Thursday, October 22, 2009

World Drought, Yemeni Rebels, Cocaine Cowboys Running Short On Supply

David Ignatius
Dana Milbank
Steve Benen

Attack Bunnies
Karl Rove
Dick Cheney

"Perhaps more accurate than saying that McConnell gave 50 health-care speeches would be saying that McConnell gave the same health-care speech 50 times, with minor changes."   - Dana Milbank
"We told the Americans, stay away. Let us do it." - Pakistani Military Spokesman

The map above is a projection of problems the world will have over lack of rainfall. Many of the red areas are already experiencing drought situations...While the Phillipines will experience the fourth typhoon this month, places in the Middle East and Africa have been experiencing acute drought. The fabled Garden of Eden, located between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers is drying up: "It's hardly rained in Iraq for more than two years, the river levels have dropped by half in some places, and farmland is drying out....The Tigris - and the Euphrates to the west - are 50% to 70% lower than they were 10 years ago... The shortage of water for each river is caused mainly by lack of rain and snowmelt in the mountains of Turkey where the rivers rise... Another factor is a series of dams on the Euphrates in Turkey and Syria, reducing flow before the river enters Iraq... Hardly any rain means farmland turns to dust. Baghdad used to expect to endure about eight serious dust storms a year. Now there are more than 30 storms that turn the air of the capital orange." Drought may also become a factor pushing Iran to the bargaining tables...

Once again, the worst famine is happening in Ethiopia, the worst in 25 years. Drought is spreading across Africa, from Kenya to Nigeria, and many of the west African countries that traditionally don't experience it.  Crops are failing from lack of rain. October is usually the rainy season and farmers time their crops to the rains. Future wars may well be over water rights and access to land for farming, making the ideals of groups like al Qaeda look silly and an indulgence.

It doesn't matter wether you believe in global warming or not, right now we are experiencing global climate change, and countries like India and China are making agreements to help each other in unprecedented ways: "Under the agreement, India and China will work together to increase energy efficiency, boost the use of renewable energy sources, develop "clean coal" technology, and improve afforestation techniques. 

This "takes cooperation on climate change between the two countries to a new high," said Xie Zhenhua, China's top climate change negotiator, at the signing ceremony." China is already the largest exporter of solar panels, which are used around the world, and has created a black-market for them in africa and the Middle East. This pact also helps position them for the upcoming climate summit in Copenhagen come December.

from those Houthi websites...
It seems that just being a rebel terrorist group isn't enough these days, you also have your propaganda and websites set up. Take the Houthis... please. Vaudeville routines aside, these rebels have been trying to take over Yemen for several years, and yes, they want to establish an Islamic Caliphate there to train and spread others in sympathy to the cause. Or so the Yemeni government claims.

"Rebels in northern Yemen say they have clashed with Saudi forces at the site of building work for a fence along the border between the two countries. A statement on the rebels' website said there were a number of deaths and injuries on both sides.
The rebels, known as Houthis, say they are fighting discrimination in Yemen and accuse Saudi Arabia of supporting the Yemeni government." The Houthis are a tribal Shia minority in a predominantly Sunni region. The Yemeni government has been perceived as the weakest link, but has been receiving help from neighboring Saudi Arabia, who doesn't want Yemen to become ruled by a Shia group with ties to Iran.

So, it's a game of chess, make a move and deny it. But make sure to post your opponent's move on the Internet...

project coronado...
The culmination of three and a half years of investigation has culminated in 1,200 arrests yesterday and today, mostly in places like Los Angeles, Texas, and Georgia.

Georgia? Evidently the Mexican drug cartel La Familia has been setting up shop in the South, where the drug of choice is methamphetamines: "At a house in Lawrenceville -- a "conversion laboratory" where La Familia members worked -- authorities said they recovered 174 pounds of crystal meth. Authorities seized 17 kilos of cocaine, 13 weapons and $50,000 in the raids across metro Atlanta. Agents also raided locations in Dallas, New York, Boston and in California, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee."La Familia's leadership here is out of business today," Rodney Benson, special agent in charge of the DEA's Atlanta Field Division, said at a press conference at the Gwinnett courthouse."

 Next, we will get surprised comments from Colorado law officers who didn't know that meth labs were in their cities. A townhouse in the same complex where I live was busted a couple of months ago. It has other townhouses on either side of it, but no investigations were done to determine if they were affected by the volatile chemicals. In fact, the meth lab has already been rented out again, and I doubt it if the landlord disclosed its recent past to the new renters... I just love the image of cranked up good ol' boys driving around in their pick-up trucks with their gun racks in the back, it gives the term "road rage" a tweaking new twist...

late night political jokes:

"And under the new guidelines issued by the Obama Administration, Federal agents will not pursue pot-smoking patients in states that allow medical marijuana. This new policy is called 'Don't Ask, Don't -- What Was I Talking About?'" --Jay Leno

"The FDA announced plans to clamp down on food labeling that may mislead consumers into thinking food is more nutritious than it really is. Is that going to work? Huh? You think Americans will change their eating habits by reading that? 'Oh, look, honey, on the label, these chocolate doughnuts aren't as nutritious as I thought they were.'" --Jay Leno

"President Obama is very smart. He figures if he couldn't appease the left by withdrawing from Iraq or closing Gitmo or appealing 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' they'll all be too stoned to care." –Jay Leno

"President Obama today agreed to commit an additional 40,000 troops to help fight Fox News." –Jay Leno

"It's getting ugly in the press room. Well, senior White House adviser David Axelrod told reporters that Fox News is just pushing a point of view. Well, yeah. But at least they got a point of view." –Jay Leno

"And according to USA Today, car sales are now at a 20-year low. Well, sure, it's hard to steal a car when the owner's living in it." –Jay Leno

"Well here's some good terrorist gossip. Osama bin Laden's first wife has written a book about him. And you know, typical ex-wives, they always make the guy look like the bad one." –Jay Leno

"No, Osama bin Laden's first wife and her son have written a book about her marriage. The son said that bin Laden would get angry if they turned on the air conditioner. So in a lot of ways, bin Laden just sounds like a typical dad. When it comes to thermostats, all dads become fanatical tyrants. Why is that?" –Jay Leno

"Oh, this is interesting. Did you know bin Laden's first wife was also his first cousin? That doesn't sound like al Qaeda. That sounds like Alabama, doesn't it?" –Jay Leno

"Well this is kind of odd. Sarah Palin has posted her resume on an employment networking site. Under 'jobs held,' she -- you know, she was a sportscaster. Did you know that? She was also, of course, governor of Alaska and, most recently, private nurse for Senator John McCain. I didn't realize that." –Jay Leno

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