Joseph Palmi: Let me ask you something… we Italians, we got our families, and we got the chuch; the Irish they have the homeland, jews their tradition; even the niggas, they got their music. What about you people, Mr. Wilson, what do you have?

Edward Wilson: The United States of America, and the rest of you are just visiting.

Good Shepherd, 2006

Pfizer announced Monday that it will cut 10,000 jobs and close five plants, including three R&D sites and two factories, by the end of 2008. Pfizer reported that fourth-quarter sales were $12.6 billion, while net income surged 257 percent.

Source : CNN-Money

“Hey, hey, Uncle Sam,
we remember Vietnam.
They cheer you on when you attack,
when you come home they turn their back
Bush and Cheney talk war-talk,
but we know they’re chicken hawks.
Bring our troops back to our soil.
We say NO blood for oil.

Hey, hey Uncle Sam
We remember Vietnam
We don’t want your I-raq war
Peace is what we’re marchin’ for
We don’t want another war
Peace is what we’re marchin’ for”

– Vietnam Veterans, Peace March on Washington, Jan 27, 2006

CNN and NYTimes imply there is a gradual leftward shift in US politics (after the far right days of ’01) . FOX says the new legislature is leftist with San Fransisco values. I listen. Its not my job to analyse news, I pay for Advanced Cable.

State of the Union

Tags from outside the speech, or as it seems to a couch news-freak, scavenger.

US is all about its foreign policy for the rest of the world, but foreign policy did not figure much in the agenda of the new Democratic Congress, the supposedly left leaning one. The much hyped tag First 100 hours wasn’t such a waste – Ethics reform, An increase in the federal minimum wage for the first time in 10 years, Enactment of the 9-11 commission’s recommendations, Expanded stem-cell research, Government negotiation of prices with prescription drug companies, Student loan interest rates cut in half and The elimination of billions in subsidies for big oil companies. Not bad for the first hundred hours – NYTimes calls it a qualified success. The United States has a mature democracy that comes home again and again after straying right or left. Which makes one feel, maybe the founding fathers got it right.

The tag Speaker Nancy Pelosi implies just one thing – the Bush Presidency is over. There is no point in discussing Bush anymore, he’ll be a lame duck keeping that chair in the Oval office warm till that cold January morning of 2009.With the rout the Republicans faced last November in both the House and the Senate and the overwhelming public opinion disapproving of his performance, you don’t need a Karl Rove to figure out that Bush’s only option is to buy time and then get out.

President Hillary Clinton or so it seems (blogger relies completely on Las Vegas bookies for future prediction; more on the ’08 race later) will inherit Iraq for sure. But the tag Adm William J Fallon could be a trojan. The appointment of this Navy patriarch to head the Central Command (including the hotbeds Afghanistan, Iraq and Horn of Africa) has been ridiculed, as operations and combat in the region is overwhelmingly army. But this could be part of another broad move for more involvement in the Persian Gulf (Iran – the obvious target) and Somalia (which was bombed last week). The war has to go on somewhere.

Iran -an armed intervention by the US in Iran seems unlikely, but that prediction is based completely on the mood of the nation, opinion of experts and the stand of the legislators – three things Bush really don’t care about. Will Israel unilaterally make a move against Iran, which threatens its existence quite vocally. Quite possible, but in that case, conflict in the middle-east will reach a level never seen before with a total realignment of forces stretching from Beirut to Kashmir.

Israel – Palestine ; Condi Rice will not accomplish anything in the mid-east even if the Bush Administration changes its “Dont give a damn about Palestine” stand. Because Israel and Palestine have their weakest leaders in history now – Ehud Olmert (with the least popularity ratings of any Israeli leader) and Abbas who is more concerned about his life. Other than that, there will be an overall lack of support for any bold political moves in the middle-east or Iran or North Korea, with Japan and France going into elections,Tony Blair retiring and US public opinion hovering around Iraq and nothing else.

In the few minutes they have between news and opinions on the War, the media rages on immigration and Racism in the US. Paula Zahn *She’s got the most genuine look and the most pretty face in Prime-time news* follows the Duke rape case and the LA gang wars hinging on the racist side of this nation. But no one crying over immigration seems to mention the fact that this country is 80% white and it will remain so. It is more like Hindu fundamentalists in India crying over the higher growth rate of the Muslim population – while being completely unaware of the actual figures. And in the US, no one crying over race seems to mention or want to change the fact that cities like Detroit and Michigan and almost all major retirement destinations in Florida are 70-80% segregated in terms of housing. Which means , if you are a white kid, chances are that you wouldn’t see a black kid anywhere near your house. And this is the America of 2007.

Back to politics, the Bush presidency will die out into insignificance in the days to come, as T S Elliot put it, ‘not with a bang, but with a whimper’, while USA will survive, bringing glory and disrepute to the human kind with their huge complex of myths, values, recipes, slogans, figures, and rites – the height of which one will see this coming Tuesday in Miami when the Bears meets the Colts for the crowning glory. Because USA is not just a melting pot, its a Super Bowl.

Good Night and Good Luck !