Sunday, April 16, 2006

Easter Sunday Blogtopia Round-Up

Prof. Juan Cole

Farah Stockman reports in the Boston Globe that US companies swindled the Iraqi government out of hundreds of millions of dollars. Then Paul Bremer's Coalition Provisional Authority blithely granted them amnesty just before it was dissolved. ' ''In effect, it makes Iraq into a 'free-fraud zone,' " said Alan Grayson, a Virginia attorney who is suing . . . ' Well, I'm just glad that the Bush administration was able to teach those hopelessly corrupt Middle Easterners the high standards of the American way of doing business. CPA apparently stood for "The Crooks are the Police Around here."

Billmon is back. Apocalyptic times demand Billmon:

This is Not a Drill

The problem [] is that there isn't going to be a congressional resolution this time – in fact I'd be very surprised if the administration gives the leadership of either party more than 24 hours notice before the bombing begins. No marketing campaigns, no debates, no arms twisted in the Oval Office. Just a fait accompli. (That's French for: "Choke on it, suckers."

It's already obvious: This one's going to be a unitary executive special – right down the line. The administration's vanished political capital leaves it no other way. When you've got nothing, you've got nothing to lose.

So what, exactly, is there for Congress to ask the "hard questions" about? And what answers would it get, other than: "That's classified," or "That's a privileged executive branch communication"? And how is a rubber stamp Congress supposed to stop a war that officially isn't on the drawing boards? Particularly when the Republican majority hopes – or at least understands – it could be the magic bullet, so to speak, that saves their sorry asses this November?

Brilliant at Breakfast thinks dropping nuclear bombs on Iran "is a foregone conclusion."

At this rate, by Sunday they'll be telling us that Iranian nukes are on their way here

Iran may not be a serious threat this minute, but the country presents a problem that requires a U.S. response built by competent, thoughtful people -- not a bunch of arrogant cowboys with sexual issues who think the entire world is their own private little video game arcade and who have played on American fears for five years in their efforts to turn this country into Stalinist Russia.

TalkLeft looks at the insane federal policy that denies student loans to anyone convicted of a drug offense.

Drug War Harms More Than 100,000 Students

What a waste.

More than 31,000 California college students forfeited their shot at federal financial aid because of past drug convictions, newly released records show.

Why should a drug conviction prevent students from obtaining the financial assistance they need to improve their educations? Shouldn't society try to help them gain the tools they need to live productive lives?

While Congress recently "softened" the law, it should be jettisoned altogether.

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