Siggy and I were able to talk to each other through Blog Talk Radio but unfortunately no one else was able to hear us, so there’s no podcast tonight.
Archives for 2008
A friend just sent me this:
Head of Bhutto clan rejects new leadership
The head of the Bhutto tribe, a founding member of the Pakistan Peoples Party, has rejected the appointment of Benazir Bhutto’s husband and son to lead the group and predicted that it will split the party.
Mumtaz Bhutto’s comments threaten to reopen the deep fissures in the family, Pakistan’s foremost political dynasty. The Bhuttos started to fall out after the 1979 execution of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the nation’s first elected prime minister who turned the Peoples Party into its most potent political force.
In an interview Tuesday, Mumtaz, first cousin of Benazir’s father, Zulfikar, and a former senior official in the PPP, said that the leadership of the party should have gone to a “real” Bhutto.
Asif Ali Zardari, Benazir’s widower, was unrelated to the Bhuttos, while his son, Bilawal, carried the name Zardari until his mother was assassinated last week, when he took on Bhutto as his middle name.
“The party has come into existence on the name and the sweat and the blood of the Bhutto family,” said Mumtaz, 74, a long-time critic of Benazir who lives on a grand country estate in Mirpur Bhutto, the original family village in Sindh province. “Therefore, the leadership should either have gone to Sanam or Murtaza’s son or daughter.”
The article states that the Bhutto tribe has 700,000 people.
For now, the elections set for next week in Pakistan have been postponed until 18 February, but this Reuters article says that
The party of slain Pakistan opposition leader Benazir Bhutto does not want next week’s scheduled general election postponed because a delay would help its political opponents, a party spokeswoman said on Monday.
“We don’t want any delay. That’s what we have asked (for),” Farzana Raja said after the Election Commission met to consider delaying the Jan. 8 poll.
A lengthy delay could dissipate emotional support for the party and help the PML (Quaid-e-Azam), a party allied with President Pervez Musharraf who seized power in a 1999 military coup and is under intense pressure to hold democratic elections.
This morning Siggy posted on L’Affaire Bhutto: A Story Of Political Filth. You must read the whole post, since excerpts won’t do it justice. Siggy concludes with,
The Bhutto Affair proves one thing. Politics is a filthy business.
Maria sent me a NYPost editorial on how the Pakistani political crisis has presented Americans with a real test of which of the nation’s would-be presidents are fit for the Oval Office.
Meanwhile, Musharraff has just announced that UK investigators are to assist in the inquiry into the assassination. Gateway Pundit posts that Police Discover Bhutto Killer’s Head (Warning: Gross). The British investigators have their work cut out for them, since, as Ali noticed last week, firefighters were already hosing down all evidence of the bombing right after it occurred. Bhutto’s husband has refused an autopsy.
Jeremiah has more on an Australian Woman Asks Right Questions Re Bhutto Assassination – Plus, The Thot Plickens.
And now for the overkill conspiracy theories:
Did A Hi-Tech Laser Beam Kill Benazir Bhutto?
Some food for thought: If the allegations about laser beam technology prove to be true…then the important question: How did this latest sophisticated US technology reach Pakistan?
Plweeez. The usual thirdworldista meme: Yet another attempt to blame everything on the US.
At least A. J. Strata has some sense:
The scientifically and technically challenged who got their education from Hollywood SciFi flicks are really showing off their ignorance. Lasers come in all different levels of energy. I would not worry too much about the lasers used to ‘paint targets’, they are designed to be invisible to the human eye. But if a high powered laser were to be used it would leave just as much of a signature as a bullet. A nice clean, cauterized path would be clearly evident. Of course, the power required for these kinds of laser beams require an equipment van the size of a semi-tractor trailer to house the beam forming components. You definitely are not going to see a hand held laser which can penetrate skin and bone (you know, the cranium) in less than a second anytime soon. And why would the US (or anyone) use such a device in the wide open when an autopsy would detect the unique form of damage in an instant?
Why is it all the scientifically and engineering ignorant inhabit the leftward fever swamps???? Someone explain THAT to me.
Because if they weren’t scientifically and engineering ignorant, they wouldn’t inhabit that fever swamp.
Both states have been criticized as unrepresentative of the country given their size and lack of racial diversity. Iowa — population 3 million — is 95 percent white; New Hampshire — population 1.3 million — is 96 percent white. Democrats tried to inject more diversity into the process by adding early contests in Nevada and South Carolina, but Iowa and New Hampshire moved even earlier.
The system became so scrambled last year that New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner was prepared to move the primary into December to keep ahead of other states that scheduled their own early primaries and caucuses. If anything, the front-loaded calendar made Iowa and New Hampshire more important.
Gardner and other defenders of New Hampshire say the country — and the candidates — are well-served because the primary requires close contact with voters, not just a big advertising budget and name recognition.
I was in Des Moines and Ames in the early fall, and I must say that, as small and landlocked and white and rural as Iowa is, I would be happy to give an opening bid in our electoral process to its warm and generous and serious people. But this is not what the caucus racket actually does. What it does is give the whip hand to the moneyed political professionals, to the full-time party hacks and manipulators, to the shady pollsters and the cynical media boosters, and to the supporters of fringe and crackpot candidates. It is impossible that the Republican Party could be saddled with a clown like Huckabee if there were a serious primary in Iowa, let alone if the process were kicked off in Chicago or Los Angeles or Atlanta. (Remember that not Iowa but its “caucuses” put Pat Robertson ahead of George H.W. Bush in the race for the GOP nomination in 1988.) The process might be a good way for Iowa to pick its party convention delegates, though I frankly doubt even that. It is an absolutely terrible way in which to select candidates for the presidency, and it makes the United States look and feel like a banana republic both at home and overseas.
The call-in number is (646) 652-2639, and we’ll also have live chat. Join us at 9PM Eastern.
Via Jay Tea at Wizbang, who warns,
(Note: the link is very, VERY NSFW — Not Safe For Women. Any woman who sees it could be utterly RUINED FOREVER. And men? No one has ever died from the sudden destruction of every molecule of testosterone in their body, but 1) why take the chance? and B) would life really be worth living afterwards?)
“bad boys turned good”
He cooks while you blog.
“I know. Let’s take you shoe shopping!”
If you think Mr. Wonderful doesn’t exist, fret no more: He’s at Amazon:
Mr. Wonderful has been carefully developed with today’s modern woman in mind. He is complete with good looks, sense of style, sensitivity, charm, and is genuinely sincere. The perfect gift for any woman, whether single or married. Some of Mr. Wonderful’s comments include: – “Thinking of you is the best part of my whole day.” – “This evening, let’s just lie in bed and talk all night.” – “You’re perfect just the way you are, I wouldn’t change one thing.”
Of course Ms Wonderful‘s out there, too:
14 Phrases Include: – Don’t feel bad honey, i forgot it was our anniversary too! – You don’t need a glass, just go ahead and drink right out of the carton. – Your new secretary is cute! I bet she’s smart too! – Oh… your watching a ballgame. Just stay right there on the couch and I’ll whip up some snacks. – I’ll finish cleaning out the garage honey, your friends are waiting for you to play golf. – You’re going out with the boys tonight? You’ve worked hard… Enjoy yourself! – A new reversible drill, oh honey it’s just what i needed! – Are you sure it’s ok to wash this shirt? You’ve only worn it for a couple of days. – Don’t worry about taking the trash out. I can use the exercise. – It really doesn’t matter if you leave the toilet seat up, it makes it easier to clean. – You’re right, we don’t need directions, maybe you’ll find a short cut.
In other relationship news, now that you know where to find Mr./Ms Wonderful, go to Laurie’s blog and find out What men want to know.
As it turns out, Hugo’s starting the year with a bang – lopping off three zeros off the currency because we all know that’s the most reasonable way to deal with that pesky inflation:
Venezuela cuts three zeros off bolivar currency
Venezuela opened the New Year on Tuesday by revamping its bolivar currency in an effort by the government of President Hugo Chavez to tackle the highest inflation in the Western Hemisphere.
The bolivar’s official exchange rate is now 2.15 bolivars per dollar, compared with the previous official rate of 2,150 per dollar.
You think The Sopranos has magical realism? I’ll give you magical realism:
The change does not constitute a devaluation since the prices of goods in bolivars are expected to be reduced by the same amount.
While Tony was in a coma he had a heart attack that was induced by Paulie’s yammering. Well, that heart attack is what brought him out of a coma. Let’s hope the Venezuelan economy doesn’t have to go through something similar:
Economists said the monetary conversion will cause confusion and even fuel inflation as a result of rounding, and say the government must reduce burgeoning monetary liquidity and slow spending of record oil revenues to control consumer prices.
Not that there isn’t enough to give Silvio an asthma attack:
Venezuela’s 2006 inflation was 17 percent, and reached 18.6 between January and November of 2007.
That, my friends, is almost three times Brazil’s rate of inflation.
I get the feeling that FARC controls Chavez more than the other way around.
It’s not just that they stood him up twice now – with the proof of life and now with the three hostages. Chavez may also be scared to kick out the farc bases on Venezuelan soil, and there are seven of them. So he prefers to make friends with them, they’re what he likes anyway. Farc is one of the few groups who don’t need chavez’s money by the way, they have their own cash stream via drugs. That raises their leverage against chavez, and makes chavez only marginally useful to them anyway. They also are confident that chavez won’t mind losing face each time they gull him, they know they can always gull him again, he is that credulous when it comes to farc. It’s really creepy how much farc has chavez on their string rather than the other way around. Deep down, chavez wishes he had guerrilla credentials like farc, and like castro, he doesn’t, all he has are democracy election credentials. He’d much rather be a guerrilla. Farc must know this. Weird how they can kick him around with no consequences!
In my opinion is also a matter of strategy: the Bolivarian Revolution is extremely expensive to export, and Hugo needs FARC as part of his strategy.
Sort like Tony does when dealing with Johnny Sack.
Hey, even Tony gets to break a sweat every now and then.
UPDATE, Wednesday January 2:
Holy Chavistas! Venezuela Violent Deaths Double Iraq’s Numbers
For the last three months of 2007, a Venezuelan was twice as likely to lose his life to violence as an Iraqi.
No fireworks in Belgium, but there was a party in Iraq
In a safer Baghdad, Iraqis party for 2008
2008 arrived in a less-violent Baghdad, and residents said it was the first real party they had seen in years.
At the stroke of midnight, exuberant locals fired into the air with automatic rifles, sending red tracer fire streaking over the city, as fireworks lit up the sky.
While the city is still far from peaceful and many of the festive gatherings had a tentative feel, many said it was a happier occasion than they could have dared to hope just a few months ago.
Belly dancers also took the stage, and revelers showered a female singer with dinar notes, the Iraqi audience’s ultimate sign of approval.
Meanwhile over in Belgium, Terror fear douses Brussels party
Traditional New Year’s Eve fireworks in the Belgian capital Brussels have been cancelled because of a security alert.
The Christmas market will close at 1800 instead of staying open all night, and even the ice rink will close early.
“We are still facing a potential threat,” a spokesman for the Belgian capital said.
The alert follows police saying they had discovered a plot to free a jailed al-Qaeda suspect, Nizar Trabelsi. He has denied any such plot.
Last week police detained 14 people suspected of taking part in the alleged plot. But a judge said there was not enough evidence to hold any of them.
“Not enough evidence to hold any of them”, but let’s cancel the party anyway?
Too bad the Belgian authorities weren’t in New York City on December 31, 2001. They might have learned a thing or two.
The Cotillion‘s starting the New Year with a Carnival.
It is a blessing to be included among so many wonderful bloggers.
2007: A Year in Posts from the Palmetto Scoop