Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Sweating bullets (and AK47s) over HR 5680

This blog will be back in full swing next week. In the meantime, make sure you contact your representative to urge the passage of HR 5680. There is an all out public relations offense against it by the EPRDF. D’unt know why. What part HR 5680 is making the Ethiopian government sweat like a whore on a slow Saturday night? Ohhhh… yeah…. The part that denies entry visas to the US for those involved in the killing of unarmed citizenry. Hmm. we can see now how passage of HR 5680 will xnay many a top Ethiopian official from shopping excursions to the Marshalls in City Place Mall. No wonder it’s gotten them grinding down their patent leather shoes.

Other than that though, what part of HR 5680 is so objectionable to the Ethiopian government? Oh. The “democracy” and “human rights” part. It’s a dilemma.

We have been trying to imagine the conversation between the new, new Ethiopian ambassador in DC and Addis Abeba about how to best quash HR 5680. (My, my. Have we really gone through the intellectual anorexia of two, count ‘em, two Ethiopian ambassadors who wore themselves out trying to ‘splain how Melesocracy is democracy to people who, um, have IQs… Ato Kassahun and Ato Fesseha … den’t we miss ‘em?)

New New Ambassador: Well, no, Sir. We can’t charge Congressman Chris Smith with genocide.

Addis Abeba: Blah… blah… constitution… dither… dither..

Ambassador: Hm. Well, I will try to point out to Mr. Smith that he is “usurping the Ethiopian constitution.”

Addis Abeba: Harrumph… hurumph… dollar… lots… cash is king, so am I (haha…)

Ambassador: I think it is illegal to bribe a congressman…

Addis Abeba: Bleep-bleep-bleep … fuckinbullshitgoddambullshit…

Ambassador: You make a salient point, Mr. Prime Minister.

Addis Abeba: …. Blah?

Ambassador: Salient. Meaning, outstanding. Brilliant. Beyond reproach.

Addis Abeba: Blah! Nurummph… numph… don’t let me down. I know where your family lives… hurumph-hurumph… kidding. Not really kidding. Nawwwww. Kidding. Huffpuff-huffpuff.

Ambassador: Your wish is my command.

Addis Abeba: Yadda… yadda… kissmyass. Chop chop…

Christ. This was an easy account for DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary … it is charging the Ethiopian government bukos to help lobby congress to vote against something as lovely as the “Ethiopia Freedom, Democracy, and Human Rights Advancement Act of 2006.” Tsk. Tsk.

The bill passed subcommittee with bipartisan support. It is being scheduled for a vote in the house.

Please contact your representative to help pass this bill. It is the least we can do for a country besieged.

Some good reading:

From Ethiomedia: Zenawi's lobbying firm campaigns to derail HR 5680.

Awakening Giant: (Bonus: Prof. Al Mariam… so looks like Billy Dee Williams.)

The Ethiopian-American Council has, as our president would put it delicately if he were talking to Blair about the EAC, their shit together in rallying the Diaspora to action.

As does Advocacy Ethiopia. Get involved. Ask how you can help.

Find your representative, and write him/her a short letter. Follow up with a phone call.


We’ll resume our regularly scheduled program sometime next week. Vigilance.


Anonymous kezira said...


welcome back! beep beep, make way for mommy blogger.

i take the baton of crazy ass metaphors: h.r. 5680 is gonna pass faster than the gas from a bloated mare. we just have to put on the pressure, and watch/hear it rip.

people, write to your rep!

12:25 PM, July 19, 2006  
Anonymous Tazabi said...

Hey Wonq, welcome back. I hope you have as good a time as the EPRDF without your blogs and followers.

1:10 PM, July 19, 2006  
Anonymous meketta said...

Etewa Wonq,

Welcome. I was hoping Gooch would fill in the void but nothing. Withdrawal syndrome.

I just called the Legislative Assistant to my representative. OK, so I live in a bumf*** district, but in an influential state. The eager assistant had to look up the bill (it had not come across his desk.) It is essential our reps know about this bill. The assistant informed me that since the it came from the chairman of the committee,it looked pretty strong. I sent him a bunch of stuff anyway. The August recess is coming up, so during this break Ethio-Americans should solidify support and also start the shrr gud process with Senators.


3:25 PM, July 19, 2006  
Anonymous Inde Hewan said...

Why welcome back Wonq! And a kiss on the newborn one's both cheeks!

Wonq and Wonqville, please pass on some advice to the so-and-so-many tens of thousands strong DC Ethio-American community: What's a DC abesha to do on HR5680? Taxation without representation: We ain't got no voting representative in da House. How can we nevertheless make our something-ty thousend selves useful on this front?

9:06 PM, July 19, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome back from your sojourn.

Have you been following events in Somalia?

9:28 PM, July 19, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Yes, the effort to get HR5680 pass must continue. Yet, I'm afraid with the new development in Somalia and Meles getting ready to "crash" the Islamists, on behalf of the US and the West, this bill will be DOA (Dead on Arrival). I'm certain the State Department and White House is lobbying on Meles's behalf for the defeat of this bill. I think Ethiopian Democracy is flanked.

7:06 PM, July 20, 2006  
Anonymous yohannes said...

Mama wonqqi,

ekwan dehna, dear.

Inde Hewan and all DC dwellers: Eleanor Holmes is a good person to keep in touch with. She does not have a vote, but her influence, I hear, is significant.

I had a kick ass metaphor about 5680 passing, but ... maybe too early n te morn for that.

8:08 AM, July 21, 2006  
Anonymous msteer said...

“If every member of the house and senate had received 100 letters from people back
home saying we have to do something about Rwanda, when the crises was first
developing, then I think the response would have been different”

- Former US Senator Paul Simon

12:10 PM, July 21, 2006  
Anonymous Witness Protection said...

Wonq....enquan dehna temelesu. Please sip some tikus atmit on my behalf.

The battle for 5680 will be bitterly fought in the Senate. Although the 'new new Ambassador' and his $50,000/mth negere-fejoch are lobbying hard on the Hill day in and day out, the bill is certain to pass the House when it comes up for a vote. Ethiopians, and especially Ethiopian-Americans, need to establish strong and long-lasting relationships with their Senators during the August recess. We must not settle for phone calls and e-mails anymore. We must go to their offices and meet with them in person. They need to see our passion, determination, and frustration firsthand.

If any of you Wonqville residents establish a relationship with your respective Senators, please get in touch with the HR 5680 Task Force: or 310-559-0200.

Staffers on the Hill are hinting that supporters of the bill have been very quiet in their lobbying since the bill came out of Committee while Mr. 'new new Ambassador' & co. have been very busy trying to derail it. This is the time to keep the momentum going in both chambers of Congress.

Wonq...a kiss for the little one on the gimbar for us :-)

p.s. Inde Hewan...Eleanor Holmes is a great lady and very influential with the Democratic Reps. Please contact her and urge her to encourage her friends in the House and the Senate to support the bill. (by the way, did y'all catch her on the Colbert Report on Comedy Central?...Funny stuff!)

3:18 AM, July 28, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Burning ? at this juncture is the crisis of Somalia, a blessing in disguise to Meles to squash HR5680.

While Meles championing in the campaign against "terrorist movements", the opposition divided without any unifying stance, i.e. AFD, ? of Intl leadership, position in the crisis of Somalia, sidelining of the elected representatives by know-all media 'gurus' ......

Delaying the bill for vote might seem a good strategy rather than risk with the outcome at this time.


6:06 AM, July 30, 2006  
Blogger NOHE said...

hi weichegud
what a blog u have comment u can arrange the side bar to be on the right side by making the banner saying "this blog is blocked in ethiopia" a bit smaller srom templets folder of the blogger.
my blog is also blocked...
keep fighting my brother

2:12 AM, July 31, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you OK!

9:15 AM, August 04, 2006  
Anonymous Tazabi said...


I hope all is well with you and yours.

12:53 PM, August 04, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Where are you man? Missing your comment.

10:08 AM, August 05, 2006  

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