Minor Celebrity watch
Voice actress Christine Cavanaugh, who brought to life characters including Babe and Chuckie on Nickelodeon cartoon Rugrats, has died aged 51.
U.S. Ends Its War in Afghanistan
TIME Magazine, by Mark Thompson, December 28, 2014
The U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan ended its combat mission Sunday, marking the formal—if not real—end to the longest war in American history.
American warplanes began bombing the country on Oct. 7, 2001, less than a month after the 9/11 attacks. Their goal was to drive the ruling Taliban from power, after they had given sanctuary inside the country to Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda, which had plotted the terror strikes.
That was accomplished on Nov. 13, 2001.
The U.S. and its allies have remained since then, trying to build up Afghan military and police forces sufficient to defend their country without outside help. Despite Sunday’s bowing out, the U.S. will remain involved in Afghanistan’s fight against the Taliban for years to come.
A total of 3,485 allied troops died in Afghanistan over the past 13 years, including 2,356 Americans. The war cost U.S. taxpayers, past, present and future, about $1 trillion.
Is it really over? Is the Taliban “defeated?” We have been training the Afghan army for 13 years. How far along are they? Not very, judging by their performance against ISIS. Will our 3,000 troops there be enough to prop up the government? Let's take those troops home. Is it a “real” government? Are they on a course to democracy? What else might we have done with the trillion dollars spent there?
David Duke, ex-KKKer, warns GOP: Back Steve Scalise, or I’ll name names.
By Cheryl K. Chumley, The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 31, 2014
David Duke, the former head of the Ku Klux Klan, sent out a somewhat ominous message to Republican Party operatives to treat Rep. Steve Scalise fairly, or he’ll start naming names of others in the political arena with whom he’s met and maintained ties.
“If Scalise is going to be crucified — if Republicans want to throw Steve Scalise to the woods, then a lot of them better be looking over their shoulders,” Mr. Duke said, Fusion reported.
Scalise spoke to a white supremacist group in 2002, and is receiving a lot of criticism about it. Scalise is Republican whip in the House. Is he in trouble of losing his job? Perhaps Duke’s threats will save him.
How many candidates and office holders conferred with Duke over the years? He won an election as state representative, got a majority of the white vote in three statewide races. I am sure his voter list was valuable to conservative candidates. I am also sure that some of what he says still appeals to bigots across the states.