Reidblog [The Reid Report blog]

Think at your own risk.
Monday, December 11, 2006
The Monday morning blend
Gosh, Rummy had no idea there was so much American death in those civil war books...

Our Ileana says she didn't exactly mean assassinate Fidel Castro ... no matter what the videotape says...

Cynthia gives it one last go on her way out the Congressional door...

On a related note, William Jefferson wins what could be the loneliest seat in the U.S. House.

Tom Delay becomes a Blogger! Or does he...

The Taliban makes a comeback in northern Afghanistan...

And Iraqi leaders are literally afraid to spend their own oil money:

Iraqi ministries are spending as little as 15 percent of the 2006 capital budgets they received for the rebuilding — with some of the weakest spending taking place at the Oil Ministry, which relies on damaged and frequently sabotaged pipelines and pumping stations to move the oil that provides nearly all of the country’s revenues. In essence, the money is available — despite extensive sabotage, the oil money is flowing — but the Iraqi system has not been able to put it to work.

The country is facing this national failure to spend even as American financial support dwindles. Among reasons for the problems — like a large turnover in government personnel — is a strange new one: bureaucrats are so fearful and confused by anticorruption measures put in place by the American and Iraqi governments that they are afraid to sign off on contracts.

The inability to spend the money raises serious questions for the government, which has to demonstrate to citizens who are skeptical and suspicious of government corruption that it can improve basic services, and that at a time when American funds for reconstruction are being reduced, it can prove to other foreign donors that it can quickly put to use the money they may be willing to commit.

After the expenditure of roughly $22 billion in American taxpayer dollars on Iraq reconstruction, the increase of the Iraqi capital budget was seen by many as a sign that oil revenues could finally begin paying for the rebuilding, four years after Bush administration predictions that the country could afford the program on its own.

Meanwhile, the intrigue over the murder of former Russian Spy Alexander Litvenenko spreads to Germany,

The German authorities announced Sunday that they had begun a criminal investigation of a Russian businessman after finding traces of polonium 210 around Hamburg that date back to Oct. 28 — four days before he met in London with the former Russian spy who died after ingesting the radioactive substance.

The British police have so far found no evidence of polonium contamination in London earlier than the date of that meeting, Nov. 1. The Sunday announcement raised the possibility that the polonium was carried from Moscow to London by way of Germany.

It has also added to suspicions that the case is somehow connected to the shadowy world of agents and businessmen, defectors, spies and exiles let loose by the dissolution of the K.G.B., and still entwined with successor agencies.
Palestinian gunmen kill the son of a Fatah leader, which could spark factional violence in a whole new venue...

Meanwhile the U.S. is using a super-secret method for sussing out Iran intel: Google!!!

And pop quiz!!! If you can't answer the question, "which sect of Islam do members of al-Qaida belong to?" you might be the man for House intelligence chief! But not you, Alcee Hastings and Jane Harman! No, not you two ... you know way too much... (Here you go, Mr. Reyes: Sunni vs. Shia Islam 101 ... and don't worry, it's a pretty quick read...)

Tags: News, News and politics, Bush, Current Affairs, Iraq
posted by JReid @ 8:43 AM  
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"I am for enhanced interrogation. I don't believe waterboarding is torture... I'll do it. I'll do it for charity." -- Sean Hannity
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