Late Afternoon Links

A NATO airstrike in Afghanistan has killed 4 Taliban commanders.  Another man, one woman, and five children were also killed and another five children were wounded.  But who’s counting?

State of the Union.  To paraphrase:  “We’re going to raise taxes on the rich so we can spend more on everything without increasing the deficit.  We will continue to run up a huge debt  paid for by our children because now is not the time for fiscal sanity and those poor little bastards can’t vote anyway.”  This is, of course, like promising to stop beating your kids, but not while they are still young and defenseless.  Oh, and drones will continue to be America’s primary tool of foreign policy.

Christopher Dorner is presumed dead after the cabin where he was hiding was burned down.  “People on the scene are as confident as they can be without seeing the body that it is Dorner inside,” the LA police chief, Charlie Beck, said.  I take that to mean they are just as sure that this is their guy as they were when they shot up those innocent bystanders that they also thought were Dorner.

Israel is partially lifting a gag order on its domestic news outlets enabling them to report the news about the identity of Prisoner X that is already being widely reported in the rest of the world.  From the article: “Gag orders and military censorship are common in Israel.”  The model of a freedom loving U.S. ally.

Italy’s former military intelligence chief is going to the slammer for ten years for his part in the CIA orchestrated broad daylight kidnapping of the cleric, Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, also known as Abu Omar, from the streets of Milan in 2003. Three Italian secret service officials were also sentenced to six years each.  Meanwhile, Glenn Greenwald highlights the  irony of complaints by the U.S. State Department regarding abuses by police and security forces in Egypt.

Last night, in his State of the Union speech, President Obama claimed: “both parties have worked together to reduce the deficit by more than $2.5 trillion – mostly through spending cuts”.  John Stossel says “Bullshit!”That’s ridiculous!

Federal Spending

Federal Spending