Friday, August 14, 2015

Cutting Short Coverage of Obama's African Trip

Race has nothing to do with it. I'm simply sick of the propaganda pre$$ public relations promos  after the damage he's caused to the continent all these years, that's all. 

Obama to revisit Kenya, his father’s native land

Obama looks to support terror fight in Kenya trip

And what kind of greeting did he get?

"Victims of Nairobi blast seek aid" Associated Press  July 23, 2015

NAIROBI —Douglas Sidialo, who was blinded in the 1998 bombing of the US Embassy in Nairobi, said, “The first black president in America should give us Kenyans a greater consideration on humanitarian grounds to see to it that we can have some kind of livelihood.’’

Stella Mwikali, a bank worker who suffered injuries to her legs and right shoulder, said she later lost her job and has been struggling financially. She said she deserved compensation because she was ‘‘caught in the middle of the battle’’ between the United States and Islamic militants. 

Is that any way to greet a king?

Extremists simultaneously attacked the US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on Aug. 7, 1998. The Kenya attack killed more than 200 Kenyans and 12 Americans at the embassy. Thousands of people were injured.

In 2001, several Al Qaeda members were convicted in the United States of involvement in the attacks and are serving life sentences.

The United States has said it spent tens of millions of dollars to help attack victims and their families.


Time for him to be ‘on the move’ (and how), even though more must be done.

Maybe you would like to stop at the Westgate Mall for a laugh before leaving Kenya?

The trip is already in jeopardy?

"Obama bid to aid Africa in jeopardy" by Josh Lederman Associated Press  July 24, 2015

WASHINGTON — As President Obama returns to Africa this week, his major initiative to help the continent double access to electricity is in jeopardy, undermined by Congress.

Of the $7 billion that Obama set aside for Power Africa, $5 billion fell under the auspices of the now-defunct Export-Import Bank, which guarantees loans to foreign companies buying US-made products. Just $132 million in transactions had been approved before the bank’s charter expired last month, and now it cannot approve new ones.

Then the power will be off until at least September.

The bank, denounced by conservative critics as corporate welfare, said it had several billion dollars of Power Africa projects in the pipeline. But none can move ahead unless lawmakers reauthorize the bank.

For American companies, that could mean losing out to competitors such as China. Beijing is investing heavily in Africa and would be happy to see Chinese companies get the contracts to build and equip power plants in Africa.

As opposed to bombing and occupying them like AmeriKa.

Andy Herscowitz, Power Africa’s coordinator, said companies with access to financing help from their governments have a competitive advantage.

‘‘There are plenty of investors interested in investing in Africa, and a lot of great ideas, but you’ve got to get to bankability,’’ Herscowitz said in an interview.

For Obama, the snag illustrates how Power Africa, slow to get off the ground, may fall far short of his lofty ambitions. Two years after the president announced the program during a visit to South Africa, the program has yet to add any megawatts of electricity to Africa’s overburdened, underdeveloped grid.

Obama may now find it harder to persuade African leaders that he has maximized his opportunity as America’s first black president to make African development a US priority. Although this week’s trip to Kenya and Ethiopia will be Obama’s third to sub-Saharan Africa as president, his global agenda has focused chiefly on Asia and the Middle East. 

Better late than never, right?

Building power plants takes time, and Power Africa officials say it’s more instructive to look at deals closed rather than the number of power plants already built. In an annual report for Power Africa, the US Agency for International Development said last July that 2,792 megawatts of electricity will be generated as a result of deals that have closed; that’s roughly one-quarter of Obama’s goal.


USAID also said Power Africa had leveraged more than $18 billion in private sector financing. It is not clear how much of that resulted directly from US efforts.

Power Africa declined to provide updated figures on how many megawatts will be created by deals that have closed. Officials said they are on track to meet Obama’s goal.

Yet chronic power shortages and rolling blackouts continue to stymie development and make life harder for hundreds of millions of Africans.


I'm sure their will be power wherever Obummer goes.


"Senator Edward Markey, the top Democrat on the Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is expected to champion human rights, including the rights of gays and lesbians, along with entrepreneurship and renewable energy during the six-day trip, said a spokeswoman, giving him a front-row seat on a history-making moment for America’s first African-American president. He will attend the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Nairobi, a conference bringing together policy makers and business owners from around the world to focus on economic development."

Thanks for helping out with the greenhouse gas problem, Ed, although I suppose the plane was going over anyway.

Now it's on to Sudan:

Obama pushes South Sudan peace bid

They are saying "the birth of South Sudan four years ago was the capstone of his Africa policy," except it was Bush that set it all up, the vote, everything!! 

"129 children killed in South Sudan, says UN group" Associated Press  June 19, 2015

JUBA, South Sudan — At least 129 children were killed, with boys castrated and girls raped, during a government offensive against rebels last month in South Sudan, according to the UN children’s agency.

South Sudanese military spokesman, Colonel Philip Aguer, on Thursday questioned the credibility of the report, saying it is not in South Sudanese culture to commit such atrocities and has called for a full investigation.

Speaking in New York Wednesday, UNICEF executive director Anthony Lake said survivors reported that boys were castrated and left to bleed out, while girls were gang raped and killed.

Other children were thrown into burning buildings, he said, adding that the killings took place over three weeks in May in Unity state.

UNICEF had reported in May that dozens of children were targeted, citing witnesses who said those responsible were armed groups aligned with South Sudan’s military.

South Sudan has been fighting rebels led by the former deputy president since December 2013, when a split among the armed forces in the capital, Juba, escalated in violence across the country.


Aren't the Southern Sudan guys the "good" guys?

"South Sudan military accused of widespread atrocities" by Jason Patinkin Associated Press  July 02, 2015

JUBA, South Sudan — South Sudan’s army has burned people alive, raped and shot girls, and forced tens of thousands from their homes, according to interviews with survivors that have been corroborated by human rights groups.

The scorched-earth campaign is apparently aimed at driving civilians out of the rebel-controlled parts of an oil-rich state, according to Human Rights Watch. South Sudan’s military is trying to depopulate the rural areas of Unity state through violence and hunger, said the group. The tactics, which include the alleged burning of grain stocks and the looting of cattle and other life-sustaining property, are believed to be part of efforts to drain the rebels of their support base.

‘‘They are trying to destroy our lives,’’ said survivor Angelina Nyaboth Chap Tang, who fled to a UN base in the state capital of Bentiu. ‘‘I lost my son. I lost my grain. I lost my cattle. Everything has been destroyed.’’

Tang said armed men killed her son in an attack two weeks ago in which her village was torched, grain stocks destroyed, and cattle looted.

Another survivor, Theresa Nyakama, said she lived off wild plants for a month before seeking shelter with the United Nations in Bentiu, where some 28,000 civilians have fled since the start of the offensive in May.

Although both warring factions in South Sudan’s current conflict are accused of carrying out widespread abuses against civilians, government troops are increasingly reported to have committed large-scale atrocities in zones where the rebels are perceived to have support.

The pattern of attacks on ‘‘village after village’’ amounts to a ‘‘widespread and systematic’’ campaign by government forces to displace civilians, Human Rights Watch researcher Skye Wheeler said in Bentiu.

Looks like ethnic cleansing and genocide to me.

‘‘The opposition forces are dependent upon the civilian population for their livelihoods, so what the government has done in Rubkona, Koch, and Guit counties we know for sure, and perhaps in other areas as well, is implement a very large-scale pattern of attacks on the civilian population, undercutting the (opposition’s) ability to live in those areas,’’ she said.

Humanitarian aid to the hardest hit areas has been blocked by the violence, according to the US-funded Famine Early Warning System Network.


RelatedAmid a family’s tragedy, a South Sudan rescue

Who is governing the place?

"Sudan’s leader ordered held by judge" Associated Press  June 15, 2015

JOHANNESBURG — A South African judge on Sunday ordered authorities to prevent President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan, who was in South Africa for an African Union summit, from leaving the country because of an international order for his arrest.

Sudanese officials, however, said Bashir had been assured by the South African government that he would be welcome during his visit.

A smiling Bashir appeared for a group photo with other African leaders at the summit in Johannesburg on Sunday, wearing a blue three-piece suit and a tie as cameras flashed. The conference was scheduled to end Monday.

Rabie Abdel-Attie, a senior member of Bashir’s National Congress Party, said in Khartoum that Bashir will stay at the meeting ‘‘until it ends.’’

Judge Hans Fabricius instructed authorities to prevent Bashir from leaving South Africa because he is wanted by the International Criminal Court.

They got the wrong man!

He said border officials should enforce his decision pending a hearing on whether Bashir should be arrested, according to Caroline James, a lawyer with the Southern Africa Litigation Centre rights group. A court is expected to rule Monday whether Bashir should be handed over to the International Criminal Court to face charges of alleged genocide and human rights abuses.

The court doesn’t have any powers to compel countries to arrest Bashir and can only tell them they have a legal obligation to do it.

Not only that, African leaders have rejected the ICC's authority because they are all at risk of persecution, 'er, prosecution.


"South Africa lets Sudanese president Bashir elude arrest" by Norimitsu Onishi New York Times  June 16, 2015

JOHANNESBURG — Shielded by the authorities, President Omar Hassan al-Bashir of Sudan flew out of South Africa on Monday aboard his presidential jet, a few hours before a South African court ruled that the government was legally required to arrest him.

Good thing he didn't go by train.

Bashir’s plane left a South African military airport near Pretoria, the capital, unhindered by South African authorities who had already been ordered over the weekend by South Africa’s High Court to prevent him from departing.

Though South Africa is a member of the International Criminal Court, its government defied the longstanding arrest warrant for Bashir, who once again eluded international prosecutors seeking to try him on charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide related to the conflict in the Darfur region of Sudan.

The international court has been working to bring him to justice for six years.

Bashir’s plane took off as South Africa’s High Court was holding a hearing on whether the government was required to comply with the international court, based in The Hague.

Lawyers continued to argue their case even after the Sudanese government made the proceedings moot by confirming Bashir had left South Africa, a surreal scene that underscored the limits of the international court’s reach.

When I see Bush, Bliar, Rice, Rumsfeld, and a coterie of Israeli war criminals before the bar then I will take notice.

“The government’s failure to arrest Bashir is inconsistent with the constitution,” Judge Dunstan Mlambo of South Africa’s High Court said Monday.

By then, Bashir, who had been in South Africa to attend an African Union meeting with other leaders, was halfway to Khartoum, Sudan’s capital.

Mlambo said the government violated the South African High Court’s order to bar Bashir from leaving the country. The judge instructed the government to explain the circumstances behind Bashir’s departure.

After Bashir’s plane landed in Khartoum, he mounted the back of a pickup truck dressed in traditional white Sudanese clothing, waving his trademark walking stick.

Thousands of supporters greeted him with patriotic and traditional songs, carrying flags, placards, banners, and even a makeshift coffin with the words “laying the International Criminal Court to its final resting place” written on its side.

“The International Criminal Court has been totally destroyed in Africa,” Sudan’s foreign minister, Ibrahim Ghandour, said.

The case strikes at the heart of a global dispute over the court. Since the court’s creation in 2002, all of its investigations have focused on Africa.

One might think they were racist, were it not for the white Serbs who also sit in cells there.

You see, the court is only there if you are not with the program.

But it lacks a police force to enforce rulings and must rely on diplomatic pressure and the cooperation of members to ensure its rulings or indictments are enforced.

African politicians have long said the court unfairly targets African leaders and nations, arguing that it overlooks crimes committed in other parts the world. The court’s supporters point out that most of the cases it pursued were brought by African governments themselves.

The African Union, which represents the continent’s governments, has campaigned heavily against the court, contending that no sitting head of state should be prosecuted. Other African nations, including Kenya and Nigeria, have allowed Bashir to visit and leave.

In the six years since Bashir was indicted, his trip to South Africa was perhaps the closest he had come to being arrested.

Bashir arrived late Saturday but cut his visit short.

Hitler used to do that.

William Mokhari, a lawyer for the South African government, argued in the High Court that Bashir enjoyed immunity like other African heads of state attending the summit here. Mokhari said that the decision by the government to grant immunity to the visiting heads of state trumped its obligations to the international court.

The Southern Africa Litigation Center, a local rights group that sought Bashir’s arrest, said South Africa was bound by international and national laws to detain him.


Look who flew out with him:

"UK police investigate whether 2 men stowed away beneath plane" Associated Press  June 19, 2015

LONDON — A man was in critical condition in a London hospital after he was found stowed away in the undercarriage of a plane that had just completed a 10-hour flight, and police are investigating whether a second man found dead on a west London rooftop fell from the same plane.

Authorities at Heathrow Airport discovered the man hiding on a British Airways jet after it landed Thursday from Johannesburg. Police say they believe they know the 24-year-old’s identity, but are awaiting confirmation. They also said they are checking for a connection with the body found in Richmond, which is below the plane’s flight path.

Analysts estimate three-quarters of stowaways do not survive if they hide in a plane’s undercarriage, because of severe cold and lack of oxygen.

Another terrorist?


I know why they would want to migrate north.

Where Obama didn't visit.... 

Truck bomb hits Somalian luxury hotel, killing 9

He was close by, though:

Obama’s visit raises Ethiopia’s stature amid rights concerns 

I don't like the waving or the flags.

Obama set to address security, rights in Ethiopia

They helping out in Somalia and elsewhere, right?

"Obama challenges entrenched African power structures in speech; Says countries need new ideas from new leaders" by Peter Baker New York Times  July 28, 2015

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — President Obama confronted the power structures of Africa on Tuesday and called for long-entrenched leaders to step down, using his stature as the first American president with African roots to try to reshape the continent’s politics.

Good luck with that.

As he wrapped up what may be his final trip to Africa while in office, Obama took on one of the region’s most enduring obstacles to democratic progress: its history of one-man rule by presidents and potentates who enrich themselves and hang onto power for years, if not decades, in calcified regimes.

Most of them working or allied with the United States, but you know....

“Nobody should be president for life,” Obama declared in a speech at the African Union, the continent’s umbrella organization. “Your country is better off if you have new blood and new ideas.’’

That's a rejection of Bush and Hillary, isn't it?

“I’m still a pretty young man, but I know that somebody with new energy and new insights will be good for my country,’’ he said. “It will be good for yours, too, in some cases.”

Just 18 months from mandatory retirement under the Constitution’s two-term limit, Obama used himself as a model for giving up power. “There’s a lot that I’d like to do to keep America moving,” he said. “But the law is the law and no person is above the law, not even the president.”

So he IS leaving, right?

The comments reflect a bitter issue in Africa: the attempts by some leaders to hold on to power well after their terms expire. Just this month, the president of Burundi pushed ahead with elections that gave him a third term in office, throwing his nation into upheaval in a move widely regarded as violating the country’s constitution and the peace agreement that ended a devastating civil war there.


"At least 77 civilians have been killed in clashes with Burundi’s security forces since the start of antigovernment protests in April, a rights activist said Friday. Another 1,000 people have been arrested and dozens of prisoners tortured, said Pierre Claver Mbonimpa, head of the Association for the Protection of Human Rights and Detained Persons, a Burundian group."

Also see:

Burundi votes for president after violence overnight
Burundi awaits disputed vote result
Burundi’s president wins controversial third term
Top Burundi general assassinated in the capital, official says

The opposition is being killed off and the US response is tepid

I think they were behind the coup but cut those guys loose when it failed.

It is a theme Obama struck forcefully during his visit to Ghana in 2009, when he declared, “Africa doesn’t need strongmen. It needs strong institutions.” Since then, the debate over inveterate rulers has continued to reverberate across the continent, with startlingly different outcomes.

See: Remember the Ghana Gas Explosion?

The government of Burkina Faso collapsed last fall when protesters surged through the streets, denouncing President Blaise Compaoré’s plans to extend his 27-year rule.

I'm sure there is a lesson there somewhere, Americans. 

Also see: Burkina Faso Back Under Civilian Rule

In Rwanda, lawmakers voted this month to support a constitutional change allowing President Paul Kagame a third term.

Nothing to celebrate there.

And in the Democratic Republic of Congo, there are concerns that President Joseph Kabila will try to circumvent the two-term limit outlined in the constitution by delaying the 2016 presidential elections.

The vote will turn you white.

About half of the more than 50 countries in the African Union have presidents, prime ministers, or monarchs who have been in power longer than Obama, some of them for decades. Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo has ruled Equatorial Guinea since 1979. Robert Mugabe has been in power in Zimbabwe since 1980. Paul Biya has governed Cameroon since 1982. Yoweri Museveni has governed Uganda since 1986. Omar Hassan al-Bashir has governed Sudan since 1989.

Pre$$ has been growling about Mugabe while forgetting about Uganda.

On the other hand, there have been transformative moments lately. In Nigeria, the continent’s most populous nation, Africans celebrated in the spring when the party that had governed since the end of military rule peacefully stepped down after losing elections, a successful transfer of power in one of the world’s largest democracies.

Yeah, Nigeria is a real success story!

Unable to travel to Nigeria because of security concerns, Obama decided to mark that transition by hosting the new Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari, in the Oval Office last week before departing for Africa.


"Nigeria’s new president warned that the US refusal to sell his country strategic weapons is ‘‘aiding and abetting’’ the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram. President Muhammadu Buhari returned home to Nigeria Thursday to the capital, Abuja, from a four-day visit to the United States where he met with President Obama but failed to get all he wanted." 

Look, I don't want to start WWIII or anything, but has he checked out the markets over there?

Boko is bombing the campsgunning down people praying in mosques, and attacking churches as their wave of violence claims even more livesPolice are even setting up roadblocks in and out of major cities and towns countrywide because of undisclosed information received in an intelligence report.

See: Is Boko Haram a CIA Covert Op to Divide and Conquer Africa?

Keeping them quiet will cost you $100 million and a change in leadership (don't drink to that).

It was then that things began to improve. The country was polio-free, and Boko Haram offered to trade the abducted girls (what's with all the English?) in a prisoner swap; however, the girls were rescued before then.

Thus, the new Nigerian leader met with praise from Obama for pursuing safety and security  -- just as the war was spilling over into Cameroon (where Boko was running a terrorist training camp for kids), Chad, and Niger.

None of the long-ruling leaders Obama seemed to have in mind were on hand to hear his speech in person Tuesday, but representatives of governments from around Africa attended, and it was broadcast live across the continent.

The audience interrupted Obama with applause nearly 75 times, but it cheered and whooped the most enthusiastically when he talked about leaders who overstay their welcome.

That's because they knew the speech was ending and he was leaving!!

“When a leader tries to change the rules in the middle of the game just to stay in office, it risks instability and strife, as we’ve seen in Burundi,” Obama said. “And this is often just a first step down a perilous path. And sometimes you’ll hear leaders say, ‘Well, I’m the only person who can hold the nation together.’ If that’s true, then that leader has failed to truly build their nation.”


He never mentioned Ebola, did he?

"Most deaths from Legionnaires’ disease are tied to hospital and nursing home showers, not outdoor cooling towers, new government figures released Thursday show. Cooling towers are the focus of an investigation into a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in New York City this summer that is one of the largest in US history. Twelve people have died. But the new report shows people can also be exposed to the legionella bacteria through the water that comes out of faucets and bathroom shower heads. Legionnaires’ disease is a deadly pneumonia that most often strikes the elderly and people with weakened immune systems. An estimated 8,000 to 18,000 people are hospitalized with the disease each year in the United States, and nearly 100 die from Legionnaires’ disease." 

Are they sure that is where it came from?

He then grabbed the flight home (with a stowaway of his own):

"There was nothing like returning to Hingham on Thursday after spending more than a year in the Horn of Africa with the US Navy Seabees, the longest deployment of his military career."

I'm also cutting short his vacation on the Vineyard:

Obama tees off on first full day of Martha’s Vineyard vacation
Obama back on the golf course on Martha’s Vineyard

"The president has been busy golfing: On Wednesday he hit the links at Farm Neck Golf Club with...."

Yeah, yeah, we all know how important is the goddamn golf game to him. 

Btw, I didn't see him playing with any women

Time for me to putt out for the night.


Looks like WaPo wanted to hit the links at the Insult Country Club:

"Obama releases his summer playlists" by Greg Jaffe Washington Post   August 15, 2015

WASHINGTON — It took more than six years, but President Obama has finally made us a summer mix tape!

Oh, yaaaaaay!

Obama broke from his Martha’s Vineyard vacation to release two playlists on Spotify, the music streaming service.

Don't turn on that radio -- or whatever!

The lists, which a White House press release says were ‘‘hand created,’’ are fairly eclectic. There are a few selections that are sure to appeal to his aging liberal base: some Bob Dylan, a little Joni Mitchell, a Rolling Stones track, and a Van Morrison cut. There’s also some Al Green.

Mind if I change the channel?

Even though he’s in the fourth quarter of his presidency, Obama may still feel the need to impress us.

Well, the WaPo reporter is tipping you off to the hierarchy of control. The president of the United States is concerned with impressing them. Wow.


What’s missing from the list? There’s no Bruce Springsteen, whose music has become a staple at virtually all the president’s speeches. Is Obama sick of the Boss at this point in his presidency? There’s virtually no country music. Also conspicuously absent is Prince.

Maybe Obama was born to run, and it's no surprise there are no redneck renditions (I'm joining in myself, what the hell; prop pre$$ can hurl insult, so can I when it is at myself, right) -- but no Taylor Swift?

Why did Obama wait until the summer of 2015 to release his playlists?

Why would I care?

Mix tapes are a staple of summer love.

OMG! Sometimes the paper is so high-school and juvenile! They keep trying to shove us back into the '50s!

Is Obama jealous of all the attention the electorate is lavishing on the new crop of presidential candidates?

(Blog editor just snorts derisively at this stage)

The White House offered up a different explanation: The music is part of the president’s effort ‘‘to grow its social media presences and find new ways to connect with people,’’ according to a White House press release.

He waits until more than half the fourth quarter is gone before he asks the audience for help?

Even better, the White House promises that it will soon be sharing ‘‘more playlists created by people in the White House,’’ the press release states.

Will be the only promise they kept after 8 years.

Can we expect Joe Biden to release a list of songs that he likes to blast when he drops the top in his Corvette and hits the open road? So far, no word from the White House.



That is such a gross piece of "journali$m" that even this jaded eye is astonished this morning.

And the news from Africa today?

You know what a blank space means, right?


"Cameroon’s president has vowed to send 2,450 troops to join a regional army to fight Boko Haram, nearly tripling his initial pledge. President Paul Biya announced the new troop total in a statement Friday night."