Politics posts

Separated at birth

Sunday, December 20th, 2009

Long-lost twins: Sen. Earl ‘Ben’ Nelson and Ratan Tata.

Nebraska will receive $100 million in assistance for its Medicaid program under provisions in the Senate’s healthcare bill negotiated by Sen. Ben Nelson (D)… The provision, which Republicans have derided as the “Cornhusker Kickback,” actually provides Nebraska the least of the three states. Vermont will receive [...]

Scary Plotter and the Prisoner of Pakistan

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

Now that an 11/26 recon man was found in the U.S., says Aasif Mandvi, India has no choice but to invade the U.S.
Seen an American TV show recently? Invasion underway.

One more ride on the Kabul Express

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

Obama’s second Afghan escalation is more a political Hail Mary than a credible strategy. Like he’s doing with secret prisons, torture and civil liberties, the triangulator-in-chief is doing what’s politically safe rather than what’s right, cementing the precedents set by the radical before him.
Right now, we’re screwing up both the target and the tools. Like [...]

India is the prize

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

Fareed Zakaria notes the same irritating passage in the leaked Gen. McChrystal Afghanistan report, ‘countermeasures’ being a euphemism for blowing up embassies and massacring Mumbaikars in the streets (via @a_blank_slate):In South Asia, the U.S. is the #1 patsy

The more lasting danger is that the Obama administration, now intensely focused on the war in Afghanistan, will [...]

Going postal

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

When you’re trying to chase down a particularly juicy quote, and the only sources you find are right-wing blogs and Fox News (redundant?), it’s usually a tipoff that the issue you’re tracing is entirely synthetic. But this quote by a grad student colleague of alleged Ft. Hood shooter Nidal Malik is too ridiculous to ignore:
“The [...]

Splash damage

Friday, November 6th, 2009

The CIA’s assassination of Baitullah Mehsud now appears to be a Pyrrhic victory. According to the New Yorker, 200-300 bystanders also died while the CIA took 16 shots to finally off the alleged Benazir assassin:
… the recent campaign to kill Baitullah Mehsud offers a sobering case study of the hazards of robotic warfare. It appears [...]

Absolutely fabulous

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

The pandit as darzee.

Diwali at the Brown House

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

Here’s a clip of Penn Masala singing a Hindi mashup with ‘Aicha.’ Obama turned it into a two-for-one with a speech aimed at As-Ams and Pacific Islanders. He briefly discussed Diwali and lit a diya in a silver holder (at 13:50). A pandit who sounds like a small foghorn delivered a blessing. Then Obama signed [...]

‘Aicha’ Diwali

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

The White House held a Diwali party today, and Obama gave out free namastes. He’s the first U.S. president to actually light the diya:

Rekha reports:

Penn Masala performing at White House. Beatboxing and singing ‘Aicha’ in Hindi ‘n English. Box of Diwali sweets on every seat… President explaining Diwali- festival of lights. He just lit [...]

The Rawalpindi attack

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

It’s interesting that the Pakistanis who retook the Rawalpindi army headquarters from terrorists appear to have done several things better than India on 11/26. They blacked out TV channels or delayed them from showing footage useful to terrorist handlers, they gave their commandos night vision gear, they executed the counterattack at night, and they saved [...]

Soul Brother passes away

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

Ben wrote ‘Soul Brother’ in soap on the front windowThe Trinidesi owner of well-loved D.C. restaurant Ben’s Chili Bowl, Mahboob Ben Ali, has passed away at 82. Site of D.C.’s first silent movie house, the tiny restaurant is frequented by politicians and celebs. Ben’s Chili is famous for serving both sides during the ‘68 riots [...]

A thousand deadly sons

Monday, September 21st, 2009

An interesting passage in the leaked Gen. McChrystal report (plaintext) on how to win the Afghanistan war, a report which advises getting out from behind blast walls and protecting civilians:

By the dry phrase ‘encourage Pakistani countermeasures in Afghanistan or India,’ I assume the report means ’suicide attackers with assault rifles, grenades and truck bombs.’
Related posts: [...]

Scattered thoughts on Inherit the Wind

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

Even when you’re aware of the extent of Christian fundamentalism in America, it’s surprising to read this news item about the British film Creation not finding distributors in the US because Charles Darwin and evolution are still considered loaded …

8 years later

Friday, September 11th, 2009

Never get involved in a land war in Asia, and never go up against a Pathan when death is on the line.
What political will we had in the months following 9/11 was squandered by Dubya in the pointless war in Iraq. Eight years on we should have located, tried and hung bin Laden and have [...]