Tuesday :: May 1, 2007

Morning Grab Bag

by Steve

Student Loans

We shouldn’t be surprised to see that the outgoing Clinton Administration identified a problem with the relationship between schools and student loan vendors, and had drafted rules to deal with it. We also shouldn’t be surprised to see that the Bush Administration deep-sixed those rules and willingly let the program turn into a cesspool of corporate profits, university paybacks, and Education Department graft, all at the expense of the students. Profits first, students last.

Tenet the Pleaser

Watching George Tenet make the rounds of the “plug my book” shows yesterday reminds me of everything I have seen in nearly three decades of surviving and climbing through a vast bureaucracy: Tenet is nothing more than an all-too-willing-to-please bureaucrat who would rather do what it took to accommodate the boss than stand up and tell him when he was full of it. It is a bad but understandable characteristic in a senior bureaucrat given the concerns over job security and the changeover in administrations. But it is an abdication of responsibility for both your CIA director and your Secretary of State to swallow their opposition rather than stop a catastrophe in the making.

Iraq Fantasies

Owen West’s Op-Ed in the NYT today, calling for an agreement whereby Congress accepts a residual force of about 75,000 troops in Iraq by the end of 2008 in a law enforcement advisory role, while Iraqi forces bulk up to take the lead in security sounds great – and out of touch with reality. Bush doesn’t plan to train the Iraqis; the Iraqis aren’t stepping up with new troops to the degree necessary to make West’s suggestion feasible; neither the Iraqis nor the Americans are making the political moves necessary to bring about the reconciliation that would allow this to work; and lastly, why does it have to be the Americans who are stuck in Iraq after 2008 with 75,000 troops, when Iraq’s neighbors should be shouldering this load?

GOP Break With Bush on Iraq?

The House GOP leadership may break with the White House over requiring the Iraqis to meet political and security benchmarks in any second attempt at a supplemental appropriation bill. Even after Condi Rice told the Sunday chat fests that Bush would oppose timelines on American forces and benchmarks for the Iraqis, the House GOP leadership refused to stand with the White House on the issue, and signaled that it was too early to summarily reject anything until after the veto and initial discussions with the Democrats on a feasible second attempt.

An Anti-Corporatist With Resources

Hugo Chavez is taking full control of his oil reserves, and is cutting ties to the World Bank and the IMF as well. He won’t be the last to do so.

Steve :: 8:03 AM :: Comments (8) :: Digg It!