble, and once you leave there you lose all contact with everyone. However, since we have already pretty much committed to cleaning up terrorists everywhere, for the foreseeable future, I imagine this kind of incentive doesn’t hurt.

President Obama gets HIS tone in gear and says: “His Administration ‘Will Not Rest’ After Attempted Terror Attack”.

Then we find out that just maybe, but we aren’t sure, there is a Guantanamo link. Is it real or is it incentive? Hmm.  Hey, I’ll tell you what, the Prez is ON IT!

He’s gonna get those plane bomb plotters. Not only that, US terrorism databases and air travel screening are gonna get checked.

While we are pondering this, over at the Secretary of State’s office Mr. Ian Kelly is telling the press that they did everything right. Yes, they could have pulled Mr. Abdulmutallab’s visa, but in June when they issued it, there was no reason to. They put the father’s concerns into the database, but it wasn’t their job to kick the Undie Bomber off the plane. He was flagged on November 20th. It was someone else’s job to watch him, (National Counterterrorism Center) and no, Nigeria has said they have nothing to do with this.

Then we find out that systemic failures are the Republican’s entire fault, and especially DeMints! (Or maybe the Unions!?)

Today, we get the official grand update from the Prez. Yep, it’s systemic failure all right, it was there before he was Prez, (So sure as shootin’ it’s the Republican’s fault.) and we are ON IT!

In the mean time we get to ponder to possible mind meanderings of another lost soul and his possible relationship to Stockholm syndrome, a life confined by the strictures of expectation, perfectionism and naivety. He was on the Internet telling the world that he was lonely. He was 23, trying not to have sex and rebelling against his parents’ meat choices. He essentially runs away from the Dubai school his father wanted him to attend and winds up on a plane to it’s sister city with a bomb. Why go on that plane?

Great balls of fire! The symbolism just reeks.

Assuming anyone else in Yemen really planned this, as opposed to just sending a schnook to his probable death, I’m wondering why he or she picked a Detroit flight. With 44,000 empty homes and a still floundering economy, it seems an odd choice to make a show.

It’s the reality. There are schnooks everywhere. 300 or more could have died. And didn’t.

Thank you, crew, passengers, and especially, Jasper Shuringa!

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http://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/2009/12/21/the-stories-of-the-two-somalis-freed-from-guantanamo-by-andy-worthington/.

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http://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/2009/12/19/saudi-warplanes-rain-1011-missiles-on-yemen/.

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Against the background of the Chinese refusal to allow monitoring of green house emissions and insistence that the 1992 treaty be honored in which they are to receive assistance toward the reduction of such emissions, the US Agenda was that of “pragmatism”.  Meanwhile smaller nations, notably from Africa, walked out briefly in protest on Monday over proposed assistance and perceived sidelining of the Kyoto Protocol.

Through the week concerns continued that progress of the overall climate negotiations regarding technical, financial and emotional issues, for an interim agreement, was too slow and would leave too much unsettled when world leaders sit down to negociate a binding global accord next year.

SOS Hillary Clinton was scheduled to attend today’s conference and leaders events in advance of the President’s arrival on the 18th.

Then today, Japan Times reported the following:

Thursday, Dec. 17, 2009

Gridlock threatens to doom COP15

By ERIC JOHNSTON and SETSUKO KAMIYA

Staff writers

[COPENHAGEN — U.N. negotiators at the COP15 conference worked through the night Tuesday, increasingly desperate to reach agreement before more than 120 world leaders gather Thursday night and Friday and following an official warning that the stalemated negotiations could doom the conference….

…One of the main sticking points on financing is which developing countries should receive financial assistance. U.S. officials have stressed they would refuse to provide China with funds. On Tuesday, China said the world’s poorest and most vulnerable should be prioritized, a sign Beijing may agree to U.S. demands that funding target small island states in the Pacific or African nations threatened by global warming, rather than large, industrialized developing countries such as itself…]

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20091217a1.html

Neither China nor the US has yet signed the Kyoto Protocol as regarding green house gas emission.  This is a continuing major issue for many signatory countries. Most would prefer to keep the Kyoto Protocol, however, there is negotiation ongoing to develop a second legally binding protocol that the US might sign.

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Update

As of 4:20 PM PST, the Daily Digest has not yet produced the record for today, indicating the vote, the 11th of December. However, find below the House passed  reform bill, as entitled:

H.R.4173
Title: To provide for financial regulatory reform, to protect consumers and investors, to enhance Federal understanding of insurance issues, to regulate the over-the-counter derivatives markets, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Frank, Barney [MA-4] (introduced 12/2/2009)      Cosponsors (None)
Related Bills: H.RES.956, H.RES.964, H.R.3126, H.R.3818
Latest Major Action: 12/10/2009 House floor actions. Status: Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union rises leaving H.R. 4173 as unfinished business.

The bill has several short titles. You may hear several of them. The titles in italics represent portions of the bill:

Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009

Accountability and Transparency in Rating Agencies Act of 2009

Consumer Financial Protection Agency Act of 2009

Corporate and Financial Institution Compensation Fairness Act of 2009

Credit Risk Retention Act of 2009

Dissolution Authority for Large, Interconnected Financial Companies Act of 2009

Federal Insurance Office Act of 2009

Financial Stability Improvement Act of 2009

Investor Protection Act of 2009

Over-the-Counter Derivatives Markets Act of 2009

Private Fund Investment Advisers Registration Act of 2009

Go HERE to open the information on the summary page. There are reports that the Senate version is not at the same stage and may take as long as six months to pass.Dakinikat, over at the Confluence has a good post on moral hazard, HERE. It is  a timely and apt post in relation to the just passed H.R.4173. Risk is always present in any activity. Either we leave the cat with the pigeons and trust it will behave, or we buy the cage, and transfer the risk into losing a paw to the cat if it misbehaves.

***********************

[Politico Breaking News

The House has passed a sweeping financial regulatory reform bill by a vote of 223 to 202. The bill is designed to prevent a repeat of last year’s economic meltdown by creating a new consumer watchdog agency and new regulations on everything from credit cards to executive compensation.

For more information…http://www.politico.com]

I’ll have more in a bit.

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What the USA is NOT doing to eliminate Violence against Women in Afghanistan.

Not to be blasé about it, but there was never any doubt we were going to be in Afghanistan and Pakistan and maybe even Somalia for quite a while. All three of the remaining presidential contenders supported last year the possibility of increased action.

In front of the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday, SOS Hillary Rodham Clinton (HRC) laid the groundwork for the civilian, NGO and diplomatic core that will follow the military to Afghanistan and Pakistan this year. I saw grousing on the Internet about lack of Alliance support. In fact, the SOS was, after her meeting, to fly to Belgium to attempt just that. I saw grumbling about why we were in the war, and whether Obama had let the Obats down. I read about people like Moore and Hayden tearing off the blinders and refusing to drink the Kool-aid. I continue to be stunned that some of us were so much smarter then they. Then, I heard one soul, over at KDIC, decry this statement, where remarkably, SOS HRC said:

“We are on track to triple the number of civilian positions in Afghanistan to 974 by early next year”.

This is a pitiful number. Truly, the speaker at KDIC is right to be upset that an additional 600 or fewer civilians will be called upon to help the Afghani effort next year. However, the remarkable part of the sentence is that the figure will TRIPLE what is already there.

Our nation has additional responsibilities beyond that of guns and planes. So far in eight years, we have done very little economically and diplomatically to facilitate the emergence of a vital and stable Afghanistan. Beyond that, in light of the 16 days International Campaign Toward the Elimination of Violence against Women, we have failed on another front-Congress.

Let’s not forget the “Afghan Women Empowerment Act of 2007” introduced by Representative Maloney and it’s twin by Senator Boxer, sent to rigor mortis at the respective foreign committees. Oh sure, the Feminist Majority and others have pushed. However, most of the members of Congress haven’t done their part to provide the tiniest measure of help to women in Afghanistan. The bill was reintroduced in April of this year to the house as HR 2214Afghan Women Empowerment Act of 2009, and in January as S.229 under the same name. Again it was referred to the relative foreign relations committees. Again it sits.

I linked the house and senate text versions to their numbers above. However, to give you an idea of the bill, the CRS Index terms, which are used to identify key themes in a bill, is the following:

International affairs

Afghanistan

Asia

Foreign aid and international relief

Human rights

International organizations and cooperation

Sex, gender, sexual orientation discrimination

Women’s rights

Here is a list of the Senate cosponsors:

Sen Begich, Mark [AK] – 6/1/2009

Sen Burris, Roland [IL] – 9/14/2009

Sen Cantwell, Maria [WA] – 10/26/2009

Sen Cardin, Benjamin L. [MD] – 8/6/2009

Sen Collins, Susan M. [ME] – 7/15/2009

Sen Dodd, Christopher J. [CT] – 7/28/2009

Sen Franken, Al [MN] – 11/4/2009

Sen Gillibrand, Kirsten E. [NY] – 4/29/2009

Sen Johnson, Tim [SD] – 7/13/2009

Sen Kaufman, Edward E. [DE] – 6/23/2009

Sen Landrieu, Mary L. [LA] – 5/4/2009

Sen Lautenberg, Frank R. [NJ] – 7/31/2009

Sen Mikulski, Barbara A. [MD] – 4/27/2009

Sen Shaheen, Jeanne [NH] – 10/14/2009

Sen Snowe, Olympia J. [ME] – 7/28/2009

Sen Stabenow, Debbie [MI] – 12/1/2009

Sen Whitehouse, Sheldon [RI] – 7/28/2009

Here is a list of the House cosponsors:

Rep Abercrombie, Neil [HI-1] – 9/15/2009

Rep Baldwin, Tammy [WI-2] – 4/30/2009

Rep Brown, Corrine [FL-3] – 7/24/2009

Rep Cohen, Steve [TN-9] – 9/16/2009

Rep Doggett, Lloyd [TX-25] – 9/15/2009

Rep Ellison, Keith [MN-5] – 9/8/2009

Rep Farr, Sam [CA-17] – 9/8/2009

Rep Filner, Bob [CA-51] – 9/8/2009

Rep Hodes, Paul W. [NH-2] – 9/8/2009

Rep Honda, Michael M. [CA-15] – 7/29/2009

Rep Johnson, Eddie Bernice [TX-30] – 7/28/2009

Rep Michaud, Michael H. [ME-2] – 10/14/2009

Rep Rothman, Steven R. [NJ-9] – 10/20/2009

Rep Schakowsky, Janice D. [IL-9] – 7/28/2009

Rep Schiff, Adam B. [CA-29] – 9/8/2009

Rep Shea-Porter, Carol [NH-1] – 6/3/2009

Rep Stark, Fortney Pete [CA-13] – 7/28/2009

Rep Tsongas, Niki [MA-5] – 10/22/2009

Rep Waxman, Henry A. [CA-30] – 9/22/2009

Rep Woolsey, Lynn C. [CA-6] – 5/12/2009

Rep Wu, David [OR-1] – 9/8/2009

The allocation of money provided in this bill is a tiny sum compared to the vast amounts we have allocated for the war. The House bill asks for 150 million for each year between 2010 and 2112. The Senate bill asks for a paltry 45 million for the same period. (I know the word paltry is hard to swallow for some of us, but try to keep in mind what we have spent elsewhere this year.)

One cannot have a war without allocating funds to it. Concomitantly, one cannot have a war without provision for the effects upon civilians. Above and beyond that however, is the general question of what we as a country are willing to toward the progress of women as equal partners in the world. Whether or not we leave Afghanistan today, the OTHER war is waging. So, when a bill like this, designed to facilitate civilian impact of the guns and planes, can’t get out of committee, you have to look to other reasons why. Some of the following people are also on the above lists. Many of the following people have inserted viewpoints regarding the Afghan War on their Congressional web pages. Contact them and find out why the bill isn’t part of their statement. Or hey, contact them anyway and tell them YOUR viewpoint. Or not. Maybe, like Greenwald, you have some inane idea that helping women is the equivalent of nation building. It isn’t. It’s nation changing. And we all have to do it.

Senate Committee on Foreign Relations

John Kerry, Chair

Christopher J. Dodd

Russell D. Feingold

Barbara Boxer

Robert Menendez

Benjamin L. Cardin

Robert P. Casey Jr.

Jim Webb

Jeanne Shaheen

Edward E. Kaufman

Kirsten E. Gillibrand

Richard G Lugar, Ranking Member

Bob Corker

Johnny Isakson

James E. Risch

Jim DeMint

John Barrasso

Roger F. Wicker

James M. Inhofe

House Committee on Foreign Affairs

Howard L. Berman, CHAIRMAN, D-CA, 28th District

Gary L. Ackerman, VICE CHAIR, D-NY, 5th District

Eni F.H. Faleomavaega, D-American Samoa

Donald M. Payne, D-NJ, 10th District

Brad Sherman, D-CA, 27th District

Eliot L. Engel, D-NY, 17th District

Bill Delahunt, D-MA, 10th District

Gregory W. Meeks, D-NY, 6th District

Diane E. Watson, D-CA, 33rd District

Russ Carnahan, D-MO, 3rd District

Albio Sires, D-NJ, 13th District

Gerald E. Connolly, D-VA, 11th District

Michael E. McMahon, D-NY, 13th District

John S. Tanner, D-TN, 8th District

Gene Green, D-TX, 29th District

Lynn Woolsey, D-CA, 6th District

Sheila Jackson Lee, D-TX, 18th District

Barbara Lee, D-CA, 9th District

Shelley Berkley, D-NV, 1st District

Joseph Crowley, D-NY, 7th District

Mike Ross, D-AR, 4th District

Brad Miller, D-NC, 13th District

David Scott, D-GA, 13th District

Jim Costa, D-CA, 20th District

Keith Ellison, D-MN, 5th District

Gabrielle Giffords, D-AZ, 8th District

Ron Klein, D-FL, 22nd District

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, RANKING MEMBER, R-FL, 18th District

Christopher H. Smith, R-NJ, 4th District

Dan Burton, R-IN, 5th District

Elton Gallegly, R-CA, 24th District

Dana Rohrabacher, R-CA, 46th District

Donald A. Manzullo, R-IL, 16th District

Edward R. Royce, R-CA, 40th District

Ron Paul, R-TX, 14th District

Jeff Flake, R-AZ, 6th District

Mike Pence, R-IN, 6th District

Joe Wilson, R-SC, 2nd District

John Boozman, R-AR, 3rd District

J. Gresham Barrett, R-SC, 3rd District

Connie Mack, R-FL, 14th District

Jeff Fortenberry, R-NE, 1st District

Michael T. McCaul, R-TX, 10th District

Ted Poe, R-TX, 2nd District

Bob Inglis, R-SC, 4th District

Gus Bilirakis, R-FL, 9th District

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The ninth anniversary, on Oct 31st, 2009, of UN Resolution 1325, dedicated to women peace and security, was marked this year by a series of events starting with open debate at the UN Security Council and leading up to adoption of the  “Third Resolution On Women, Peace & Security, SCR 1888″.

As is usual, a report of the Secretary General, in preparation of the debate was delivered on dated Sept 16, 2009. #S/2009/465, Entitled “Report of the Secretary-General on women and peace and security”, HERE, is an 18 page document outlining events, conclusions and recommendations relating to how women last year, in various places around the globe, were affected by war, it’s aftermath, and the difficulties of finding a voice. I encourage you read it.

WomenWatch has a webpage HERE, devoted to information about this important global resolution directed toward the advancement of peace and security for women. It’s section entitled “Background to Resolution 1325, From the UN Charter to Security Council Resolution 1325” provides a wonderful synopsis of the path taken from the beginning of the UN, to the resolution’s adoption.

The geographic area of United States is not technically in a theater of war. Therefore, the events that happened last year in places like Somalia or Afghanistan do not apply to us. However, one cannot help but find resonance in some of the actions that are taken against women in our country. Deliberate destruction of medical supplies and measles vaccinations targeted for women and children strike a chord with unequal medical treatment provided here. Gang rape as an act of war, an old enemy of women, as well as men and children, is not too far off from the gang rape that occurs in our streets. Many countries around the world now have better representation of women in government than we.

The Security Council reports that there is an absence of “a clear monitoring mechanism” for implementation of 1325, therefore, it has continued to play a strong advocacy role. Part of this problem may relate to it’s own difficulty in promoting women to positions, such as higher council levels and monitoring, which in turn relates to how successful the member countries have been at providing them.

In any event, sixteen countries have thus far made an effort toward advocacy of women’s goals by developing national action plans. They are Austria, Belgium, Chile, Côte d’Ivorie, Denmark. Finland, Iceland, Liberia, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Uganda, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Plans of Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, and Nepal were reported to be under development.

So despite the fact that that we are permanent members of the Council, we have not so far produced a national action plan. Not us. Nowhere in the report are we mentioned. Yep, that’s global leadership! Now it’s true that we just had an election and we have some new blood[1] [2] staffing the upper levels of the Security Council. I take the UN’s point, however, if we want to lead, that we must do a better job of achieving gender parity. We must be willing to develop our own national action plan.  In doing so we will see the similarities.


[1] Opening Remarks by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on the Adoption of a UNSC Resolution to Combat Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict

 

[2] Remarks by Ambassador Rosemary A. DiCarlo, U.S. Alternate Representative for Special Political Affairs, during a Security Council Debate on Women, Peace, and Security, in the Security Council Chamber

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