The New York Times has a an interesting read about Pakistan’s unwillingness to take on its pet Afghan militant as part of its posturing for a post American Afghan future.  After riding the militant tiger and finding it hard to get off Pakistan is not yet willing to learn its lessons from the past.  Instead as many observers including this blog have noted, it remains steeped in denial and paranoia about Indian intentions in Afghanistan.  It is much easier to engage in tit for tat blame of India (with no real evidence presented) rather than face up to the mess they have made of their country.  While the Pakistani establishment fiddles, its country burns.

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Posted on 16-12-2009
Filed Under (Current Affairs) by Rashtrakut

Joe Lieberman’s sudden opposition to the Medicare buy in and other aspects of health care reforms seems to have been triggered by liberal enthusiasm for the proposals.  Also, like many of the conservative Blue-Dog Democrats the opposition seems co-related to the amount of campaign contributions from health insurance companies.  It likely explains the general incoherence of his recent explanations on why he abruptly abandoned his long held views (including some like supporting the Medicare buy-in this summer).  Also see here.  The man cannot afford to further tarnish his sanctimonious public persona by explicitly outing himself as an unprincipled narcissist.

Lieberman’s pique at being humiliatingly defeated in the 2004 Connecticut primary have been on display for some time.  Not understanding why some Democrats would be upset at essentially being branded traitors for opposing a poorly planned war and occupation of Iraq, he used the same slander against Barack Obama last fall.  Luckily for him, Barack Obama chose to forgive and forget.

While Lieberman has been a somewhat reliable Democrat on other issues, he chose once again to stick the knife in to the Democrats on a public issue that was hotly debated in the Democratic primaries last year.  Markos Moulitsas seems to have a valid point when he notes that the bill forced by Lieberman would include mandates to buy insurance but no cost controls and is essentially a give away to the insurance industry.  Maybe it is time for Barack Obama to retreat to his original campaign proposal to avoid mandates.

It was very unlikely that Lieberman was ever going to get the 2012 Democratic nomination for re-election.  His victory the last time around was fulled by Republicans and independents (the latter group having soured on him significantly since then).  It will be interesting to see if he makes a last ditch attempt to save his career Arlen Specter style by switching parties in 2010.  With his re-election prospects dim, I will personally not be sorry to see this self important figure fade out of public view.

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