Saturday, July 25, 2009

Farther to the Right than an Ayatollah, Afghani Blues Again

Jonathan Martin
Harry Shearer

How does one assess what is happening to the fake president of Iran? Here he appoints his own vice president, as reported by the  NY Times: "In the latest sign of dissension within Iran’s conservative ranks, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s new deputy withdrew Friday in response to a letter demanding his removal written by the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, state television and news agencies reported.

The resignation resolved a week of acrimony over the deputy, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, who had drawn fierce criticism from hard-liners over comments he made last year that were friendly to Israel. It also underscored the authority within Iran’s Islamic political system of Ayatollah Khamenei, whose handwritten letter — made public by state television on Friday — appeared to have overridden Mr. Ahmadinejad’s persistent refusal to dismiss his trusted deputy."
Not until the letter is shown on state tv does the guy resign, he lasts a week. Ahmadinejad still gets to appoint scads of cronies to many other government posts, it makes Senator Ensign look like a Boy Scout, yet no criticism is made. So it seems the most important criteria for a government post is that your politics is farther to the right than an Ayatollah... in this case mentioning friendliness towards other countries, even Israel makes you unfit. Pundits wonder about how strong the bond is between Khamenei and Ahmadinejad, if he will be able to rule and make decisions on his own now that he has been exposed as a puppet on a short stick...

In the next few days, the American commander in Afghanistan, Stanley McChrystal, will give his assessment of the war. It's expected that he will ask for more troops, of course, but he will also need more Afghan troops to help out. From the Christian Science Monitor: "There is a new push to dramatically expand the size of the Afghan Army and police, as the military operations now under way in southern Afghanistan is marked by a conspicuous absence of Afghans in the fight.

The US's new Afghanistan strategy focuses on protecting the local population, reducing civilian casualties, and establishing security in Helmand, where the Taliban and other extremist groups have operated with relative impunity. But the military operation in the south that began July 1 has few Afghan soldiers, according to US commanders in the field."

The Pashtun Taliban, who were trained by the US years ago, know this and are aiming to discourage Afghans from joining the army or police, as reported by al Jazeera: "Suspected Taliban suicide bombers have attacked the police headquarters and courthouse in the Afghan eastern city of Khost.
Seven suicide bombers dressed in women's burqas and armed with rocket-propelled grenade and AK-47s, plus 'suicide' vests carried out the attack on Saturday, the Afghan interior ministry said."  
With the Afghan elections coming up, there might not be enough people voting to make it a legitimate election. Of course election fraud will be called, just like in the Kurdish elections today. I don't think honest elections have been held in the world in over 20 years...

The elected president of Honduras, who was escorted out of the country in his pajamas, did actually walk across the border from Nicaragua into his country. There was a line of soldiers blocking his way, so, without missing a beat with his cell phone constantly at his ear, Mr Zelaya did the Honduran Two-Step, and quickly walked back into Nicaragua. He's tried to fly in, and lost his nerve. He's now tried walking in, and lost his nerve. We can only hope for the next creative endeavor, such as climbing into a big box and having himself mailed in, yeah, that might work...

late night jokes:

"President Obama tried to get a fire going under the lawmakers before the August recess, which is when they take a one-month break in order to visit their girlfriends in South America." --Jimmy Kimmel

"But the chances of getting a vote on the bill done by August doesn't look good. Right now, it's being held up in the Senate by a group of conservative-leaning Democrats called Blue Dogs. I never heard of this. They're called blue because they're from blue states and dogs because they roll over for the healthcare lobby. And also, they eat their own poop." --Jimmy Kimmel

"North Korea today launched another attack, but this one of a personal nature against our secretary of state, Hillary Clinton. You've got to love North Korea. They're a great villain. They say crazy things, their leader looks like Ethel Merman, all their missiles are named Dong; they're the best." --Jimmy Kimmel

"And you know, there's some kind of ethics investigation going on up in Alaska, also involving Governor Palin. I don't know what the ethics violations are, but for our purposes here, let's just say that she robbed a gas station." --David Letterman

"She's stepping down as governor. Leaving the governor's mansion. Next stop, LensCrafters commercial." --David Letterman

"Don't kid yourself. Sunday is going to be an emotional day. It's her last day. She's going to go out on to the porch and wave goodbye to Russia. So it's a big weekend." --David Letterman

"There's a woman in Florida, and they arrested her. And she's in her garage. And you know what she is doing in her garage? She's pretending she's a dentist. And she's making dentures and she has the reclining chair and the drilling equipment and, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Obama health plan." --David Letterman

"Anybody see President Obama's press conference last night on television about the health plan? Here's the deal - it will cost a trillion dollars but that will be in three easy payments of $330 billion a month, so it's not that bad." --David Letterman

"But you know who really is opposed to the Obama healthcare plan? The Republicans. Apparently it does not cover breast implants for their mistresses so they think, 'We don't want it. We don't need it.''" --David Letterman

"President Obama was on TV again last night. And, you know, it's interesting - political experts are now saying that President Obama is giving so many interviews and appearing on so many television shows that he's starting to dilute his own message which I think is unfair because I thought Obama was pretty convincing last night on 'Ice Road Truckers.'" --Conan O'Brien

"Of course, last night, President Obama gave his healthcare speech. It drew almost 20 million viewers. Twenty million viewers! That's a lot these days. Yeah, these days, the only way you can get 20 million people to tune into the show is to beat Spencer Pratt from MTV's 'The Hills' to death with a naked Megan Fox, the 'Transformers' actress." --Conan O'Brien

Letterman's Top Ten Surprises in the President Obama News Conference

10. Began with a moment of silence for the Taco Bell Chihuahua.
9. Vice President Biden stepped up to the podium pleadng for "hair plug reform."
8. Put on Kiss makeup and sang "Dr. Love."
7. MSNBC reporter tried to hug him so Obama went after him with a fire extinguisher (video of Dave & Richard Simmons).
6. Wore his skinny jeans.
5. His ten minute infomercial for the Slap Chop.
4. Claimed he's borrowing $1 trillion from Regis.
3. Told everyone to watch "Men and Their Vegetables," Friday on the "Late Show."
2. In one hour, he went through two packs of Camels.
1. Said he's resigning to run for Governor of Alaska

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