"Ladies and gentlemen, your President is a robot. Or a wax sculpture. Maybe a cardboard cutout. All I know is no human being has a photo smile this amazingly consistent." - Eric Spiegelman at Real Pundits
"Steve Schmidt has said that Sarah Palin in 2012 would be a 'catastrophe' for the GOP. This is one of the things that I was asked to comment on today, and here's what I wrote back: 'I think it's time for the McCain crowd to acknowledge that they're losers and pack it in." - Rush Limbaugh
get out of jail free card...
Benjamin Netanyahu became a first time grandfather when his daughter gave birth to a son, Noa. Congragulations are in order, Happy Happy Joy Joy... The best thing about being a grandparent is you can spoil the kids as much as you like, then hand them back to their parents when you're done.
Jerusalem Post that Obama has basically exempted Israel from having to disclose its nuclear weapons program or having to adhere to the recent non-proliferation policies agreed to by world leaders. It would be interesting to see if Israel placed its nuclear enrichment plants near sacred sites like Iran did, or what steps they have taken to hide from spying satellites.
But the Israeli military isn't as concerned with Iranian nuclear enrichment sites as they are with a bunch of new anti-aircraft missiles that Iran has bought from Russia. If Israel were to launch a strike against Iran's facilities, the new missiles could easily counter it. Israel's military has warned Russia that if the missiles are delivered, then it may move their timeline forward for the preemptive strike.
Russia and China are Iran's two largest trading partners and where Iran buys most of its armaments, along with previous Soviet bloc countries like Bulgaria.
Despite all of the military attention and billions of dollars funneling into Afghanistan, it remains one of the poorest countries in the world. Part of the counterinsurgency strategy is to build government infrastructure along with more sustainable ways for Afghanis to make a living.
In response to those ideas come lots of aid agencies like remoras attached to a shark, who solicit billions in funds to spend on programs designed to help different sectors of society. There is no coordination of these agencies, so there are lots of haphazard programs cobbled together that may or may not be helpful. And, according to an article in the New York Times, over 40% of the funds gathered are repatriated back to the source countries: "And few issues do more to stoke the resentment of ordinary Afghans than the tens of billions of dollars of foreign aid from which they have seen little or no benefit. They see legions of Westerners sitting in the backs of S.U.V.’s clogging the streets of Kabul and ask themselves what exactly those foreigners have done to improve their daily lives.
Eight years after the fall of the Taliban, Afghanistan remains one of the poorest countries in the world. And by some estimates 40 percent of international aid leaves the Afghan economy as quickly as it comes in — going to pay Western security contractors, maintain back offices in the West and pay Western-style salaries, benefits and vacations — while as little as 20 percent of that aid reaches its intended recipients."
One solution to this will never happen, but the authors of the article propose that Afghanistan tax these agencies for the aid money that comes into the country, before the majority of it quickly departs. Yes, these aid agencies are participating in scamming the goodwill of citizens in their countries bigtime. We have no oversight or even any guidelines, so any person can create a name designed to elicit compassion and open the wallet, create stationary and a web site, and suddenly you become an official aid agency... The worst ones are usually created to prey on religious congregations, who are used to tithing and investing in ponzi schemes. Its a similar variation to setting up a lobbying group...
Barack and Michelle Obama, and Oprah Winfrey traveled to Copenhagen, joining the heads of state from countries like Spain and Brazil, trying to influence the international Olympic committee to choose Chicago as the next site of the summer Olympics. Chicago lost in the first round of votes, having garnered 18 of 94 votes. Rio de Janeiro won, and there may be dancing in the streets every night until 2016.
There was a lot of gloating and kicking of heels from the right wing here in America, trying to tag Obama as a failure, and once again getting downright ugly. Rush Limbaugh tried to make it that the world took Obama down a peg and that the vote was personally directed at him instead of Chicago as a venue...:"The world rejected Obama, the world rejected Michelle (My Belle) Obama, and the world rejected The Oprah. And this is the guy who is going to talk Iran into giving up its nukes?"
"Obama and Michelle have such an ego that they thought they were going to pull this off just by showing up. Is he such a fool that he doesn't realize that these people hate America more than they like him? Does he not realize that they are delighted to make him look foolish in order to take a swipe at his country?" I'm afraid that this is basic transference on Limbaugh's part, referring to the Obama's ego when he is really talking about his own. It's a sign that he needs to go into therapy before he gets busted again, this time for diet pills; we know he didn't lose all that weight by diet and exercise, instead using injections from some quack in Florida or New York... this is conjecture on my part, don't go believing I have an inside track to Rush, though I wish I did.
I'm getting tired and depressed from all of these nattering nabobs of negativity. My local House representative went with Jim DeMint to Honduras to support the right wing military junta in opposition to government policy, our Afghani born shuttle driver is still in jail without bond and it looks like there is a good case of planning terrorism against him, and it seems that the only good thing coming out of Colorado is the success of the Rockies baseball team...