The Center for American Progress has tallied up the costs of the war in Iraq (read the report here), and according to their calculations, we've spent $748 billion, with up to $717 more coming in veterans' benefits. I thought it might be useful to compare this to our previous wars, so using data from this Congressional Research Service report, and adjusting the CAP figures to 2008 dollars to make it all comparable, I made this graph:
When Faisal Shahzad attempted to explode his absurdly amateurish car bomb in Times Square and was quickly caught, the response was one we've come to expect. It didn't matter how forthcoming Shahzad was -- some conservatives were terribly disappointed that he wasn't being tortured and characterized the whole thing as evidence of the Obama administration's unconscionable weakness. For some reason, they decided to focus on the Miranda warning we've seen recited on television thousands of times. "They Mirandized him, which I always find stupid on the part of our people," said Sen. Orrin Hatch.
On Sunday, TheWashington Postasked various famous people for suggestions of "things we should toss." The results were somewhat interesting, particularly one: Donna Brazile, one of the country's best-known pundits, suggested that we ought to get rid of pundits. Just try to imagine it for a moment: no more Pat Buchanans, no more James Carvilles, no more "Democratic strategists" and "Republican strategists" filling your ears with mindless speculation and ridiculous talking points.
There are a lot of interesting things in this new report from the Brookings Institution called "The State of Metropolitan America," and there was one striking graphic I wanted to share. We all know that the face of immigration has changed in recent years, but compare the origin of today's immigrants to those from 1970, which doesn't seem like all that long ago: