Sarah Palin, a good looking, former beauty queen, hockey mom who reads “Guns N’ Ammo,” was announced as John McCain’s Vice Presidential running mate yesterday. “Tina Fey with an AK-47” exploded on the international political scene shocking everyone – except those of us who predicted it last week – as the second ever-female VP candidate since Geraldine Ferraro. The second year Alaskan governor, former mayor of Wasilla, Alaska [home to a whopping population of 8,500] and PTA mom brings a staunch social conservative record to the table: vociferously anti-abortion, anti same sex marriage, pro gun rights, pro free market, and solid supporter of teaching creationism in elementary schools. Her “MILF-Cougar” hotness doesn’t hurt with the polls and Internet chat rooms either. Although her values cement her popularity with the Republicans, her gender strategically caters to a very vocal, disenchanted “female first” Hillary fan base.
**1/2 [TWO AND A HALF STARS: A well intended, albeit flawed, movie that can’t decide if it wants to be an effective thriller or a philosophical examination on post 9-11 identity politics]
By Wajahat Ali, August 27, 2008
Like its protagonist, the movie Traitor exists with conflicting loyalties and a fleeting sense of fidelity to its honorable, yet ultimately porous, intentions. The Don Cheadle-headed action/thriller, co-written by comedian/playwright Steve Martin and director Jeffrey Nachmanoff, inelegantly attempts to combine cardboard, blockbuster plot mechanics with the important, philosophical musings of a complicated post 9-11 world. Continue reading →
Will Iraq disintegrate if the United States withdraws its combat troops?
The US and Iraq are close to agreeing a security accord under which the US would pull its combat troops out of Iraqi cities, towns and villages on June 30, 2009 and out of Iraq by December 31, 2011. This will only happen if a joint Iraqi-American ministerial committee agrees that security in Iraq has improved to the point where the half million strong Iraqi security forces can take over. Other aspects of the draft agreement show that the government of Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki is increasingly confident of its own military and political strength. The accord now close to being agreed is very different from the one the US proposed as recently as March which would simply have continued the US occupation, much as it has been under the UN mandate which runs out at the end of the year. The main point about the agreement, if it is implemented as expected, is that the US will cease to be the predominant military power in Iraq from next summer for the first time since the US-led coalition overthrew Saddam Hussein in 2003.
Have you heard about a nutter named Chrissie Atkins? She’s one of those scorned loons that call themselves “PUMAs.” PUMA, for the blissfully uninitiated stands for — and I’m not making this up — “Party Unity My Ass.” Chris Matthews took on this Chrissie Atkins sack-of-dung yesterday in the crowd outside the convention center when she claimed to have a 17-page report from a congressional investigator that says that Barack Obama “went to a madrasa” and is a “registered Muslim.”
A top US diplomat was ambushed yesterday by gunmen who opened fire on her armour-plated vehicle in Pakistan’s volatile north-western city of Peshawar. Lynne Tracy, America’s consul-general in the city, was unhurt, as were the other two US consular employees who were travelling with her. Continue reading →