Thanks, Gary Larson
Signage managed by federal officials
Thanks, Gary Larson
Signage managed by federal officials
America’s two decade long war in Afghanistan is over. The Taliban has taken Kabul, president Ashraf Ghani has fled, and planes are flying out of Kabul airport bearing American allies and personnel. The speed at which the U.S.-backed Afghan government fell is only shocking if you haven’t been reading the U.S. government’s own reports, which for years have been documenting its failed reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan. The U.S. has wasted billions of dollars, thousands of lives, and millions of hours trying to rebuild Afghanistan, and recorded its failures in stunning detail in reports available to anyone who wants to read them…
We know about a goat farm and other failed efforts because of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), a government agency that started keeping track of the war and its material costs in 2008. Since then, the agency has kept detailed records of its investigations into the more than $144 billion the U.S. set aside for reconstruction in Afghanistan.
The office has produced special reports, such as the one about the goats, and quarterly reports for more than a decade. The history of the war is in those thousands of pages of documents. It’s a story of hubris, corruption, and abject failure. The warning signs were there to anyone who wanted to read them.
RTFA. Money wasted on economic projects, wasted trying to build an army that mirrored the US Military – which meant it was incompetent to work and function in Afghanistan. And all of this gets a big “OF COURSE” because we did the same in ‘Nam and pretty much every other nation outside of Europe and North America where we stuck our unwanted noses.
Texas’ deep freeze didn’t just disrupt natural gas supplies throughout Lone Star country—its effects rippled across the country, extending as far north as Minnesota. There, gas utilities had to pay $800 million more than they anticipated during the event, and Minnesota regulators are furious.
“The ineptness and disregard for common-sense utility regulation in Texas makes my blood boil and keeps me up at night,” Katie Sieben, chairwoman of the Minnesota Public Utility Commission, told The Washington Post. “It is maddening and outrageous and completely inexcusable that Texas’s lack of sound utility regulation is having this impact on the rest of the country.”
The gas and electric markets in Texas are lightly regulated and highly competitive, which has pushed companies to deliver energy at the lowest possible cost. But it also means that many companies were ill-prepared when the mercury dropped. To save money, they had skimped on winterizing their equipment. As a result, gas lines across the state—which has about 23 percent of the country’s reserves—quite literally froze. The spot price of natural gas soared to 70-times what it would normally be in Minnesota, and gas utilities paid a hefty premium when they used the daily market to match demand.
Some places in this Land of Freedom … that slogan means local political hacks have all the freedom in the world to be dumb as a hoe handle.
A user in a low level hacking forum on Saturday published the phone numbers and personal data of hundreds of millions of Facebook users for free online.
The exposed data includes personal information of over 533 million Facebook users from 106 countries, including over 32 million records on users in the US, 11 million on users in the UK, and 6 million on users in India. It includes their phone numbers, Facebook IDs, full names, locations, birthdates, bios, and — in some cases — email addresses.
Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was. INCOMPETENT.
And that’s exactly what the Fake President gave us – NOTHING – even when he had the opportunity for a head start.
❝ In the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, Mr Trump promised to build a wall along the border’s entire 2,000-mile length.
He later clarified that it would only cover half of that – with nature, such as mountains and rivers, helping to take care of the rest.
❝ But, since Mr Trump entered the White House, although some of the already existing barriers have been replaced, no construction on any extension to the wall has yet been started…
Just over 40 miles of replacement barriers have been built or begun. Construction is expected to start on 61 more miles of replacement barrier in 2019. This equates to new sections of about 15% of existing structures.
❝ The first construction on any extension to the existing structures – what could be termed new barrier – will start in February in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas.
The twin projects will cover a total of 14 miles – one barrier stretching six miles and the other eight miles.
OK. We know the petrified politics of those who choose Trump over anyone this side of Peter Sellers in DR. STRANGELOVE. Still, we can only hope the remainder of sane Americans of good will learn from the example of Trump and send a new occupant to the White House in 2020 who will actually work towards the health and welfare of the United States.
❝ The problem is the gut, intelligent though it may be (and no offense to any guts that are reading this), does not know how to run a country. “Even though it has a lot of neurons and can do a lot of things, it doesn’t think a lot about nuclear policy or climate change,” Braden Kuo says. Nor is the gut well schooled in the nuances of monetary policy — the matter on the mind of Trump’s gut most recently…
Bandy X. Lee, the Yale University psychiatrist who has sounded the alarm about the president’s mental functioning, thinks Trump’s preference for his gut is a rare moment of self-awareness. When Trump talks about his gut, she says, he’s really referring to his “primitive brain” — from which a rush of emotion is “overcoming him so he’s not able to access his actual intellect.”
❝ “For people who are cognitively impaired, they use what we call our ‘gut,’ but it is really their primitive mind,” she says. “It takes over and can defeat those operations in the cognitive and rational realm.”
In common parlance in my neck of the prairie this means Trump “is as dumb as a hoe handle”. Or, I guess, a rake handle – given his crap analysis of wildfires.
Cartoon by Jim Morin – courtesy of gocomics.org