Thursday, November 15, 2007

Stolen from Avedon

By Libby

I don't know how she does it but by the time I've rolled out of bed in the morning, Avedon has already mined the interlode for the best gems of the day and other undiscovered treasures.

This first one falls into the latter category, having been around for a week. The National Lawyers' Guild's resolution to impeach George Walker Bush and Richard Bruce Cheney. It's not every day you see such a diverse body taking such a strong stand. I'm surprised I didn't see more press coverage. Well actually, I wish I was surprised. Given the current state of our media, I suppose it's to be expected.

This one is likely to slip under the radar. At Altercation, we glean a new clue as to the intentions of the administration.
I got a letter the other day from a faculty member at the University of Maryland's overseas division in Europe. UM is the primary university providing classes for U.S. service members abroad. [...]

"What is startling is that the U.S. military has also asked us to prepare a bid for educational programs in IRAN and SYRIA (and, oddly enough, France -- where we have had no presence since NATO was expelled in 1967 -- probably a function of the new conservative government there). We will be bidding on an education contract to these locations at the end of November.

"This is a truly ominous development. The U of MD overseas program follows the military around the world -- thus clearly the contingencies for an occupation of several Middle Eastern countries is not only being contemplated, but actually set up."

So much for the reassuring murmurs of the experts declaring the bomb Iran plan as all but dead.

And oddly, I was just thinking about the New Deal programs myself lately. Adam Cohen at the NYT plucks my thoughts from the cosmos and pens a good piece worth reading. Money quote at the end.

The nation is unlikely to embark on public works programs like those launched during the Great Depression, unless there is another economic crisis of that scale. But Roosevelt’s basic idea — that the government should employ idle hands to upgrade the nation — should never have gone out of fashion. The next president will need to confront the nation’s disrepair. It should be an issue in the campaign right now.

IMO, the worst hidden flaw in the privatization of our essential infrastructures has been the gross neglect of hardware maintenance and upgrades. I wonder how many blackouts have to occur or bridges have to fail before our 'leaders' begin to take this seriously.

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