Check out this article from Slate which shows that there's not a correlation between making campaign contributions to the Republicans and receiving Iraq or Afghanistan reconstruction contracts. Yes, Bechtel and Halliburton have received big contracts, largely because they are the best-known and most-experienced companies in their field, I assume. They are also very well-known contributors to the Republicans. That's their right. They're allowed to make publicly-announced campaign contributions and there's nothing wrong with their doing so. But a lot of companies that have made only tiny contributions or none at all have also received Iraq / Afghanistan contracts, demonstrating that the quo is not necessary to get the quid.
Here's another article by the same author, Daniel W. Drezner, from the New Republic, which tells us not to panic at the apparent backlash of antiglobalism and antiliberalism in Latin America; it supports a couple of the things we said in yesterday's post about moral equivalence. There's another piece by Andrew Sullivan in TNR, in which he shreds Andy Rooney's idiotic 60 Minutes rant on the Iraq War (and provides stacks of evidence demonstrating that the ilk of Moore and Franken and Rooney are baldly lying when they accuse President Bush of doing just that) that is well worth reading. And if you want some more discrediting of Al Franken's screeds, check out this story by David Frum from Front Page.
Finally, Sullivan links to this old British magazine, Homes and Gardens, from November 1938. Just like Becks and Posh show off their houses in Hello! and OK!, Adolf Hitler shows the fawning reporter his mountain house at Bertechsgaden in the Bavarian Alps. Read the article to learn how delightful it is to spend time with der Fuehrer and his cultivated guests, while Frauen Goebbels and Goering entertain the local children, suave cosmopolitan Ribbentrop chooses the wine at dinner, and Putzi Hanfstaengel, Hitler's court jester, plays post-prandial piano.