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Wed, Sep 3rd - 11:58PM

News Headlines

Stephen Harper's Hidden Agenda (again)

CANADA - Prime Minister Stephen Harper is about to pull the plug on the 39th Parliament and plunge the country into an election because, according to his spokesperson, he could find "no area of common ground" with the opposition that would allow the government to move forward with its agenda.

But just what is the Conservative government's agenda?

Unshackled from the requirements of a minority Parliament to temper their policies, would Harper and the Conservatives return to their Reform roots and implement more tax cuts accompanied by deep reductions in government spending, outsource regulatory oversight, privatize the CBC, create a triple-E Senate and even adopt socially conservative stances against abortion and gay marriage?

In explaining the decision to go to the polls rather than face Parliament this fall, the Prime Minister's spokesperson said on Monday: "We are in uncertain economic times. There are a number of things that the government would like to move forward on."

The public ought to know what those "things" are before voting.

Snipers attempt assassination of Pakistani Prime Minister

Snipers fired on the motorcade driving to the airport to pick up Pakistan's prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, striking his car's window at least twice.

Neither the prime minister nor his staff were in the vehicles, but the assassination attempt comes as Pakistan's new civilian government – under pressure from Washington – is cracking down on militants along the Afghanistan border.

At least two bullets hit the front window on the driver's side of Yousuf Raza Gilani's limousine on the main highway linking Islamabad with the nearby city of Rawalpindi.
Pakistani political leaders have repeatedly faced the threat of assassination.

At least four attempts were made on the life of former president Pervez Musharraf, recently forced from power by Pakistan's new government. He was despised by militants for allying with Washington after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

In December, former prime minister Benazir Bhutto died in a gun-and-bomb attack during an election rally two months after returning from exile.

McCain gambling with the Republican nomination

What the hell is John McCain thinking?

The man is gambling with the Republican nomination like a drunken frat boy in Vegas. He chose Sarah Palin as his running mate at the last possible minute, without checking her background credentials and any controversial dirt on her (like Troopergate and her views on Alaskan Independence).

Traditionally elections are fought on several key battlegrounds: The economy, the environment, education, health care, freedom, family values and war. So yes, they can preach family values because poor Bristol Palin won't be getting an abortion, and she will be forced to marry young Levi Johnston.

But what about freedom? We're talking about forcing a young woman (still very much a child herself) to have a child and get married against her will? Sure, she says she's okay with it now, but what about two years from now when she's getting a divorce, blaming herself and her parents for forcing her into a decision she didn't make?

Sarah Palin has other issues to contend with too, like the fact she's a devout creationist who honestly believes Adam/Eve really existed and were tossed out of Eden for talking to snakes/eating forbidden fruit. The Alaska legislature is probing whether she forced a safety commissioner to quit, whether she tried to fire a state trooper who was divorcing her sister. Sarah Palin also has alleged ties to the Alaskan Independence party, which wants a vote on leaving the United States.

Alaskan Independence? Now that is certainly controversial and way more important than the Palin family's domestic problems.

In choosing Palin, John McCain gambled that her appeal to the Republican base and to women would outweigh her shortcomings. As more questions arise about his judgment and her suitability, McCain must reassure a broader electorate that she is vice-presidential material... because at this point she's more liability than benefit.

The Politics eZine

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