By Kathy Kelly for Counter Punch - In Kabul, where the Afghan Peace Volunteers have hosted me in their community, the U.S. military maintains a huge blimp equipped with cameras and computers to supply 24 hour surveillance of the city. Remotely piloted drones, operated by Air Force and Air National Guard personnel in U.S. bases, also fly over Afghanistan, feeding U.S. military analysts miles of camera footage, every day. Billions of dollars have been invested in a variety of blimps which various vendors, such as Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Northrup Grumman, and Aeros have shipped to Afghanistan.
A new study finds remarkably little difference between the views of people who live in red (Republican) districts or states, and those who live in blue (Democratic) districts or states on questions about what policies the government should pursue. The study analyzed 388 questions asking what the government should do in regard to a wide range of policy issues and found that that most people living in red districts/states disagreed with most people in blue districts/states on only four percent of the questions. “A Not So Divided America,” contradicts the conventional wisdom that the political gridlock between Democrats and Republicans in Congress arises from deep disagreements over policy among the general public. The study was a joint project of Voice Of the People and the Program for Public Consultation (PPC), affiliated with the University of Maryland. “Clearly, the gridlock in Congress is not driven by the people,” said PPC Director Steven Kull, who led the study. “Although some research has shown partisan polarization in response to broad ideological slogans, on specific questions about what government should do, the study found hardly any difference between red and blue districts.”