July 8, 2007

Web Reconnaissance for 07/08/2007

A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention updated throughout the day…so check back often. This is a weekend edition so updates are as time and family permits.

In the News: (Registration may be required to read some stories)
Congress's War Over the War - Can Sen. Olympia J. Snowe wait until September? Can Rep. Dan Boren? In the congressional battle over the war, these two moderates represent the Iraq debate's fragile center, a confluence of conscience and political calculation where the fate of U.S. policy may be determined over the next three months. (READ MORE)

Inaction on Executions Raises Ire in Maryland - Gov. O'Malley's delay in issuing new rules to lift de facto ban on lethal injections frustrates critics who say he has duty to enforce death penalty law. (READ MORE)

Iraq Yardstick Scaled Back - With key goals unmet, Bush will tout smaller strides in region in upcoming report to Congress. (READ MORE)

Bomber Kills 100 in Shi'ite Town in Iraq - A suicide bomber detonated a truck full of explosives in the market of a Shi'ite farm town yesterday, killing more than 100 people and leveling nearby mud-brick buildings, police said. (READ MORE)

2 UK Terror Suspects Had Eyes On U.S. - Two suspects in the failed car bombings in Britain made inquiries about working in the United States, the FBI said yesterday, and police said an Iraqi doctor arrested at Glasgow Airport became the first person charged in the attacks. (READ MORE)

Economy Shakes Off Winter Lull - The economy resumed healthy growth during the spring after a winter lull, an employment report confirmed yesterday, with 132,000 jobs gained last month and a nearly 4 percent rise in wages seen over the past 12 months. (READ MORE)

Court Backs Bush's Spying - A federal appeals court panel in Cincinnati yesterday dismissed a lawsuit challenging President Bush's domestic terrorist surveillance program, ruling that those who brought the suit — led by the American Civil Liberties Union — did not have the legal authority to do so. (READ MORE)

From the Front:
Badger 6: Compare and Contrast “September 11, 2006 - I stood in the parking lot of a Starbucks in Chicago, kissed Mrs. Badger 6 and hugged her as long as I could - then she got in her car and headed home and I hopped in my rental car and headed back for Fort McCoy, then Kuwait and Iraq. We were headed for Ar Ramadi and Al Anbar province, the stronghold of the Sunni insurgency. September 11, 2006 was also the day this Thomas Ricks article appeared in the Washington Post.” (READ MORE)

Eighty Deuce on The Loose in Iraq: They say money can't buy happiness... “Well, the past few days have been pretty nice. Not a whole lot of anything going on, and not much that we have been doing. A break is always nice. Pretty much all I've been doing is pulling guard shift in our guard towers that we have. This used to be a horrible experience, like Im sure I've talked about before, but now, its really not bad.” (READ MORE)

The Gunner's World: Guest Blogger, Colonel Michael Visconage USMC “I was talking with the Officer in Charge of my unit, the Field history branch this week, Col Michael Visconage. He is currently on a six month assignment in Baghdad working on the Multi-National Corps Iraq (MNC-I) staff as a Historian. I thought people might be interested in his view from a higher headquarters perspective. While the Colonel works the MNC-I operations, I cover the Multi-National Forces West (MNF-W) or the Marine Corps area of operations as their historian.” (READ MORE)

Northern Disclosure: This is for REAL “Life on the road has been somewhat educational. Working with different groups of people helps one get a feel for different techniques and practices that can assist one another. Sometimes you can take good things from more than one place and the old ‘tool box’ is better prepared. However more often than naught I find myself seeing great shinning examples of what I don’t want in my toolbox and this trip was no exception. There are men and there are boys! There are also Women that exhibit immense courage along with their grace.” (READ MORE)

Ranger Sid: Love is not enough... “Today I have proven another of my theories.... It seems distance does not make the heart grow fonder....nor love enough to end the worry....Apparently the only escape is giving up....Shame it had to be that way....” (READ MORE)

Matt Sanchez: Iraq's Illegal Immigration Problem “On top of busted sewers, unpaved streets, faulty electricity, the city of Fallujah, in the Al Anbar province, had a problem with illegal immigration. Foreigners were filtering into the city, taking up whole neighborhoods and driving the locals out. The populace felt intimidated and didn’t protest much. Besides, there were plenty of Fallujans who felt they needed to support the new arrivals in a show of solidarity.” (READ MORE)

Jack Army: Letter to America "I asked an Iraqi I know to write a letter to Americans. I told him he should write whatever he wants. Specifically, I said, 'if you could say anything you wanted to the American people, what would it be?' He wrote a letter and was very passionate when giving it to me. I could tell that he had agonized over this letter, what he wanted to say and how best to say it. He speaks English well but has a little difficulty writing it. I wanted to give you his words without any help from my, but I did edit slightly only to make a few confusing sentences a little more understandable." (READ MORE)

On the Web:
Salena Zito: Obama Catches Fire With Netroots “In a word, Barack Obama?s second-quarter fundraising numbers are shattering. There never has been anything like it. For a guy who was in the Illinois Senate three years ago not only to be in the top tier of his party's fundraising but to have raised the most of any candidate in a quarter is mind-boggling.” (READ MORE)

Debra J. Saunders: American terrorist “A gasoline-filled device in a car bomb fails to go off. Authorities investigating another bombing incident find that after a first bomb exploded, a second bomb was timed to go off when first responders arrived. A recent event in the United Kingdom? Yes, but also in California.” (READ MORE)

George Will: Slouching Toward Statism “Some mornings during the autumn of 1933, when the unemployment rate was 22 percent, the president, before getting into his wheelchair, sat in bed, surrounded by economic advisers, setting the price of gold. One morning he said he might raise it 21 cents: ‘It's a lucky number because it's three times seven.’ His treasury secretary wrote that if anybody knew how gold was priced ‘they would be frightened.’” (READ MORE)

Kevin McCullough: Calling a 'Spade' a 'Muslim' “On week after eight Muslim doctors were taken into custody for plotting three car bomb attacks in the U.K. only a week ago, and following the discovery of a plot in which forty-five Muslim doctors intend to penetrate America's borders and do the same thing - the reigning champion on Jeopardy this very weekend - is a Muslim doctor.” (READ MORE)

Ken Connor: Exploding the Myths of Islamic Terrorism “Though the bombs failed to detonate, this week's attacks in London have exploded persistent myths about Islamic terrorism. These myths - perpetuated by the politically correct, the unreasonably optimistic, and the willfully ignorant - have crippled the West's ability to adequately confront the Islamic threat. Unless the West finally wakes up and faces reality, our chance for long-term survival is questionable.” (READ MORE)

Russell Shubin: Big Brother’s Doctrine “The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, along with a number of leading Democratic senators, including Kerry, Feinstein and Durbin - have rallied for what ought to be alarming for anyone who values the First Amendment, regardless of where you stand politically. Their push for government regulation of speech is one of the most illustrative battles in recent days, because it sheds such a bright light on how the Democratic Party responds to the voicing of ideas they do not like in our country's increasingly lively interchange through media.” (READ MORE)

Melik Kaylan: Survivor “One of Iraq's most controversial politicians offers thoughts on the "surge," Iran and where we go from here. – “these people need help. The army must help them more. The government must help them more. They have been fighting alone against a vicious enemy, fighting for all of us to make our country safe." I'm in Diyala province, watching Ahmed Chalabi shouting into a TV camera over the sound of mortar shells. He's imploring the Iraqi state to support tribesmen fighting off al Qaeda attacks such as the one we're now experiencing.” (READ MORE)

WSJ: Congress v. Presidency “The Bush Administration and Congressional Democrats are heading for a showdown over subpoenas, and so much the better for Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. President Bush's willingness to defend executive privilege is as much about protecting the power of future residents of the Oval Office--Republican or Democrat--as it is about preserving his own authority.” (READ MORE)

Don Surber: NYT surrenders “The New York Times today called for U.S. troops to surredner Iraq to the insurgents and al-Qaida in an editorial, “The Road Home,” that was long on words, short on logic, and absent of heart. In calling for abandoning Iraq, the Times has abandoned the underpinnings of liberal principles: that the government exists to protect the poor, the elderly, the infirm and women.” (READ MORE)

Jules Crittenden: Genocide Preferred “Genocide preferred. NYT should be applauded for its honesty. An outcome that is “even bloodier and more chaotic … further ethnic cleansing, even genocide. Potentially destabilizing refugee flows … power grabs” is better than continuing the path of progress toward eliminating al-Qaeda, exposing and hopefully acting against Iran’s influence, training increasingly effective Iraqi troops, working with a nascent democratically elected government in its fits and starts.” (READ MORE)

Jay Tea: Felonious Bunk “I've always believed in holding people accountable for their actions before looking around to see if anyone else might be partially responsible. Last week, I disagreed with one of the Wizbang Blue posters who wrote about Communist China selling chemicals that contained poisonous materials (something that is happening with frightening regularity these days) in Panama. Mr. Hamilton chose to blame the deaths on ‘corporate greed,’ not the fact that the Communist government itself is the seller of the toxic materials, and therefore has a vested interest in NOT imposing objective standards on the chemicals in question.” (READ MORE)

The Hatemongers Quarterly: Thoughts on Media Bias “Amongst our left-wing friends, charges of ‘liberal media bias’ scarcely elicit anything but chuckles. As far as our lefty pals are considered, the very words ‘liberal media bias’ are deeply humorous. Those who utter such a phrase without the requisite dollop of irony are seen as nothing but know-nothing hayseeds. But you needn't take our word for it. Here's an experiment: Walk up to a few liberal acquaintances and inform them that CNN routinely tilts its coverage to the Left.” (READ MORE)

Ron Winter: FISA Ruling Victory for all Americans! Are Rules of Engagement Treason? “The ruling this week by a federal appeals court that the Bush Administration did not violate the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) when it monitored phone calls by suspected terrorists in foreign countries, including those who called into America, was not just a Bush Administration victory. The ruling really was a victory for all Americans, at least those who want to continue living in a free, democratic society. The court tossed a lawsuit brought by a handful of liberal apologists for the Democratic Party who claimed that eavesdropping on terrorist suspects amounted to warrantless wiretapping of domestic phone calls.” (READ MORE)

Armed Liberal: What, Exactly, Does The World Owe Bloggers? “James Joyner writes the post I would love to have written about Suburban Guerilla Sue Madrak's crie de coeur, titled ‘No More Dead Bloggers’. In it, Sue leverages Jim Capozzola's death - which like a lot of other significant things in the last few weeks, I didn't blog about - into a plea for the liberal political establishment to hire and pay progressive bloggers. James hammers her point into the ground pretty effectively.” (READ MORE)

The Tygrrrr Express: White men do get profiled–I should know “People who are profiled do not like it. Oh well. People do not like paying taxes, paying their bills, or fulfilling any kind of responsibility when it interferes with our leisure time. Yes, we are entitled to the pursuit of happiness, but not the outcome of happiness. I know several republican Jewish brunettes that I have pursued, and apparently my level of happiness does not mesh with theirs (yet anyway). Everybody who complains about being profiled needs to drink a glass of ‘get over it.’” (READ MORE)

TigerHawk: A close look at the most recent Pew Global Attitudes Survey: Part I, responding to Glenn Greenwald “A couple of days ago Glenn Greenwald enlisted the latest survey (pdf) of The Pew Global Attitudes Project (released June 27) in support of his most recent book, A Tragic Legacy: How a Good vs. Evil Mentality Destroyed the Bush Presidency (released June 26). As Greenwald details in his post, the Pew Survey reports that America's standing as measured by the answers to various polling questions has fallen precipitously since 1999-2000 among virtually everybody except populations of Christians and Jews who live in close proximity to large numbers of Muslims. Greenwald's punchline:” (READ MORE)

Texas Rainmaker: The Enemy Within “And they still wonder why we question their patriotism? ‘Anti-4th of July Guerrilla Screening in the Park - It’s time, yet again, for us to pay tribute to our forefathers and this great nation of ours! As the war in Iraq rages on, an unelected administration finishes its second term (WTF?), the US economy sputters recklessly onward and the earth gets dangerously hotter thanks to US consumption, what better way to celebrate the impending fall of the American Empire than a good ole’ fashioned anti-fourth screening in Dolores Park?’” (READ MORE)

Right Truth: Russell Pearce of Arizona gets it “Russell Pearce, Rep. Arizona, was on Fox News Beltway Boys today. I hereby give him the ‘atta-boy award’ for his stance on illegal immigration. When asked about splitting up families, he said that the illegals split their families when they decided to leave them in Mexico (or any other nation) and come here illegally. THEY chose to split their families. They also took the risk of splitting up their families when they came here illegally. When asked about a 'path to citizenship', he said NO, we don't give special treatment to criminals.” (READ MORE)

The Sundries Shack: The AP’s Shifting Sands “Bob Owens has learned that the Associated Press seems to have an interesting set of standards for what sort of stories coming out Iraq they’ll report. The interesting thing about Owens’ revelation is that the AP has pretty much admitted it in a letter to him. Owens has been steadfastly questioning a recent report from the AP which cited two unnamed Iraqi police officers as sources in the story of twenty decapitated bodies found in Baghdad.” (READ MORE)

Dan Riehl: Clinton Link To Rudy Hit Piece “Not content with simply going after Fred Thompson this weekend, the MSM via the Washington Post took out after Rudy in this piece, the unmentioned background of which points, interestingly enough, at inside DC big government politics and the Clinton administration. The WaPo apparently didn't feel compelled to tell you it was your tax dollars via a Clinton initiative that financed Nevin's work and the funding agencies appear to have then increased their own budget as a result of the work - HUD and EPA, I believe.” (READ MORE)

LawHawk: Compare and Contrast “MSNBC is running a story about how a Hamas cameraman was shot and apparently needed to have both legs amputated. Hamas immediately blamed Israel for the incident, and Israel says there is no way to know who shot him and had no plans to investigate the matter. The usual suspects immediately rushed to blame Israel for the incident:” (READ MORE)

A Soldier's Mind: Leaving Iraq Too Soon Would Leave The Country A Mess “We’re all well aware of the increasing pressure to withdraw US Troops from Iraq. We’ve seen our Troops say right here (Thanks ChrisG, MG, Marty, CJ, CplM and the rest of you) that to do so, would spell disaster for the fledgling democracy, as well as set our Country up for futher attacks on our shores. It’s front and center in the political arena on a daily basis and splashed across the world in the media. Commanders on the ground in Iraq have said time and time again, that leaving Iraq too soon, would be a big mistake. One of the top US Commanders said yesterday once again, that it would be a mistake. He should know, he’s IN Iraq.” (READ MORE)

The Belmont Club: The Truth, Whole Truth and Nothing But the Truth “Here's a Sunday post featuring the remarks by Timothy Radcliffe on the subject of truth, which while intended for a largely religious audience, seems strangely apt for the media age. Radcliff begins the history of our modern dilemmas with Truth in the Englightenment quest for the unmediated truth without the a priori filters of theology (which BTW sounds very much like the hope that Internet will deliver disintermediated information). But at some point the positive commitment to discover truth as it truly existed became subtly corrupted into something outwardly similar but radically different: an institutionalization of cynicism and doubt.” (READ MORE)

War Historian: New York Times: Leave Iraq Now “This morning’s New York Times has a major editorial advocating an immediate withdrawal from Iraq: ‘It is time for the United States to leave Iraq, without any more delay than the Pentagon needs to organize an orderly exit. Like many Americans, we have put off that conclusion, waiting for a sign that President Bush was seriously trying to dig the United States out of the disaster he created by invading Iraq without sufficient cause, in the face of global opposition, and without a plan to stabilize the country afterward.’” (READ MORE)

Blue Crab Boulevard: A Voice From The Gulag “Natan Sharansky, who spent nine years of his life imprisoned in the Soviet gulag for being a political dissident, knows a bit about totalitarianism. In today's Washington Post, he points out the disturbed reasoning too many are using when thinking about Iraq. And about the debate over real consequences that is being avoided by the pandering politicians.” (READ MORE)

Ed Morrissey: Getting Closer To Omar “Pakistan announced the capture of senior Taliban figures, including two close aides to Mullah Omar, just a few hours ago. Security forces captured four high-value targets in two raids in the city of Quetta: ‘An Afghan intelligence source told the BBC four senior associates of Mullah Omar were being held after operations by Pakistani security forces. The arrests took place in two areas of the city of Quetta in western Pakistan. The source said those arrested included two men responsible for Mullah Omar's letters and communications. They have been named as Mullah Jahangir and Mullah Mohid.’” (READ MORE)

Blue Star Chronicles: Call Islamic Jihad ‘Islamic Jihad’ “One of the basic foundations of good medical treatments is to get the correct diagnosis. If you put a splint on your arm to cure an ulcer, it won’t work. As they say in medicine, ‘Diagnosis is everything.’We in the West seem adamant that we sidestep the issue of who is creating havoc throughout the world in the name of jihad. We are determine to separate islam from the terrorists acts that have been perpetrated across the globe over the last decade.” (READ MORE)

Confederate Yankee: AP Responds to DecapiGate “As most CY readers know, I sent a letter to Associated Press Director of Public Relations Jack Stokes and several of the AP Board of Directors on July 5. I—along with many other bloggers, and a few journalists, it seems—were curious as to why the Associated Press would so willingly run a poorly-sourced and ultimately false story of a sectarian mass beheading, while passing up the freely-offered, well-documented, carefully photographed eyewitness account of an al Qaeda massacre by noted combat correspondent Michael Yon.” (READ MORE)

Bill Roggio: Swat joins Talibanistan “As the Red Mosque standoff in the heart of Islamabad enters its fifth day, the mosque's supporters in the Northwest Frontier Province have attacked the government. In Swat, a settled district in the Northwest Frontier Province, Maulana Qazi Fazlullah, a 28-year year-old radical cleric, has called for his followers to strike at government agencies for taking action against the Lal Masjid. ‘In broadcasts on his FM channel on Tuesday and Wednesday, [Fazlullah] asked his supporters to take up arms against the government to avenge the action taken against Lal Masjid and carry out suicide attacks,’ Dawn reported on July 4.” (READ MORE)

Dymphna: Update on the Bulgarian Nurses Held Hostage in Libya “Last December, Gates of Vienna reported on the hostage taking by the Libyan government of a Palestinian doctor and the Bulgarian nurses. Their imprisonment began in 1999, on trumped-up charges that they were responsible for the spread of HIV to hundreds of children at a pediatric hospital in the city of Benghazi. But the truth is more cynical and more complicated than Gaddafi’s callous lie about their wrongdoing. From Le Monde here is the succinct version of the whys and wherefores of this travesty:” (READ MORE)

Baron Bodissey: Fighting Islamophobia in New Zealand “We’ve often mentioned that Denmark and Sweden, although ethnically, linguistically, and culturally very closely related, are completely different when it comes to crucial political questions. Night and Day. Black and White. Rugby and Soccer. It seems that Australia and New Zealand are the same way, with Oz filling in for the Danes and the Kiwis for the Swedes. New Zealand often resembles a Down Under Berkeley, the Ann Arbor of the Antipodes.” (READ MORE)

Average Gay Joe: B.D.S. & Constitutional Ignorance “The cries for impeachment and removal of President Bush and/or Vice President Cheney from many on the Left have been heard for a few years now, but it is interesting to see how they themselves view such possibilities. One such analysis is provided by “Daimeon”, who posts on the ever-so-liberal blog Pam’s House Blend. In this we see what I can only describe as Bush Derangement Syndrome in an unreasonable desire for the removal of both or either man by just about any means necessary, somewhat tempered by a woeful ignorance of how the impeachment process is outlined in the Constitution.” (READ MORE)

Kobayashi Maru: Running and Politics “Turns out Jimmy Carter's public melt-down at a 10K race in Catoctin, Maryland in 1979 may, in the opinion of some, have been the exception that proves the 'rule' that those on the left should not sweat. (Alas, an extensive search has failed to turn up any copies of memorable photos of an "ashen-faced", "rubbery kneed" Carter that made it into several national magazines and became emblematic of his collapsing presidency.) Writing in the UK Telegraph, Boris Johnson notes with regards to Nicolas Sarkozy, the new President of France:” (READ MORE)

The Marching Camp: Progressives… “So I have a couple left-o'-centrists who read this blog, and a few more who read my LJ. Some of them are really wonderful people whom I happen to disagree with on subjects political. I like to flatter myself that occasionally I make them think about things from a different perspective than the usual internet ideological circle jerk (you know, where the comments on any particular blog tend to be all wingnuts of the Left or Right and there isn't any actual thought going on). Once in a while, their perspective is interesting illuminating. Doesn't often change my mind outright, but they certainly make me tighten up my arguments!” (READ MORE)

Pros and Cons: Still think we’re getting the worst of the war of attrition in Iraq? “Now it may be that Iraq isn’t worth the candle and our rate of victory is unacceptable and the smart money is to call it a loss, but I obviously think that since our enemies will not be satisfied with sitting on their laurels, and their local enemies are likely to be rather bad themselves. But most people don’ think like that. Most people just wonder simply if we are losing. Michael Yon certainly doesn’t think so.” (READ MORE)

McQ: "They don’t own the Democratic party!" “Salon, in an interview with Joe Biden, asked the following question: ‘Do you think in the era of YouTube and video cellphones, you can get away with being Joe Biden? I mean being a guy who in the space of two minutes in Cedar Rapids started to tell a joke about Al Gore and the Internet and made a reference to George Wallace in a discussion of healthcare plans.’ Biden answers:” (READ MORE)

The RedHunter: "The Dynamics are Changing" “Operation Phantom Thunder began on June 16, making today the 22nd day of offensive operations. The operation began when the last of the 5 "surge" brigades had arrived in Iraq and deployed into position. Sub operations include Arrowhead Ripper, Marne Torch, Commando Eagle, and Fahrad Al Amin. Perhaps the most intersting dispatch was filed by Michael Yon two days ago in his update on Operation Arrowhead Ripper. He brings us this from Baqubah:” (READ MORE)

Reformed Chicks Blabbing: Republicans are going wobbly on the war “Just at a time when you need them the most they bail. Typical! What the heck do they think we should do instead? Do they actually think that conflict ends when we leave Iraq? That we won't have anymore American causalities? If that's the case, they might want to keep in mind the recent attacks in the UK:” (READ MORE)

Flopping Aces: The Shadow Party "I've been reading "The Shadow Party: How George Soros, Hillary Clinton, and Sixties Radicals Seized Control of the Democratic Party" and wow, is it a eye-opener. So I decided to do a series of posts from the book dealing with the front groups that Soros and his cronies have used to bypass McCain-Feingold to put millions of dollars into the hands of the Democrat party and push that party further to the left." (READ MORE)

Cassandra: Yemeni Journalist Fights For Freedom "We often hear our Congress critters yammering about how the Arab world is not "ready for democracy", that we should not be fighting over there because they don't want the rights we are trying to guarantee. But many in the Arab world are daily risking their lives for freedom: it's that important to them. Jane Novak highlights the struggles of a Yemeni journalist who has been arrested for his belief in democracy and freedom of speech:" (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.

Trackbacked by:
Trouble ahead in Syria and Lebanon from Right Truth
The Big Shift from Charlie Foxtrot
Michael Yon’s first person singular reportage on the Baquba aftermath, dated today from Pros and Cons

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