Amid Barack Obama’s inauguration as US president, the war on Gaza and the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks, Pakistan’s media had until recently all but ignored the descent into hell of the Swat Valley in the North-West Frontier Province.
The valley has been transformed from a tourism magnet because of its alpine scenery into a valley stained with blood in recent months. From banning female education and blowing up schools to the hanging of decapitated bodies in Mingora, the valley’s main town, the reign of terror spearheaded by Maulana Fazalullah, a radical cleric, defies description.
I love this. The new kind of politics of hope. Eight hours of debate in the HR to pass a bill spending $820 billion, or roughly $102 billion per hour of debate. Only ten per cent of the “stimulus” to be spent on 2009. Close to half goes to entities that sponsor or employ or both members of the Service Employees International Union, federal, state, and municipal employee unions, or other Democrat-controlled unions.
This bill is sent to Congress after Obama has been in office for seven days. It is 680 pages long. According to my calculations, not one member of Congress read the entire bill before this vote. Obviously, it would have been impossible, given his schedule, for President Obama to have read the entire bill.