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Saturday, August 30

Meanwhile, in the "Real World ..."

While 34 million people were watching a televised Obama give his nomination speech to the Democratic Convention in Denver before 84,000 supporters and delegates, and while McCain apparently took a gigantic step away from his good senses, we had other things happening.

Let's go day-tripping through reality!


Georgia On My Mind, Reprise:

The cease-fire's in place, and ratified, but Russian troops remain in certain areas of Georgia. Areas like Gori, only an hours' drive from the capital, Tbilisi, and the major commercial seaport of Poti. A studied reluctance to be seen confronting the Russians (as well as wanting to make sure that nothing happens) the US landed medical supplies at the port of Batumi. Some refugees are complaining that the Russians are not allowing them to return to their homes.

In the biggest news, the Russian State Duma officially recognized the independence of both South Ossetia and Abkhazia, paving the way for both territories to incorporate themselves into the Russian Federation. Europe protested, as did Georgia - and I think the Russians basically waved their private parts at their aunties.

Because, seriously, what the hell can you do about it?


And Iran, Iran So Far Away ...

Lost in all the hoopla and hype of our own troubles is the announcement by the Iranian Government that it's increased the number of gas centrifuges in its nuclear program to 4,000. In the gaseous diffusion process for enriching uranium, the more centrifuges you have the faster you can go towards achieving your goal, whether it's moderately enriched (reactor-grade) or highly enriched (suitable for bombs).


The Next Stop on MTV Cribs:

Former President and General Pervez Musharraf, late top dog in Pakistan, decided to retire rather than face impeachment, a distinctly novel thing in Pakistan (where most leaders end up dead). I had thought he might seek a comfortable asylum in Saudi Arabia (in exchange for Saudi access to Pakistan's nuclear arsenal), but he's having a villa built in Pakistan. Quite a nice one, too, with only a (reportedly) minimal guard force.


Why Does the L.A. Times Hate America?

An article in the Los Angeles Times states that McCain's selection of Sarah Palin as his vice presidential candidate was motivated mainly by the emotional impulse to one-up Obama on the heels of the DNC. Supposedly, this has angered the top two aspirants for the job, Mitt Romney and Tom Pawlenty (Pawlenty thought he had a lock on it). How sincerely do you think these two surrogates will campaign for the man who just told them to Suck. It. Hard? And the Times is scarcely alone in its reservations about Palin.

Impulsively choosing a virtual unknown who you've only physically met once can be seen as either a gutsy move or a desperate one. Either way, it speaks volumes about McCain (of which more later).

Take your pick.


Oh, the Times, They Are A-Changin'

Yeeha! A full month of history in one week. The debates are going to be fun, so I need to lay in more popcorn and beer.

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