Weekly Letter to President Obama
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INAUGURATION,   January 20, 2009

Drunk in its stale air
For two hundred years.
Fettered in mind and body,
The soul, the safe escape

To let me breathe the cries
Of my heart singing
Tears of mel-an-choly.

The tears flow free today
Washing the stains of blood
And sweat in brotherhood.

Raise the curtain then an'
Let the world look in
On this promised land --
We breathe free today.... almost.

--- Arshad M. Khan
We will be known forever by the tracks we leave.
---  Native American proverb
February 5, 2016

Mr. President:  Bernie Sanders, the man whose campaign is running on an average
contribution of $35, finally exploded this week in reference to his main rival Hillary
Clinton, who, remarkably, has been vigorously defending her  progressive credentials
after Bernie came uncomfortably close to winning in Iowa.  In answer to moderator
Anderson Cooper, Bernie responded, "I don't know any progressive who has a super
PAC that takes $15 million from Wall Street."

Hillary was also in trouble trying to explain away the $675,000 paid to her by Goldman
Sachs for three speeches.   "Well, I don't know.  That's what they offered."  Rude
question:  What does she offer, i.e. what are they expecting in return?   Not
necessarily a quid pro quo, but is there a like meeting of minds?  If so, what can
anyone then say about her progressive credentials.  If logic doesn't bear out Hillary's
inconsistent stances, she can, of course, fall back on our great essayist Ralph Waldo
Emerson:  "... consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds."

Meanwhile, Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, the Florida congresswoman and head
of the Democratic National Committee has agreed to four more debates in addition to
the two already scheduled.  Wassermann-Schultz served as co-chair of Hillary
Clinton's 2008 campaign and refused requests for more debates by the Sanders
campaign.  With the Iowa primary a virtual tie between the two candidates, Hillary has
changed her mind about more debates.  Now she is for them ... and so is

Another question:  Is this democracy?

On the Republican side, Donald Trump is accusing Ted Cruz of having stolen Iowa
through fraud after dirty trick mailings came to light.  In one, voters were told Ben
Carson, who was competing with Cruz for the evangelical vote, was dropping out of
the race.  Another official looking mailing assigned a "participation score" to the
recipient's neighbors, noting that the recipient could be in "violation" for not voting.  
From 'tricky Dick' to 'tricky Ted', things haven't changed much in a half-century.

The Victoria Neuland made Ukraine disaster shifted another gear.  The
reform-minded economics minister, Aivaras Abromavicius, resigned two days ago
followed by his deputy, Yulia Kovaliv, and the rest of his team.  The trade minister has
also resigned.  A major blow to President Peter Poroshenko for the economics
minister's letter accused his party of corruption, blocking reform and trying to gain
influence in state enterprises.  Abromavicius said he refused to serve as cover for
covert corruption.  The IMF is holding up a $1.7 billion bailout.  The days of easy
money and cheap gas from Russia have come to an end.  How does the average
Ukrainian feel about all this?  Is he/she better off?  Of course those in the Donbass
region don't count, didn't vote in the election of the current government, and over a
million have fled to Russia.  One wonders if the $5 billion plus spent to destabilize an
elected government and engender a coup was worth the price.  At least no one will
mistake it for the legacy of a progressive president.

Finally, a UN panel studying the Julian Assange case, has reported that the man has
been kept in 'arbitrary detention'.  His lawyer claims Mr. Assange has therefore
served his time and the Swedish prosecutor should drop the charges that many
considered dubious in the first place. Can Sweden and the UK bring pressure to bear
on other countries over human rights if they ignore the UN panel's decision?