Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value

Afghanistan attacks up 40% in east, Pentagon says

WASHINGTON — Insurgent activity is increasing sharply in Afghanistan and has spread into once stable areas, with attacks up almost 40% in the eastern provinces alone, according to new American military data that have prompted alarm among senior Pentagon officials.

Rising attacks against Afghan and NATO troops in the east represent the latest in a series of troubling developments that have led to markedly higher U.S. casualties and have prompted the military’s top leadership to order a review of its strategy in Afghanistan, including how to make do with limited numbers of American troops. Any significant troop increase in Afghanistan would be dependent on future force drawdowns in Iraq.

So in a strange round about way that was serious, because as we all know the Right is very serious, the Bush/McCain troop escalation in Iraq did work. It contributed to an increase in the violence and instability of Afghanistan. Meanwhile in Iraq three more U.S. soldiers were killed in Baghdad and a bomb blast killed another 11 people.

New Orleans Bridge

New Orleans Bridge

The Conservative Culture of Corruption and Inepitude Chapter 50 51 86, Army Awarded Contract, Unaware of Dealer’s Past

WASHINGTON — When the Army last year awarded a contract worth up to nearly $300 million to a tiny Miami Beach munitions dealer to supply ammunition to Afghanistan’s security forces, it overlooked a very checkered past.

A Congressional committee revealed Tuesday that by the time the Army awarded the bid, State and Defense Department officials had canceled or delayed at least six earlier contracts with the company, AEY Inc., for poor quality or late deliveries.

But that record, including a botched $5.6 million order for 10,000 Beretta pistols for Iraq’s security forces, was either ignored or omitted from databases that American military contracting officials have used to weed out companies suspected of involvement in suspect arms deals.

Congressional investigators also determined that the Afghanistan ammunition contract, which the company is also accused of mishandling, may have been unnecessary: Bosnia, Bulgaria, Hungary and Albania, the Eastern European countries from which AEY bought its ammunition, had offered to donate the type of Soviet-style rifle and machine-gun cartridges that the Afghan Army and police forces use.

Maybe one thing that would help in Afghanistan is alittle something called oversite with a dash of competence. A Melanie A. Johnson who is a contracting officer with the Army Sustainment Command stepped in at some point and set aside the concerns of a contracting team that were’t so sure about AEY’s expertise in handling such contracts. Like a million other things Democratic bull dog Henry Waxman is investigating. By the time Henry finishes every investigation of this administration he’ll be a hundred and seventy six years old. Newshoggers asks, “How high does the graft and corruption go?”

Sand Dune

Sand Dune

White House Bush Refused to Open Pollutants E-Mail

The White House in December refused to accept the Environmental Protection Agency’s conclusion that greenhouse gases are pollutants that must be controlled, telling agency officials that an e-mail message containing the document would not be opened, senior E.P.A. officials said last week.

The document, which ended up in e-mail limbo, without official status, was the E.P.A.’s answer to a 2007 Supreme Court ruling that required it to determine whether greenhouse gases represent a danger to health or the environment, the officials said.

This week, more than six months later, the E.P.A. is set to respond to that order by releasing a watered-down version of the original proposal that offers no conclusion. Instead, the document reviews the legal and economic issues presented by declaring greenhouse gases a pollutant.

Over the past five days, the officials said, the White House successfully put pressure on the E.P.A. to eliminate large sections of the original analysis that supported regulation, including a finding that tough regulation of motor vehicle emissions could produce $500 billion to $2 trillion in economic benefits over the next 32 years. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter.

Both documents, as prepared by the E.P.A., “showed that the Clean Air Act can work for certain sectors of the economy, to reduce greenhouse gases,” one of the senior E.P.A. officials said. “That’s not what the administration wants to show. They want to show that the Clean Air Act can’t work.”

This is exactly what the Founding Fathers had in mind the White House simply side stepping Supreme Court rulings by refusing to read mail that tells the Bushies something they don’t want to believe. Its not just bush and Cheney its seems that most Republicans have the emotional maturity and governing skills of a dead tree.

Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value ~ Albert Einstein