The United States has wasted some $34 billion on service contracts with the private sector in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a study being finalized for Congress.
The findings by a bipartisan congressional commission were confirmed to Reuters by a person familiar with the draft of the study, which is due to be completed in coming weeks.
The analysis by the Commission on Wartime Contracting, details of which were first reported by the Wall Street Journal, offers the most complete look so far at the misuse of U.S. contracting funds in Afghanistan and Iraq, where more than $200 billion has been doled out in the contracts and grants over nearly a decade. […]
The source, who declined to be named, said more than 200,000 contractors have been on the U.S. payroll at times in Iraq and Afghanistan — outstripping the number of U.S. troops currently on the ground in those countries. [read more]
“The battle under way in America is not between religion and science. It is not between those who embrace the rational and those who believe in biblical myth. It is not between Western civilization and Islam. The blustering televangelists and the New Atheists, the television pundits and our vaunted Middle East specialists and experts, are all part of our vast, simplistic culture of mindless entertainment. They are in show business. They cannot afford complexity. Religion and science, facts and lies, truth and fiction, are the least of their concerns. They trade insults and clichés like cartoon characters. They don masks. One wears the mask of religion. One wears the mask of science. One wears the mask of journalism. One wears the mask of the terrorism expert. They jab back and forth in predictable sound bites. It is a sterile and useless debate between bizarre subsets of American culture. Some use the scientific theory of evolution to explain the behavior and rules for complex social and political systems, and others insist that the six-day creation story in Genesis is a factual account. The danger we face is not in the quarrel between religion advocates and evolution advocates, but in the widespread mental habit of fundamentalism itself.”—Chris Hedges (via azspot)
(Denver) Colorado’s position as a key battleground state in the 2012 presidential race comes with a wrinkle neither party seems to like: A freewheeling ballot initiative tradition that could put both legalizing marijuana and gay marriage before voters on Election Day next year.
Professional football is back in action after the resolution of a labor standoff that brought the National Football League to a halt for 18 weeks. The NFL players’ union has voted to unanimously approve an agreement with team owners that makes several changes to promote player health and safety, including limiting of on-field practice time and contact, and increasing the number of off-days for players. Players will also have the opportunity to maintain their healthcare plan for life. These changes came about after a greater awareness of the toll football takes on players’ bodies, one of many issues tackled in “Not Just a Game,” a new documentary featuring Dave Zirin, sports columnist for The Nation magazine.
Gay, lesbian or bisexual teens are more vulnerable to homelessness than their heterosexual peers, new study results show.
Researchers from Children’s Hospital Boston found that one-quarter of gay and lesbian high school students are homeless, and these homeless teens are more likely to be on their own, without the support or supervision of their parents or guardians.
As the standoff continues between Republicans and Democrats over spending and the debt ceiling, Americans appear increasingly frustrated with both political parties. Recent polls show that a majority of Americans say a third party is needed.
Personally, we need 10 or more Political Parties in America.
In a Monday evening interview on Hardball With Chris Matthews on MSNBC, Republican Senator Mike Lee of Utah admitted that he wants to bring America to its knees if an amendment is not passed in Congress that would force Americans to live under conservative governance despite which party the people elects.
A team of physicists has determined that we’ll never, ever be able to visit bygone eras, because nothing can travel faster than the speed of light—just like Albert Einstein said. Guess you’ll never get to tackle Gavrilo Princip and thwart World War I or make out with Clark Gable after all.
Based at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, the scientists focused on measuring how quickly a photon—”the fundamental quanta of light”—can travel. Not as fast as light can, they concluded:
"By showing that single photons cannot travel faster than the speed of light, our results bring a closure to the debate on the true speed of information carried by a single photon," said [research team leader] Du [Shengwang], assistant professor of physics.
"Our findings will also likely have potential applications by giving scientists a better picture on the transmission of quantum information."
In the end, it seems DeSean Jackson’s stupidity helped do some good after all.
I was pleased to see that MLB teams began to create their own “It Gets Better” videos to help combat bullying. The San Francisco Giants were the first to complete theirs, followed by the Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox. In addition, the Seattle Mariners and Minnesota Twins have announced plans to make videos as well.
From OutSports and @JoeInPhilly
And a special thank you to Jerome Hunt!
Think the calamity developing in Washington over raising the debt ceiling is just an American problem? Well think again! The rest of the world, realizing that their economic prosperity is directly link to what happens in Washington DC, are…
I am loling so hard right now xD Not that international displeasure has ever registered with Republicans.