Elections in Pakistan have turned into a huge defeat for the pro-Musharraf PML-Q party and a substantial victory for the Bhutto family’s Pakistan People’s Party and Nawaz Sharif’s PML-N party. Beyond what’s in the newspapers, I don’t have much to add at the moment except the observation that once again the much-hyped fundamentalist takeover of Pakistan seems like a very remote possibility, when people get a chance to register their preferences, PPP and PML-N consistently come out on top.
Michael Ledeen calls for expanded educational benefits:
Why has no candidate or national leader called for dramatic improvement in the educational benefits of the G.I. Bill? All our commissioned officers have college degrees (bet you didn’t know that), but the non-coms need scholarships, and the officers should get the same for graduate and professional school. I’m sure David will agree. And the candidates should, too. If we really “support our troops,” this is a fine way to do well for our society by doing good for our heroes.
That reminds me of this wacky incident from Bush’s State of the Union address:
President Bush drew great applause during his State of the Union address last month when he called on Congress to allow U.S. troops to transfer their unused education benefits to family members. “Our military families serve our nation, they inspire our nation, and tonight our nation honors them,” he said.
A week later, however, when Bush submitted his $3.1 trillion federal budget to Congress, he included no funding for such an initiative, which government analysts calculate could cost $1 billion to $2 billion annually.
Meanwhile, it seems to me that Hillary Clinton actually has proposed more-or-less the thing that Ledeen says nobody has proposed:
Hillary will enact a GI Bill of Rights for the 21st century that will resurrect the spirit of the original 1944 GI Bill and offer service members, veterans and their families with expanded education, housing and entrepreneurial benefits. Her plan will guarantee equal access for all components of the Armed Forces – Active, Guard and Reserve – that have deployed overseas in support of a combat operation since September 11 or served two years of active duty since September 11. She will fund undergraduate education for service members, as well as education for specialized trade or technical training, and certification and licensing programs.
And then of course who could forget about the time when the administration was saving money by having National Guard units deploy for precisely 729 days so as to avoid giving them the education benefits to which they would be entitled were they to stay for 730 days.