Monday, January 11, 2010

68% of Afghan people support US troops

Seems like the US isn't carpet-bombing the people of Afghanistan after all. In fact the people of Afghanistan much prefer the US-backed Afghan government over the Taliban. Somebody give the people over at Fog City, BeyondChron, and the Bay Guardian the news. From an ABC news story on the results of a recent poll of 1,534 adults in Afghanistan:

ABC News-BBC-ARD National Survey of Afghanistan
Analysis by GARY LANGER
Jan. 11, 2010

"...Critical from the U.S. perspective is that, despite poor views of its performance, 68 percent of Afghans continue to support the presence of U.S. forces in their country and nearly as many, 61 percent, favor the coming surge of Western troops initiated by President Obama. But support for the surge drops to 42 percent in the South and East; support for the presence of U.S. forces also drops in these regions, and support for attacks on U.S. and NATO forces, while sharply down overall, remains much higher in the restive South.

TURNAROUND Nonetheless this poll finds turnarounds in several basic measures, a dramatic contrast from a year ago, when public attitudes grew much more negative amid broad violence and corruption, struggling development and political uncertainty.

Resolution of the country's disputed election is one factor in brighter hopes overall. Positive views of Karzai's performance as president have spiked by 19 points, to 71 percent, as he's asserted power for a second full term. Ratings of national institutions have joined along; approval of the Afghan Army is up by 13 points, with very broad confidence (83 percent) in its ability to provide security potentially an important sign of national cohesion.

The Taliban, for its part, remains vastly unpopular; in addition to taking more blame for the country's strife it's increasingly seen as Afghanistan's greatest threat 69 percent now say so, a new high. Ninety percent prefer the current government to the Taliban (up 8 points) and there's been a 16-point jump in belief the Taliban's grown weaker during the past year obviously another of McChrystal's goals. This may stem in part from Pakistan's tougher approach, with a 14-point decline in suspicions it's harboring the Taliban..."


City's income from parking: $170,767,615

As a supplement to the previous post, according to the MTA's Transportation Fact Sheet of November, 2009, here's what the city makes from parking meters, parking lots/garages, and from permits:

Revenue from parking meters for FY 2008-2009: $32,468,579, up $2,402,874 from last year.

Revenue from the city's "off-street" parking lots and garages: $38,279,305, down $4,923,404 from last year.

Revenue from the city's residential permit parking program for FY 2007/2008: $7,099,513, which is up $1,350,876 from the previous year.

Revenue from parking tickets for FY2007/2008: $92,920,218, which is up $3,827,015 from FY 2006/2007.

Total city income from parking fees, parking meters, the residential permit program, and parking tickets: $170,767,615!

The city is doing pretty well at extracting money from all the folks who drive "death monsters" in San Francisco.

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