Afghanistan

Wednesday Morning News Roundup

Running late this morning.

There is significant badness in Paul Ryan’s new budget. Tax cuts for the rich and corporations, benefit cuts for Grandma and the poor.

Joe Scarborough, with his political commentary, misses the point. Instead, he embraces one of the conservative themes about why Afghanistan has gone so wrong. The conservative mantra is that nation building is always wrong. So that  was the problem in Afghanistan. Wrong. In my mind the problem was more complex. It was both a lack of focus and a lack of execution. It is easy to blame “breaking” conservative principles as the reason for Afghanistan’s quagmire/failure. Then you can continue to hold onto your conservative ideals. It becomes harder if you point the finger at execution.

Romney wins Iowa… Florida… Oh, we are now in Illinois. He has won Illinois. I knew that. This Republican primary feels like fingernails on a chalkboard?

Florida and the “Stand your ground” law is under significant scrutiny after the shooting of Trayvon Martin.

French police are now in a standoff with the gunman who killed three children and a Rabbi. The gunmen supposedly has ties to Al Qaeda.

Generic drugs seem to be immune to lawsuits. Curious. Supreme Court supposedly gave them immunity from label warnings? Really.

Daily aspirin seems to be associated with a decrease in developing cancer.

From Steve:

At least 43 reported deaths in Iraq: “As Iraq prepares to showcase itself to the world next week with a highly anticipated gathering of Arab leaders, a string of suicide attacks and car bombings on Tuesday morning offered a bloody reminder that insurgent violence still wreaks havoc with the country’s tenuous stability.”

Mexican earthquake: “A strong 7.4-magnitude earthquake hit Mexico on Tuesday, shaking central and southern parts of the country … but the president said there were no immediate reports of major damage.”

In Florida, a grand jury is poised to investigate the Trayvon Martin case. The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the FBI have also opened an investigation.

President Obama will visit Korea’s DMZ this weekend.

The “grand bargain” Obama House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) last summer is no longer on the table.

* If you missed the story about William Rehnquist’s 1950s-era memos, it’s a gem.

Carl Hiaasen has some compelling thoughts on a new Florida law that mandates random drug tests for state employees, but exempts the politicians who passed the law.

Marine Gen. John Allen, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, told lawmakers today the mission in Afghanistan is still “on track.”

And on a related note, Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.), a war critic, told Gen. Allen the war is being financed by borrowed money from “the Chinese, Uncle Chang.” For one thing, that’s not true, and the vast majority of U.S. debt is not owned by China. For another, “Uncle Chang”? Seriously?

By |2012-04-05T20:48:40-04:00March 21st, 2012|Afghanistan, Elections, Healthcare, Party Politics, Supreme court|Comments Off on Wednesday Morning News Roundup

Saturday Morning News Roundup (Update)

Upset Central

The ongoing struggle in Wisconsin politics has taken an unexpected turn. As you know, Wisconsin is currently in the midst of trying to recall their governor, Scott Walker. Several Senate legislators are also part of the recall effort. Pam Galloway, Republican, has resigned. The Republican control of the Senate has now been lost.

Osama bin Laden tried to focus on, attack and assassinate General David Petraeus and President Barack Obama. I guess this news is not really surprising. Yet, we found information in his stash of notes that he thought that this was extremely important.

The real reason oil prices are rising. Speculators. Wall Street.

There appears to be new information that Margaret Thatcher actually met with Rupert Murdoch back in 1981 to discuss Murdoch’s purchase of the Times in the Sunday Times. Details here.

There are literally hundreds of questions surrounding Staff Sergeant Robert Bales. His name has just been released. He is the American soldier who allegedly killed 16 Afghanis. This is an enormous tragedy. There is no good outcome. The soldier’s wife and kids have been moved onto a military base for their own protection.

A Rutgers University student used a web cam to spy on his roommate who was having sex with another man. Yesterday, the student was convicted of hate crimes.

This American Life is one of the best news and informational programs in the United States. For more than a decade I have enjoyed listening to Ira Glass discuss and explain various topics. Yesterday, This American Life retracted a report on Apple Computer’s suppliers in China. It appears that the reporter, Mike Daisey, embellished and enhanced some of the aspects of the story.

Upset Central, Baby: (I hate all the commercials on ESPN.com.) Norfolk State (#15) defeated Missouri (#2). The much beloved and sometimes hated Duke Blue Devils went down to the Lehigh. And that’s why they play the game. 🙂

Update: Who’s a freeloader? Currently, the GOP and the Tea Party have been focused on cutting out the freeloaders. Those are the folks who are sucking America dry. James Kwak does a wonderful job pointing out that Medicare and Social Security are insurance programs. For the most part, lower and middle income Americans who have to use Medicare or Social Security do not pay in enough money to pay for the services that they (we) are using. It is insurance.

By |2012-04-05T20:48:47-04:00March 17th, 2012|Afghanistan, Big Oil, Bin Laden, Obama administration|Comments Off on Saturday Morning News Roundup (Update)

Wednesday Morning News Roundup

from WaPo

I’m sorry, but I continue to get the overwhelming feeling that the media is playing us. In order to keep this contest going, the media is pushing Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich. They’re making them seem more popular than they really are. Therefore, they get more votes and before you know it we have a “real contest.” This thing is going to go on for months. Oh, by the way, Rick Santorum won both Alabama and Mississippi. Mitt Romney can take some solace in knowing that he won Hawaii, I guess.

North Slope oil well hhad been gushing well for several weeks. It has finally been plugged.

Wells Fargo and Bank of America may face fines for fraudulent foreclosure sales. This is a real tragedy. How do you fraudulently foreclose on somebody? It is unbelievable that fines are all they get.

Sarah Palin wants to be relevant, again. She has challenged President Barack Obama to a debate. All I can do is smile.

Speaking of challenges, Jon Stewart has challenged Grover Norquist over his anti-tax pledge. I suspect after getting roasted by Samantha Bee that he probably will not accept the challenge.

Our aging nuclear reactors are probably cause for safety concerns.

A cancer patient has been kicked out of the hospital for using medical marijuana. The problem is that there is absolutely no clarity in this case. Specifically, although medical marijuana is legal in California, the federal government has taken a different stance. This leaves hospitals in a significant bind. No hospital wants to see itself on the evening news as federal agents are raiding it for allowing patients to smoke medical marijuana. Hospitals, like most large corporations, are risk-averse.

I haven’t mentioned Afghanistan. For some time, I used to talk about Afghanistan as the “good” war, like there is such a thing. For the last several years, I have been wondering what we are truly doing in Afghanistan. Whenever we ask that question, we seem to get the same knee-jerk answer – we are preventing Al Qaeda from establishing another safe haven. Okay. How many troops does that take? The fact that Afghans have murdered American troops and what appears to be a lone American soldier went on a premeditated shooting spree is tragic. It is clear to me that Afghanistan has some issues. We are not going to be able to turn Afghanistan into some type of American democracy. They don’t have the infrastructure. I’m not sure that they have the desire. We don’t have the will to spend the money and resources to get that done. So, we are going to have to settle for something less, something that is relatively stable and strong enough to protect itself from al Qaeda and the Taliban. The question is whether we will be able to get to that place sooner rather than later.

What stories are you following today? I’ll have more on our discussion on race later on today. I appreciate your stopping by.

By |2012-04-05T20:48:53-04:00March 14th, 2012|Afghanistan, Healthcare, Obama administration, Party Politics|Comments Off on Wednesday Morning News Roundup
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