June 4, 2007

Web Reconnaissance for 06/04/2007

A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention.

In the News: (Registration may be required to read some stories)
Backers of Immigration Bill More Optimistic - After a week at home with their constituents, the Senate architects of a delicate immigration compromise are increasingly convinced that they will hold together this week to pass an overhaul of the nation's immigration laws, with momentum building behind one unifying theme... (READ MORE)

Democrats Focus on Iraq In Contentious Second Debate - Democratic presidential candidates clashed sharply over Iraq in the second debate of the campaign Sunday night, with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) and Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) rejecting criticism from former senator John Edwards (N.C.) that they had failed to offer... (READ MORE)

Out of Unenforceable Laws, Amnesties Are Born - The ambitious immigration overhaul package that Congress is studying has drawn criticism from conservatives who say it offers amnesty to lawbreakers, and from immigration advocates who say it will not do enough to bring millions of people out of the shadows. (READ MORE)

Supreme Court Ruling Brings Split in Antiabortion Movement - In a highly visible rift in the anti-abortion movement, a coalition of evangelical Protestant and Roman Catholic groups is attacking a longtime ally, Focus on the Family founder James C. Dobson. (READ MORE)

Democrats take off gloves in debate - The three Democratic presidential front-runners last night took turns jabbing one another and President Bush, with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton blaming the Iraq war on the president and a tense exchange between Sen. Barack Obama and former Sen. John Edwards. (READ MORE)

Putin vows to aim nukes at Europe - President Vladimir Putin sent a chilling message to world leaders on the eve of the Group of Eight summit with a threat to aim Russian nuclear missiles at European cities for the first time since the Cold War. (READ MORE)

Iraqis: Take us with you - With pressure building in Washington for an American troop pullout, Iraqis who have worked closely with U.S. companies and military forces are begging their employers for assurances that they will be able to leave with them. (READ MORE)

Opposition to illegals bill aiding grass-roots GOP - President Bush's immigration bill is hurting fundraising by the Republican National Committee, but fierce grass-roots opposition to the legislation is helping several state Republican parties. (READ MORE)

From the Front:
Acute Politics: Back in [Blueish-Greenish-Grey] “Well, I'm back to Blogger (.com) once again. When I last wrote here, we were on the eve of a projected five-day mission. We began with a false start, spent the night at a small outpost on the west side of Falluja, and returned to base to try again the next night. We ended up spending only three days out of Camp Falluja, and we managed to spend one night in the large logistical base at TQ (Camp Taqqaddum), which lies between Ramadi and Falluja on the shore of a large lake.” (READ MORE)

Afghanistan JAG: HOME “I am finally back home from Afghanistan. This banner has two stories behind it. The first has to do with the quote, which was taken from a picture in Allyson's dad's office. Colonel Bruce Garnett was the head of the Patriot Missile Project in the U.S. Army and was a Vietnam and Gulf War veteran.” (READ MORE)

Desert Flier: Operating in the dark “Twelve year old girl and her brothers were playing around the house, and she was accidentally shot with an AK-47. We don't know the specific circumstances of why or how it happened. It just did. Nor does it matter to us, of course. Not part of the job description. We are here to do all we can irregardless [sic] of who, what, how, or why.” (READ MORE)

Jack Army: She Sat “The mayor's compound has a few government offices in it including one where people seem to get identification cards or papers. At least that's what it seems it's for, I haven't asked. I suppose I could one day. This particular office has lots of foot traffic just about every day. Many times, folks will wait outside while other members of their family go inside to conduct their business. They wait, like this woman.” (READ MORE)

Michael Fumento: The Other War “Zabul Province, Afghanistan - Our convoy pulls into Forward Operating Base Lagman at 1200 hours. After three embeds in Iraq, I'm finally visiting "the forgotten war," fought in a truly exotic land rich with history. In fact, I've just seen The Castle, an amazing fortress the locals claim Alexander the Great built. So what am I thinking? My butt hurts. It's been six straight hours in a Humvee along Highway One from Kandahar Airfield and the only exercise I've gotten is shifting in my seat.” (READ MORE)

Michael J. Totten: Al Qaeda in Lebanon - CONTINUOUSLY UPDATED “It was bound to happen sooner or later. Al Qaeda has moved into Lebanon. Fatah al-Islam terrorists in the Palestinian Nahr al-Bared refugee camp (which is an urban ghetto in Tripoli, not a tent city) are, reportedly, mostly not Palestinian. No one has suffered more from Lebanon’s worst fighting since the civil war ended than the Palestinian civilians of Nahr al-Bared. After decades as second-class non-citizens living in dejection and squalor, they are now human shields in a battle between foreign terrorists and the host country.” (READ MORE)

Those Wacky Iraqis: A Disturbing Find “It's a dead donkey. It appears to have been dead for about 3 days or so because it is starting to ooze but the eyes still have fluid in them (Oh, the things you learn at Paramedic School). I see dead animals on the side of the road a lot here. Dead sheep, goats and the like for the most part but this is a grown donkey. It does not appear to have been struck by a vehicle so I dont know how it died, I can only speculate. I see them a lot. Donekyes that is. The bedo (bedouins) and the sheep herders use them for transport and as beasts of burden. Life is hard over here and doubly so for this poor beasty.” (READ MORE)

IraqPundit: A Seismic Sadr? “Journalist Bartle Breese Bull writes in Sunday's NYT that, ‘When the populist Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr emerged from 14 weeks of invisibility on May 25, it was hard not to focus on his typically passionate anti-Coalition rhetoric: 'No, no to America; no, no to occupation,' he thundered from the mosque at Kufa, Iraq, a ragged town a few miles north of rich holy city of Najaf.’ Breese Bull argues that the U.S. ought to work with Mokty because he leads a powerful movement.” (READ MORE)

Matt Sanchez: Exclusive To Right Wing News: Embed Matt Sanchez Reports From Fallujah “If the press is the eyes, ears and voice of a nation, we in the United States, are currently deaf, dumb and blind. Like most Americans, I wasn't sure about the reporting coming from Iraq, but after spending much time in the Green Zone before transitioning to Fallujah, I realize the press out here is about as credible as an unsolicited e-mail from your bank requesting a social security number to update their records. There's a semblance of legitimacy, but if you enter your personal data, you're going to get ripped off.” (READ MORE)

Michael Yon: Death or Glory "In Iraq, I was allowed to accompany a British Army unit called “The Queen’s Royal Lancers,” whose motto is “Death or Glory.” It seems appropriate to tribute this dispatch to Her Majesty. And so I will take special care in the writing, on the chance that Her Majesty might read about her soldiers at war, as viewed through the eyes of an American." (READ MORE)

On the Web:
Donald Lambro: Hillary's Middle Class Vanishing Act “Sen. Hillary Clinton outlined an economic agenda for the country last week that was filled with the old 1930s-style, trickle-down, anti-capitalism rhetoric that is at the center of her party's leftist orthodoxy. It's impossible to see how her prescriptions could foster new venture capital, increased investment, broader global markets and wealth creation that are the building blocks for a strong economy.” (READ MORE)

Robert D. Novak: A Cautionary Tale of Washington “This is a cautionary tale of Washington, where well-motivated people find themselves sinking into a political cesspool -- especially at the end of an eight-year administration.” (READ MORE)

Michael Barone: Questions before going into Darfur “Joseph Biden wants the United States to intervene with military force to stop the genocide that he and George W. Bush say is going on in Darfur.” (READ MORE)

Star Parker: Why Americans don't like Hillary Clinton “A wave of new books about Hillary Clinton casts tinder into the ongoing flames of discomfort with the New York Senator and Democratic presidential candidate.” (READ MORE)

Burt Prelutsky: Media Hype and Hypocrites “Those of us on the right side of the political spectrum are so very aware of media bias that we are always shocked when our friends and associates on the left fail to recognize or acknowledge it. Recently, I had an exchange with an L.A. Times editor who insisted that his newspaper set the absolute standard for honest and objective reporting.” (READ MORE)

Harry R. Jackson, Jr.: Chained to Liberty - The American Way “I continue to be amazed at the partisan, ideological strife that is boiling on the Hill. It seems that we are experiencing a civil war of ideas.” (READ MORE)

Debra J. Saunders: The Fight for America's Soul “If you want Americans to approve of an immigration compromise, show some respect. We, too, care about America's soul -- we value the important legacy of immigrants to America, but nonetheless fear what rewarding illegal immigration might do to this country.” (READ MORE)

Irshad Manji: Muslim Melting Pot “Against the backdrop of civil war, Abraham Lincoln stirred Americans by appealing to their ‘better angels.’ Now some of those angels appear in an unprecedented study about Muslims in the United States--and they may show us how to prevent civil war in Europe. ‘Muslim Americans,’ released by the Pew Research Center, contains moments of bad news.” (READ MORE)

John Fund: Right Said Fred “He lacks the compelling story of Rudy Giuliani during 9/11. He isn't a war hero with a 24-year record in Congress like John McCain. He doesn't have the M.B.A. smoothness and business success of Mitt Romney. But what Fred Thompson demonstrated to an enthusiastic Virginia Republican Party dinner Saturday is that he has gravitas, a presence and the ability to make people comfortable. Most importantly, many at the dinner saw him as a conservative who doesn't alienate or cause angst with any element of the GOP coalition.” (READ MORE)

WSJ Review & Outlook: How to Beat an Audit “The case of U.N. hard currency for Kim Jong Il took its latest turn Friday with the release of the much-awaited audit on United Nations operations in North Korea. The investigation confirms and elaborates on irregularities in United Nations Development Program's activities in North Korea, first reported on these pages in January. It fails, however, to examine the central question of this scandal: Whether U.S. cash in North Korea was diverted from its intended recipients and instead used to prop up Kim's totalitarian regime?” (READ MORE)

Bill Roggio: Mahdi rocket teams destroyed in Sadr City “The return of Muqtada al Sadr from his four months of self imposed exile in Iran has led to a spike in activity against his political leadership and the extremist elements of his fractured Mahdi Army. Over the past few days, U.S. and Iraqi forces have conducted multiple operations in Sadr City, and over the past 24 hours, killed 4 Mahdi fighters and captured 6 after attacking a rocket team in the northeastern district. On Saturday and Sunday, U.S. and Iraqi forces conducted air and ground operations against Mahdi Army ‘rocket’ teams targeting the Green Zone (or International Zone).” (READ MORE)

The Anchoress: JFK Terror plot, Bush, Reagan, Thompson “Prompted by my emails, I took a quick scan around the ‘net and noted that the rightwing blogs are doing double-time on the story while the leftwing blogs are either trying to downplay it or are outright ignoring the story. I think the left has a very amusing take on all of this: There is no such thing as terrorist plots - they’re just Bush constructs meant to raise his poll numbers.” (READ MORE)

The Belmont Club: The curse it is cast “A number of British personalities, including journalist John Pilger wrote the Guardian to announce their support for Chavez's shutdown of opposition TV stations. ‘We believe that the decision of the Venezuelan government not to renew the broadcasting licence of RCTV when it expires on May 27 ... is legitimate given that RCTV has used its access to the public airwaves to repeatedly call for the overthrow of the democratically elected government of President Hugo Chávez.’ It is signed by:” (READ MORE)

Dig Dog: Jobs Americans Will Not Do? “I was having a conversation with Ms. Underestimated and she indicated that she was wondering why they say that ILLEGALS do the jobs that Americans will not do when we have people on welfare who could do the jobs. She indicated that instead of paying people to sit at home they should be doing those jobs. Yesterday, while I was at my family reunion, we were discussing the immigration bill and someone said something about jobs Americans would not do and my sister commented that as long as we had people on welfare we had people we should force to do those jobs.” (READ MORE)

Cool Calm & Collected: Sad Truth. “Today is June 1st... Jim was supposed to be home in May...I still had it in my mind that he would be here. Somehow, someway, he would be here...May has come and gone...” (READ MORE)

Counterterrorism Blog: The Threat of ‘Homegrowns’ “The reported plot in New York to bomb Kennedy International Airport, like the terrorist attacks in London and Madrid, last year's terrorist plots in Toronto and Ottawa, and the plans of a group led by a Miami Haitian to blow up Chicago's Sears Tower, featured not foreigners specially imported by Al Qaeda, but homegrowns, members of foreign Diaspora groups now based locally and seeking to demonstrate their political attitudes through a spectacular attack.” (READ MORE)

Crazy Politico: Why We Won't Let Them Fight... “Brigid Schulte of the Washington Post has an interesting, but easy to answer question, as the premise of an article today. ‘Why Won't We Let Them Fill the Ranks’ wonders why we don't allow illegal immigrants to join the military openly. She waxes poetic about poor Jonathon, here illegally since he was 11 and only wants to serve his new country. It's a nice, touching spin, designed to keep the reader from asking tougher questions on her premise. The easy answer to her question is security, and there is an excellent example of it being played out in Milwaukee, Wisconsin right now.” (READ MORE)

Flopping Aces: The Ignorance Of John Murtha Is Staggering “The cowardly ex-Marine John Murtha was up to his old tricks again this morning on the George Stephanopoulos show. Really, the ignorance of this man is startling. Check out some clips I put together. The first one is Murtha responding to what President Talibani said earlier: ‘Talabani is committed to meeting benchmarks, but does not believe the Iraqi army will be able to defend its own country until 2008.’ Of course being the politician he is he doesn't respond to that quote but instead launches into this tirade:” (READ MORE)

Don Surber: Hillary crashes “Politics is stock car racing: Who crashed into the wall is always the bigger news than who won. Last night, Hillary Clinton kissed the bricks in the New Hampshire debate. From the debate’s host, CNN:” (READ MORE)

Allahpundit: (Video) Fox News reporter calls Chavez apologist an SOB on the air “The reporter in question being Adam Housley, who’s been covering the protests in Caracas all week, and the apologist being NYC Councilman Charles Barron, whom you’ll remember more recently from his violent threats towards the NYPD and less recently as host to Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe. Here he gives us a glimpse of what the western left must have sounded like during Stalin’s heyday. Don’t call him a useful idiot. He’s not an idiot; he’s just on the other side.” (READ MORE)

Jules Crittenden: About Korea “As this Washington Post editorial notes, the 54-year old war is back in the news. Bush’s invocation of its name drew mockery and disgust as well as, in this case, recognition that what he is talking about is stabilizing the country, the region, the future. A position all reasonable parties in government are going to have to arrive at, and the great political challenge of Bush’s remaining time in office.” (READ MORE)

Slab @ OPFOR: Obscene amenities indeed “I know I've been rather scarce lately, it's been a rather busy time for me. We had a couple of training exercises going up near Cherry Point which had their ups and downs (on one day, all of our scheduled air canceled due to weather EXCEPT a section of USAF F-15Es, which was slightly embarassing for those of us who sing the praises of Marine Air; and I think the Marines of VMA-542 will be telling stories for years to come about the two captains from ANGLICO who slept in Humvees in their hangar). I will tell you that the folks of Oriental, NC were very kind and generous, even as we targeted their houses and stores and directed Harriers on simulated bombing and strafing runs.” (READ MORE)

Cassandra: A Case of Malicious Prosecution “Any credible defense of Scooter Libby must begin with this concession: if he perjured himself, he is subject to the customary penalties for that offense. Reasonable people may ask whether his trial was conducted fairly, but a jury has declared itself satisfied with the evidence against him and we must accept their verdict. There is no need, however, for us to meekly accept Patrick Fitzgerald's shocking argument that Mr. Libby be given a sentence commensurate with the commission of a crime of which neither he, nor anyone else, was ever accused or convicted.” (READ MORE)

Andi: You Just Say "Yes" “On Saturday, I had the privilege of spending the day with some soldiers who were taken from the Walter Reed campus to participate in "Operation Fresh Air," which was the brainchild of two Marine wives, Carrie Costantini and Cyndi Juarez. Operation Fresh Air was held at a local park and was designed to get the Walter Reed patients, and their families, out of the hospital and into the fresh air and sunshine. It was a day to rejuvenate, recharge the batteries and relax. Operation Fresh Air featured a catered lunch, wonderful fellowship, sunbathing, volleyball and fishing.” (READ MORE)

SnoopyTheGoon: The real face of boycott movement “The dust of the UCU boycott brouhaha is still in the air, but the first glimpses of the practical effect the resolutions might have could be already seen. When the leading UK universities such as the ones belonging to the Russel Group reject the idea outright, there is not a lot left of the resolution in its practical meaning. But the boycott, I am afraid, wasn’t at all about a short term practical goal.” (READ MORE)

Jay Tea: More on torture “Yesterday, I wrote a pretty lengthy piece about torture, in response to a typically asshatted column by Glenn Greenwald (or, perhaps, ghost-written by "Rick Ellensberg," "Ellison," "Thomas Ellers," or "Ryan," or some new pseudonym) on torture and its role in the War on Terror. It prompted a lot of discussion -- a lot of heat, but some light. For example, I said that US interrogators had "developed" the waterboarding technique, when I should have said "refined" -- it's actually an old method, but updated to greatly reduce the risk of physical harm.” (READ MORE)

Have an interesting post or know of a "must read?" Then send a trackback here and let us all know about it. Or you can send me an email with a link to the post and I'll update the Recon.

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