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A few billion here, a few billion there… March 9, 2006

Posted by ultor in GWOT, politics.
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…pretty soon you’re talking about real money. George’s little Iraq adventure is now costing us $5,900,000,000 per month. Afghanistan operations add another $1B/month. Taken together, annual spending for the two wars will reach $117.6 billion for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30 — 18% above funding for the prior 12 months.

How about some perspective? That’s

  • more than the Department of Agriculture.
  • more than the Department of Commerce.
  • more than the Departments of Education, Energy, and Homeland Security. Combined.
  • three times as much as the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
  • as much as the Departments of Labor and Transportation. Combined.

Not what I’d consider a very good investment. Perhaps it’s time to fire our “CEO President.”

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OK, I’m really starting to worry now. March 8, 2006

Posted by ultor in GWOT, politics.
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As the old saying goes, it’s not the things you don’t know that are the problem. It’s the things you know that ain’t so.

Donald Rumsfeld, today:

I will say this about Iran. They are currently putting people into Iraq to do things that are harmful to the future of Iraq. And we know it, and it is something that they, I think, will look back on as having been an error in judgment.

Rumsfeld, March 30, 2003:

We know where [the WMD] are. They’re in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.

Magazine I most wish was on the web. March 8, 2006

Posted by ultor in Uncategorized.
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The one magazine I still get on paper is Harper’s. It’s a consistently good read, in no small part due to the regular monthly essays by Lewis Lapham. This month, he’s got an extended piece titled The Case For Impeachment: Why We Can No Longer Afford George W. Bush. They’ve published a fairly extended excerpt on the web. It’s well worth the time spent reading it.

If you think that’s good, there’s another terrific piece on the implications of torture on a liberal (in the Lockean sense) society and a short story by T. Corasseghian Boyle. Oh, and the Index.

Apologies for the syntax…. March 8, 2006

Posted by ultor in GWOT, politics.
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Foreign Affairs magazine has a piece by Paul Pillar, who was National Intelligence Officer for the Near East and South Asia from 2000 to 2005. It’s a terrific article, but the summary is, well, syntactically challenged:

Summary: During the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, writes the intelligence community’s former senior analyst for the Middle East, the Bush administration disregarded the community’s expertise, politicized the intelligence process, and selected unrepresentative raw intelligence to make its public case.

Impeach George W. Bush.

Busted the boggle-o-meter again. March 8, 2006

Posted by ultor in politics.
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Trent Lott this time, speaking on the floor of the US Senate:

“What is it we are not going to give people for free? Is there any limit? Is there any limit to the amount of money?? asked Lott, adding snidely “I thought we were having global warming.?

Boggle-o-meter

John Ensign of Nevada actually tried to out-vicious Lott:

“There are those of us who believe that deficits are real. They are absolutely real,? said Ensign. “People get up and talk about them all the time. But when it comes right down to whether you are willing to make tough choices instead of just increasing the spending and passing that debt on to the next generation, they aren’t willing to offer other spending cuts so that we are not increasing the deficit.?

Ummm…yeah. How any Republican can pretend that they’re willing to make “tough choices” on the deficit at this point is well beyond me.

Bipartisanship is dead. Buried. Forgotten. March 8, 2006

Posted by ultor in politics.
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The GOP members of the Senate Intelligence Committee voted as a bloc to prevent any investigation of the NSA wiretapping mess. That includes a couple of the most “moderate” (and I use the term advisedly) Republican Senators who had given indications that they might be something other than members of the Bush cargo cult, Olympia Snowe and Chuck Hegel. I’m disappointed, but mostly disgusted.

Good sound common sense. March 8, 2006

Posted by ultor in economics, That's just cool..
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Warren Buffet is a smart man. Moreover, he has common sense. Here is an excerpt from his annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders. It’s good. Go read.

They freeze horses, don’t they? March 7, 2006

Posted by ultor in That's just cool..
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They sell these for cooking, but I figure there have to be cooler (no pun intended) uses for them.

The anti-griddle

It’s an “anti-griddle” that maintains a steady -30°F for freezing the outside of things.