Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Quick hits

I don't have a lot of time so just a quick roundup of what I would have blogged if I was connected.

I haven't seen much about this riot in Afghanistan that started after a US military vehicle plowed into some civilian cars around Kabul. It appears the brakes failed. That's another ugly reality of the war you don't hear much about. We've been in the Middle East so much longer than expected that the equipment is failing and they can't replace fast enough.

Former Defense Secretary William S. Cohen shows us how the revolving door between Captiol Hill and K Street work. He left his position in deep debt but "within weeks of leaving office, he was living in a $3.5 million McLean mansion with a swimming pool, a cabana and a carriage house," thanks to his immediately formed consultant company that advertises its "senior level relationships throughout industry and government."

Under the heading, no crime goes unrewarded.
The guy who was convicted of phone jamming in New Hampshire is out of jail
and back to work strategizing for the GOP.

The WaPo takes a serious look at verified voting, noting the increasing alarm among experts at just easily the security of the Diebolds can be breached.

The first of the Abramoff related corruption trials is getting underway with a former aide to Ney who subesequently went to work for Abramoff's lobby firm testifying to the particulars of quid pro quo as practiced by our legislators.

And finally, the religious right gets ugly and begins to eat its own. You have to love how these holier than thou types think nothing of issuing death threats and otherwise intimidating the "faithful" into compliance. One major player is being harassed for muddying the ideological waters with environmental concerns. The extremists don't want anything to distract from their vendetta against gays and the unintentionally pregnant.
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Anonymous lester said...

if you're interested in the afghan riots and anything middle east, I'd recommend helena's blog

It's quite formidable. and she's a quaker like Richard Nixon

7:00:00 PM  
Blogger thehim said...

I guess we've even managed to make the Tajik's of the Northern Alliance pissed at us over there. They were the ones most opposed to the Taliban (led by Massoud, the guy who was killed right before 9/11). Total. Freaking. Mess.

11:28:00 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

The religious right give religion a bad name. Jesus didn't force people to follow Him and believe His ways or else. If they continue down this path, they will manage to alienate themselves and lose whatever influence they had.

1:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Libby said...

Thanks for link Lester, I'll check it out and yeah thehim, it's damn scary what a mess Afghanistan is turning into. The scariest part is most people think we actually won something there. I think we made it much worse but no one notices because the death toll is so low, at least so far.

Kathy, from your mouth to God's ears. In the old days I think God would have smote them with lightning or something but they are going to lose their influence. They'll find it won't be so easy to claim they brought victory to the GOP this time. By their extremism, they motivate the other voting blocks to turn out against them.

3:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Lester said...

You have to admit though, afghanistan is going much more smoothly than Iraq in general. Alot of afghans don't understand why there arne't MORE troops there , especially outside of kabul.

I wonder if it has to do with rural vs urban economies. I've been reading "a journey through economic time" by John galbraith in an effort to understand the economy which I don't understand. Anyway, he mentions at one point that basically an occupation of a rural area is risky but do able because of the more basic nature of the agricultural economy. urban occupations, he feels, are impossible because they are too complex and you can't really be in charge of it without taking it over.

I probably completely mis interpretted what he said.

5:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Libby said...

What are you talking about lester? Afghanistan is going to hell in a handbasket because we never rebuilt the country, as we promised, after we bombed them into glass ashtrays.

6:22:00 PM  
Anonymous lester said...

did we promise that?

4:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Libby said...

I believe we did Lester and even if it wasn't specifically said in so many words, it's an implied responsiblity. If we're in the business of destroying the infrastructures of countries to "save" them and make them all democratic and everything, then it's only right to help them rebuild. Something we're failing at in Iraq as well.

5:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

we went to afghanistan to get rid of the taliban who were in obvious partnership with al queda by their own admission. Iraq is a different story.

I don't believe afghanistan is going as badly as you seem to. Your beef is with the taliban, not the US. with humanity really. what do you want to do make them the 51st state?

6:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Libby said...

We went to Afghanistan to get Osama -- dead or alive -- as I recall. The Taliban was just kind of like a bonus regime change and we deposed them, we didn't destroy them. Now they're regrouping and they're more pissed off than ever.

Now the country is dependent on the narcotics trade, which is financing the resurgence of the Taliban and the White House's grand scheme to to start up another failed eradication program a la Plan Colombia. Of course they have no plan to replace the poppy economy with a legitimate crop so the locals are going to starve and otherwise suffer, which will piss them off, which will make it more likely that they'll accept the Taliban's offer of protection.

Sorry, but I don't see the upside here.

6:48:00 PM  
Anonymous lester said...

If there was no such thing as the United States, they'd be in the same predicament because they don't have their act together, which makes them vulnerable. If Mexico was in the middle east, they'd be afghanistan. 3rd world peoples are not going to become first world apropos of nothing. despite what our special education commander in chief thinks.

9:15:00 AM  

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