Weatherdem's Weblog

Bridging climate science, citizens, and policy

Afghanistan Personnel Levels; Sen. Lieberman; Credit card defaults; Voter Suppression

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Here’s something that got no coverage today.  The requested troop buildup in Afghanistan (set for next year) is quickly growing in size.  The ever-present, mysterious “officials” have said for months that trainers and and two additional combat brigades were needed, or about 10,000 more personnel.  Recently, a third combat brigade appeared necessary, putting the number of personnel at 15,000.  Now, an additional 5,000 to 10,000 personnel might be requested.  That would put the total somewhere between 20,000 and 30,000.  There are, of course, over 150,000 U.S. forces currently occupying Iraq.  If McCain were to be elected (thankfully, an increasingly unlikely scenario), where would the 20,000+ personnel come from?  He has no plans to stop occupying Iraq.  Obama, if elected, will face the leftover question: what about the equipment the troops need?  Under Bush, that equipment hasn’t been maintained.  Current estimates of taking care of the maintenance backlog include years of time and billions of dollars.  Expanding operations in Afghanistan isn’t going to make that task any easier.

Sen. Lieberman might lose his committee chairmanship.  It’s about damn time.  He isn’t a Democrat, as seen by more than his b.s. party he formed in 2006.  As chair of the Homeland Security committee, Sen. Lieberman hasn’t held any meaningful hearings on the status of domestic security.  He has allowed himself to be used as a pawn by the worst President America has ever had.

Credit card defaults on the rise.  Not primarily the fault of either banks or borrowers.  It’s the failed CONservative economic policies of keeping workers’ wages low and offering risky credit as the path toward continued consumer spending.  Those policies have allowed executive pay and stock prices to skyrocket in the past 30 years, while workers’ income hasn’t risen.

Fliers in being distributed in minority neighborhoods in Virginia with false information about a change in election day.  It says Republicans are to vote on Nov. 4, while Democrats are to vote on Nov. 5.  There is only one voting day, of course, and that day is Nov. 4.  I’m sure Fox, Drudge and the McCain campaign are going to be all over this immoral voter suppression effort.  Democrats: vote early.  Do not allow the cons to prevent you from voting.

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