Friday, December 2, 2011

Dogs, Not Barking

Most of these are repeats, but still significant stories that have not been in the news, which is itself newsworthy.

1. It's really strange, still, how little we're hearing about 2012 Appropriations and the (still) possibility of a government shutdown. Does it mean that there's really a deal to somehow get around the seemingly obvious trouble with policy riders? That Republicans want to sneak it all past Tea Partiers, and so far they haven't noticed? That reporters are just missing the story?

2. I've seen quotes from Robert Walker and Vin Weber about Newt Gingrich, but nothing yet from either Dick Armey or Tom DeLay. Armey, of course, is still quite relevant. Neither is thought to be exactly a huge fan.

3. Repeating and updating the numbers I tweeted Wednesday late night. Allied and US casualties are down. Note that casualties in Afghanistan are highly seasonal, so what matters is year-to-year same month totals, and of course that can be skewed for any number of reasons. Still, and with further revisions are still possible but based on what's reported so far:

November coalition deaths in Afghanistan were at 27. That's the lowest since May, 2009. US troop deaths were 17, also lowest since May 2009.

One US death in Iraq in November.

Combined coalition deaths (Afghanistan and Iraq) in November were at 28. That's the lowest since February 2004 (25) and the second-lowest since the Iraq war began.

And combined US deaths were 18, lowest since December 2008 (17), and tied for second-lowest with November 2008 since the Iraq war began.

Again, it's not surprising that there are lows in this part of the year. But the trend is pretty clearly down, now, in Afghanistan. Coalition deaths there are well below 2010, breaking the string of six consecutive record years, and the last five months are well  below the 2009 level.

Of course, what anyone makes of all this is open for argument, but at least in my view it's a significant story, and it hasn't been getting much if any attention.

4. You know, I've watched every GOP debate and they just aren't talking about how Obama is certain to revive the Fairness Doctrine as soon as the election is over. I may have to finally give up on this one.

1 comment:

  1. The reduced casualty rate is not big news because there's no obvious significance to it. Of course, the death of every American serviceman has significance, and I have seen some good coverage there...


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