Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Round-Up: Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Laugh: Best Soccer .gifs. These are excellent.

Local News: CA Gubernatorial Republican nominee Meg Whitman has written another $20-million check to her campaign -- bringing her personal contribution total to $91 million.

News: Do you think the recent announcement that Afghanistan has an estimated trillion dollars worth of untapped minerals will be a boon to the country or a curse? The Economist has this to say:
"It seems to me that the best Afghanistan can hope for is to become Saudi Arabia or Kazakhstan. The worst that could happen is that it becomes Congo. Given its ethnic, security, and human-development-index profile, the Congo scenario looks more likely. The wild card, of course, is this:
American officials fear resource-hungry China will try to dominate the development of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth, which could upset the United States, given its heavy investment in the region. After winning the bid for its Aynak copper mine in Logar Province, China clearly wants more, American officials said."
 UCLA Professor Mark Kleiman's take:
"Mineral wealth is a blessing to rich, well-governed countries. To poor, ill-governed countries, it’s a curse, reinforcing the culture of corruption. Worst of all is mineral wealth in the midst of civil war: it can both finance and motivate insurgency. So the claimed discovery of a trillion dollars’ worth of minerals in Afghanistan is the opposite of good news. What puzzles me is who in the U.S. government thought it advantageous to get this story out now, and why."

List: 10 Ways to Support the War Effort. These include: Send letters and packages to deployed service members and units, don't do drugs, ask Congress to pass a real and meaningful national service act, etc... The most interesting one is:
"Ask Congress to pass a 'War or Patriot Tax' à la Thomas Friedman. When people feel the financial pinch of the war they will connect with the war effort. More importantly, they will be helping to attack the financial infrastructure of our worst enemies by stimulating alternative energy development and dropping demand."
News: Check out this sweet interactive graphic of how much money members of Congress have invested in areas they regulate. 

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