June 14, 2007

Web Reconnaissance for 06/14/2007

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

In the News: (Registration may be required to read some stories)
2 Former Aides to Bush Get Subpoenas - The decision by two congressional panels to issue subpoenas to the White House yesterday escalates a constitutional showdown over the Justice Department's firing of nine U.S. attorneys that could end up being decided by the federal courts. (READ MORE)

No Drop in Iraq Violence Seen Since Troop Buildup - Three months into the new U.S. military strategy that has sent tens of thousands of additional troops into Iraq, overall levels of violence in the country have not decreased, as attacks have shifted away from Baghdad and Anbar, where American forces are concentrated... (READ MORE)

Hamas Bolsters Its Hold In Gaza - Hamas gunmen consolidated their hold over large swaths of the Gaza Strip on Wednesday after attacking military posts controlled by the rival Fatah movement, whose own fighters responded with a daylight raid in the West Bank, broadening the civil strife. (READ MORE)

Shi'ite Shrine's Minarets Bombed - In a bold blow to Iraqi hopes for peace, bombers toppled the towering minarets of Samarra's revered Shi'ite shrine yesterday, adding new provocation to old wounds a year after the mosque's golden dome was destroyed. (READ MORE)

Ex-U.N. Adviser Slams U.S. Policy in Middle East in Leaked Report - A retired top U.N. adviser disparaged U.S. policy in the Middle East in a confidential report leaked yesterday, accusing Washington of skewing the work of international mediators in support of Israel. (READ MORE)

Groups Unite Against 'Amnesty' - The debate over President Bush's immigration bill and opposition to it as an "amnesty" proposal have invigorated otherwise dispirited conservative interest groups and forged an anti-Bush unity on the right not seen since the Supreme Court nomination of Harriet Miers. (READ MORE)

High-Profile Takes on Low-Key - Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton has a former president plugging for her and helping her rake in millions. Sen. Barack Obama is walking door to door, telling supporters that a $5 contribution to his campaign can help spur political change. (READ MORE)

O'Malley Firing Ruled Illegal Over GOP Ties - A Maryland administrative law judge ruled this week that Gov. Martin O'Malley's administration illegally fired a Republican state worker and ordered the worker to be reinstated with full back pay. (READ MORE)

From the Front:
Acute Politics: Home Again “The first stop we made after leaving the middle east was Shannon, Ireland. We landed early in the morning- the sky was dimly lit with the coming dawn, but morning was still an hour or more off. Before we left the plane, the Lieutenant Colonel who commanded the flight back made sure we understood that we were all still on duty status and therefore were not to "buy, consume, procure, or obtain" any alcohol. Apparently, he's been in the Army long enough to know he needs to cover his bases thoroughly.” (READ MORE)

Calvey in Iraq: Good fences make good neighbors “Greetings from Baghdad! Still ultra-busy at work, so it is hard to find the time to post on this blog. I am not the only new person in my section, so the "handoff" to us new people was quite hectic, although we are starting to settle in. I am definitely going to like this new job. Good fences make good neighbors. I posted some time ago about a group of citizens in the Adamiyah section of Baghdad protesting when Coalition Forces and the Iraqi Army started building a wall around the area. The wall is intended to restrict vehicle access, to cut down on car bombs and death squads. It is not intended to be permanent.” (READ MORE)

Michael J. Totten: Another Assassination in Lebanon “Lebanese Member of Parliament and Chairman of Parliament’s Defense Committee Walid Eido was assassinated in West Beirut’s Manara district, along with his son and four other people. This was just down the hill from my old apartment. Charles Malik emails from Beirut: ‘This one was too close. I was 50m away. Human flesh landed in our cafe next to Luna Park. We felt the heat of the flames, and the smoke surrounded us. The Army, Amn a Dakhle, and Amn al Aam were incredible. They were there immediately, secured the scene, and got the cars out of the parking lot.’” (READ MORE)

JD Johannes: Body Counts vs. Victory “‘We've killed close to 400 known insurgents,’ Lt. Colonel Valery Keaveny, Commander of Task Force Geronimo said in the stuffy hallway of OP Delta in Kharma, Iraq. ‘But that's not really the way to measure success.’
Chuck Simmins' Terrorist Death Watch (via Instapundit) is a fascinating look at the death rate of terrorists, insurgents and other anti-coalition forces in Iraq.” (READ MORE)

On the Web:
Rudy Giuliani: My Contract with America “I am making 12 Commitments to the American People. They are intended to lift our vision from the rearview mirror to the road ahead. If I am elected president, I want to be held accountable for the progress we make as a nation.” (READ MORE)

Fred Thompson: A Prescription for the Nursing Shortage “It’s funny how historic events can have unexpected impacts many decades after memories have begun to fade. America, in fact, is facing a crisis in the next few years that could be traced directly to actions in Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan.” (READ MORE)

Ann Coulter: 'No Drug Smuggler Left Behind' “President Bush was so buoyed by the warm reception he was given in Albania that he immediately gave all 3 million Albanians American citizenship, provided they learn Spanish.” (READ MORE)

Hugh Hewitt: Why Do Rush And Sean Scare Them So? “I have heard of brass-knuckled politics before, but never anything on the order of denying your political opponents news of approaching hurricanes.” (READ MORE)

Victor Davis Hanson: Who Is Illiberal On Immigration? “The collapse last week of a comprehensive immigration bill in Congress that called for a huge guest-worker program, fast-track visas and a sort of earned citizenship for illegal aliens has unleashed a backlash against those opponents of it who prefer to close the border first and legislate the details of illegal immigration later.” (READ MORE)

William Rusher: Who's Winning the Immigration Battle? “The defeat of the so-called immigration ‘reform’ bill in the Senate last week was a stunning blow to the powerful coalition backing it, but opponents had better not break out the champagne just yet. The odds are better than even that the coalition will simply regroup, try again, and this time roll over the opposition like a Sherman tank.” (READ MORE)

Cal Thomas: Cruel Britannia “There are two ways to destroy a nation. One is from without by an invading military force. The other is from within when the people of the nation no longer embrace and promote the history, language and culture that brought it to prominence and power. Britain has chosen the second option, which is national suicide.” (READ MORE)

Thomas Sowell: A Home Invader Program? “People who are pushing for a ‘guest worker’ program show not the slightest interest in what has been happening under guest worker programs in Europe. Facts are apparently irrelevant.” (READ MORE)

Marvin Olasky: It's a Big World, After All “Does anyone know how many commencement orators have said in speeches during the past month what we're taught in song: ‘It’s a small world, after all?’ The standard line is that improved travel and communication are showing billions of people that we're all the same. Actually, the opposite is true: The world remains huge and is getting larger as individuals assert diverse religious views and carve out specialty occupations, avocations and lifestyles.” (READ MORE)

Amanda Carpenter: Pelosi: Just Forget the Word ‘Earmark’ “The more than 32,000 earmarks requested in the Homeland Security spending bill have roiled the House this week, and now Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) wants the word ‘earmark’ to just go away.” (READ MORE)

Austin Bay: Al-Qaida Fails Sexual Politics “The U.S. Marine Corps Command and Staff College in Quantico, Va., now has a cultural anthropologist on its faculty. Welcome to 21st century warfare, where knowing your enemy includes knowing his myths and marriage mores, as well as his political goals and military capabilities.” (READ MORE)

WSJ Review & Outlook: Al Qaeda's American Harbor “On Monday, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that al Qaeda agent Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri can't be detained as an enemy combatant. The press corps is reporting--no, shouting, cheering, doing somersaults--that this is further proof that Bush Administration detainee policies are doomed to legal oblivion. Well, here's a wager: This decision is the outlier and will be overturned on appeal, while most of the Administration's legal antiterror architecture will survive past January 20, 2009. Any takers?” (READ MORE)

Daniel Henninger: F***, S*** and Other Typos “Some may recall the days when the Li'l Abner comic-strip characters in daily newspapers blew off steam, not with a string of profanities, but with a babbling brook of crazy typewriter symbols: "Why you no good l!!#&+!%l!!" Thus we were touched to see how the daily press covered the story of the Federal Communications Commission's losing day in court in the Case of the Fleeting Expletives.” (READ MORE)

Lorie Byrd: Democrats Declare Surge a Failure “Big surprise. I thought the final ‘surge’ troops were not even to be in place until this month, but already Democrats have told the President that the surge is a failure. I said ‘big surprise’ because that is what they said almost the instant the surge was proposed, before any of the troops were in place. ‘Top US congressional Democrats bluntly told President George W. Bush Wednesday that his Iraq troop "surge" policy was a failure.’” (READ MORE)

Kim Priestap: Angelina Jolie: Freedom of the Press is essential, except for Fox News “Angelina Jolie, who plays Mariane Pearl, widow of Daniel Pearl, tried to censor interviews and ban Fox News from reporting from the Red Carpet during the premiere of A Might Heart. ‘Angelina Jolie's true colors came out Wednesday as she promoted a film about freedom of the press and then tried to censor all her interviews.’” (READ MORE)

Bryan Preston: Denis Leary blasts Truthers “Not only are the terrorists everywhere likely to be emboldened when we abandon Iraq–they’re emboldened right now. So we’ll take victories wherever we can get them these days, and we got a minor one on CNN tonight. Denis Leary appeared on Glenn Beck’s show tonight and took some truth to the Truthers and the Queen of All Truthers, Rosie O’Donnell.” (READ MORE)

Jules Crittenden: Imaginative Justice “Obama general counsel Robert F. Bauer at HuffPo makes the ‘Progressive Case for a Libby Pardon.’ His argument is that this will finally make Bush complicit in the vast rightwing conspiracy that assisted Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame in making themselves look foolish and blow her cover. OK, he doesn’t exactly argue it that way. I helped him a little.” (READ MORE)

Don Surber: Your home is still your castle in New Jersey “Two years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court moronically held that the City of New London, Conn., could take your home and give it to someone else who will pay higher taxes. The Kelo case marked a low point in the American judiciary. The best justice we have right now, Clarence Thomas, wrote:” (READ MORE)

Ed Morrissey: Harry Reid Calls Military Commanders Incompetent “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid showed his support for the American military by calling two of its top leaders ‘incompetent.’ Pandering to liberal bloggers, Reid made the comments in explaining his strategy to make Republican Senators sick of voting on the Iraq war and bludgeoning them into declaring defeat:” (READ MORE)

A Soldier's Mind: June 14th; A Day With Dual Significance “Today the US Army celebrates it’s 232nd Birthday. The Army has a very rich and colorful history over the past 232 years. Defending this Nation from those who wish to harm us or to attack our very way of life. The men and women who serve in the US Army, do so, because they believe in what this Nation stands for. They believe in freedom and liberty and are willing to defend those principals with their very lives if necessary. The US Army has evolved as this nation has evolvved, adapting to the changes that have occurred in the world, always standing ready to defend and protect our way of life.” (READ MORE)

Big Dog: More Cut and Run from Reid and Pelosi “It was not bad enough that Harry Reid announced to the world that we lost the war in Iraq when that is not true and while we have men and women in harm’s way but now he and Nancy Pelosi have sent a letter to President Bush telling him that the troop surge has been a failure and that they intend to introduce legislation to withdraw our troops. This will be vetoed by the President and once again the Democrats will have wasted time trying to usurp the President’s authority. The gruesome twosome point to increased violence and more US deaths as the indication of failure.” (READ MORE)

Dafydd: The Insidious Nature of Subtle Media Bias “Sometimes, the leftward bias of the elite media is so blatant, it's positively brazen. But this is actually not very dangerous to society, simply because it is so obvious: If someone nakedly calls President Bush a ‘fascist imperialist murderer,’ it's easy to dismiss anything else he says. Far more destructive is the subtle bias that slides past unnoticed, but can influence our thinking even more than obvious bias... it slips under our defensive shields, and we don't even realize how we're being brainwashed. Here is a simple example. What is wrong with this picture?” (READ MORE)

Blue Crab Boulevard: Lebanon’s Agony “It was just a short while ago that Nancy Pelosi made her pilgrimage to Damascus to shake Bashar Assad's hand and proclaim her version of US foreign policy. There, she defined the world as she thought it should be, not as it really is. Well, reality struck again yesterday. One of Lebanon's fiercely anti-Syrian politicians was assassinated by bomb. The use of bombs as assassination weapons is a hallmark of Syria. So Pelosi's new friend appears to have killed off yet another member of the Lebanese government.” (READ MORE)

Chickenhawk Express: Harry Reid Is A Son of A Benedict Arnold “Just when you think Harry Reid and his party of surrender couldn't sink any lower, now comes this... ‘Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called Marine Gen. Peter Pace, the outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, "incompetent" during an interview Tuesday with a group of liberal bloggers, a comment that was never reported. Reid made similar disparaging remarks about Army Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, said several sources familiar with the interview.’ I thought I was mad yesterday with Harry's ‘surge is a failure’ statements but this takes the cake. Notice that Harry doesn't have the gonads to say crap like that in public - only to his comrades.” (READ MORE)

Fortress of Solitude: Al Gore said what? “I almost hate to make this post, because I have grown weary of the never-ending debate about the lead-up to the war in Iraq. My fatigue can mainly be attributed to self-contradicting statements made by two-faced politicians. But this self-contradictory rhetoric has become exceedingly vicious. Thus, when a politician who engages in such vicious commentary, it bears repeating their previous statements to the contrary. Once again, I give you Al Gore. Recently, he has made very mean-spirited remarks concerning President Bush and the war in Iraq.” (READ MORE)

Bill Roggio: Samarra Mosque bombing suspects identified; reports of violence “The Iraqi police have made arrests in this morning's twin bombings of the al-Askaria mosque's remaining minarets. While early reports indicated the Iraqi National Police were responsible for securing the mosque complex, a provincial police unit was guarding the area. As the suspects behind the attacks were rounded up, unconfirmed reports of attacks on religious sites in Baghdad and Diyala began to surface. The suspects in the bombing came from the Salahadin Emergency Response Unit, not the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Brigade of the 1st Iraqi National Police Division (3-3-1 INP), according to Multinational Division North.” (READ MORE)

GayPatriotWest: What the Gaza Civil War Tells us About our Enemy — and MSM coverage of the War on Terror “This morning, reader Peter Hughes e-mailed me a link to an excellent post on Hugh Hewitt’s blog on media coverage of the Civil War in Gaza. Hugh observes: ‘The MSM’s reluctance to call the Gaza civil war a civil war . . . because the Gaza meltdown doesn’t fit the tired media narrative that sees America as ‘”breeding terrorists” in Iraq and the conflict in the Palestinian territories as the result of Israeli oppression. . . . The idea that virulent Islamist fundamentalism is spawning crisis after crisis across the globe, crises which cannot be ignored or retreated from, is alien to folks whose agenda journalism is driven by BDS.’ Exactly.” (READ MORE)

Neptunus Lex: No good choices “The problem with democracy is that people tend to get exactly the kind of government they deserve: Offered the chance to choose their own parilamentary leadership last year, the Palestinian people jettisoned the corrupt Fatah personality cult - one that in the wake of Yassir Arafat’s death, lacked any particularly charismatic personality - and selected their militant Islamist political oppenents in Hamas. Hamas was born in the first Intifada and, apart from its political wing has a dedicated military wing which continues to fight for a one-state solution to the problem of Palestinian homeland:” (READ MORE)

John Hinderaker: Better an Unmanned Drone than Hamas “During the Gulf War, Iraqi army units were, in many cases, eager to put down their arms. Frequently, they were looking for someone to surrender to. I believe there was a case when an Iraqi platoon surrendered to a jeep full of journalists. Another time, a group of Iraqis were seen trying, unsuccessfully, to surrender to an unmanned drone that was circling overhead. This has always struck me as a metaphor for the policy that the U.S. State Department has been pressing on Israel for some decades now: try to find someone to surrender to. Of late, though, it's been getting harder and harder. The Palestinians can't come up with a representative capable of receiving the white flag.” (READ MORE)

McQ: In Gaza, it looks like the radicals will win “Hamas is very close to taking control of the Gaza strip: ‘Hamas fighters overran Fatah-allied Preventive Security headquarters in Gaza City on Thursday, a key target in their battle to control the entire Gaza Strip, witnesses and a security agency official said. The Security HQ, of course, provided a mother-lode of weapons and explosives for Hamas with which to press their attacks.’ Meanwhile Fatah dithers and fights among themselves:” (READ MORE)

Rachel Lucas: A word about John Edwards. “Are people completely serious about this guy? I mean really? Do they genuinely believe he's president material? President of AMERICA? France, yes. Sweden, sure. GLAAD, absolutely. But the United States? President John Edwards? You've GOT TO BE JOKING. The fact that he even has a chance is nothing more than proof that Democrats have no idea at all what they're dealing with.” (READ MORE)

John Hawkins: The Inside Story On What's Happening With The Senate Immigration Bill “Yesterday, a GOP aide, who is one of my sources in the Senate, gave me the rundown on what's happening with the Senate immigration bill (This is the same person that I talked to last week about the bill). First off, it does look like the Senate immigration bill is coming back. The conventional wisdom seems to be that it's going to be brought up right before the July 4th break, so that the Senate Republican leadership can try to use that as leverage to get votes (In other words, "vote for the bill or we'll have to waste your vacation time until you do").” (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.

No comments: