August 8, 2007

Web Reconnaissance for 08/08/2007

A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the check back often.

In the News: (Registration may be required to read some stories)
U.S. Anti-Drug Aid Would Target Mexican Cartels - The Bush administration is close to sealing a major, multiyear aid deal to combat drug cartels in Mexico that would be the biggest U.S. anti-narcotics effort abroad since a seven-year, $5 billion program in Colombia, according to U.S. lawmakers, congressional aides and Mexican... (READ MORE)

Obama and Clinton Take the Gloves Off In AFL-CIO Debate - Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton came under sharp attack from their Democratic presidential rivals in a highly spirited debate here Tuesday night, with Obama rebuked as irresponsible on foreign policy and Clinton accused of being too cozy with corporate America and... (READ MORE)

States Feel Left Out Of Disaster Planning -A decision by the Bush administration to rewrite in secret the nation's emergency response blueprint has angered state and local emergency officials, who worry that Washington is repeating a series of mistakes that contributed to its bungled response to Hurricane Katrina nearly two years ago. (READ MORE)

Terrorists Teaming with Drug Cartels - Islamic extremists embedded in the United States — posing as Hispanic nationals — are partnering with violent Mexican drug gangs to finance terror networks in the Middle East, according to a Drug Enforcement Administration report. (READ MORE)

Republicans Pan Immigration Alternative - Some Republican leaders say they smell a rat in Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter's compromise proposal to get an immigration-reform bill through the Senate this year. (READ MORE)

From the Front:
IraqPundit: How to explain murder - “Equal opportunity," Tariq Ramadan wrote recently, "is often a myth.” Okay, I’m willing to listen, even to Ramadan, the president of a think tank called the European Muslim Network and author of The Messenger, The Meanings of the Life of Muhammad. Ramadan is probably best known in the U.S. for being denied a visa to teach at Notre Dame. His thoughts were prompted by the recent bungled terror attacks in Britain, and appeared in the leftwing British newspaper, The Guardian. Here's how his essay continued: "Young citizens from cultural and religious 'minorities' run up against the wall of institutionalised racism. Rather than insisting that Muslims yield to a 'duty to integrate', society must shoulder its 'duty of consistency'. It is up to British society to reconcile itself with its own self-professed values; it is up to politicians to practise what they preach." (READ MORE)

Wesley Morgan: On patrol in northern Babil province “Saturday morning I got an unexpected grand tour of the US Army’s infrastructure in the greater Baghdad area when my helicopter flight out of Camp Victory, which I thought was going straight to FOB Kalsu, instead stopped at four other landing zones on the way. After waking up and catching a ride to the main 3rd Infantry Division landing zone on Camp Victory, I armored up, strapped into the Black Hawk (I’m handy now with the four-point-release seatbelt, which was really hard to use the first time) with a bunch of 3rd ID and 10th Mountain soldiers, and took off on the Marne Express, a flight that circulates to all of 3rd ID’s FOBs (3rd ID is called “Rock of the Marne” for its role in Aisne-Marne offensive of 1918).” (READ MORE)

The Unlikely Soldier: Hey Man! What's It Like? “That's right, fella, sorry about that, I know I've been putting you off for a while with half-assed answers and, "Ah it's ok"s. So maybe we should work on this. But first: I've been talking to friends of mine that have already gone on leave. They say it's weird, that they catch themselves scanning when out in public, little things like that. And that their friends, obviously searching and digging for some sign of the cliche battle-weary soldier archetype, say things like, "Something's wrong, you seem different."” (READ MORE)

Fightin' 6th Marines: Children's engagement in Ghartan “Iraqi soldiers and police, with support from RCT-6 soldiers and Marines, do a lot of what's called "civil affairs" out here, which is handing out goodies to kids, providing medical attention to the locals (the Iraqi army units have medics) and helping with civic projects, such as enabling water, electricity and educational services. Cpl. Bryce C.K. Muhlenberg recently wrote a dispatch (and took the simultaneously haunting and charming photo above) outlining a so-called "children's engagement." What I think is important about this story is the fact it addresses the fact that while, yes, these things are done out of a sense of "niceness," we also do them with showing the populace that we are not the enemy. We recognize that our readers are not stupid.” (READ MORE)

On the Web:
Debra J. Saunders: Can Senate GOP Take Yes for an Answer? “Sacramento Republicans have accomplished the impossible. Assembly Republicans pushed for and won a $145 billion budget that would pare the state deficit to $700 million. Then, holdout Senate Republicans got Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to agree to use his line-item veto to cut the deficit to zero.” (READ MORE)

John Stossel: Let Wisconsin Experiment with Socialized Medicine “It's time to amend the Wisconsin football song so we can cheer on the Badger State's politicians as they move toward health-care socialism.” (READ MORE)

Thomas Sowell: Sub-Prime Politicians “Amid all the hand-wringing and finger-pointing as housing markets collapse, mortgage foreclosures skyrocket, and financial markets panic, there is very little attention being paid to the fundamental economic and political decisions that led to this mess.” (READ MORE)

Ben Shapiro: Coddling Pedophiles “McClellan's notoriety in the Washington area led him to relocate to Santa Clarita, California, where he promptly began his activities anew.” (READ MORE)

Kathleen Parker: A million little piece of truthiness “The curious case of a soldier/writer who penned dubious dispatches from Iraq about morally corrupt American soldiers continues apace.” (READ MORE)

Brent Bozell III: Humanizing Hillary, Canonizing Chelsea “Here's one sign that Hillary Clinton is the Democratic presidential frontrunner. Reporters are tripping over themselves to convince us how likable and human she is -- strong and yet nurturing.” (READ MORE)

Michael Medved: Why Not Bomb Mecca? “In a desperate effort to revive his floundering presidential campaign, Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo has returned to his unhinged and wildly irresponsible discussion of punitive bombing of Muslim holy sites in Saudi Arabia.” (READ MORE)

Chuck Colson: Toxic Environment “A young coed named Heather paid a visit to her campus health clinic. She told the doctor she was suffering from depression. The doctor explored possible causes, but Heather could not come up with any reasons for her sadness. Oh, wait - there is one thing, she remembered. Since Thanksgiving, she said, ‘I’ve had a “friend with benefits.”’ That is, a male friend that she is not in a relationship with, but has casual sex with.” (READ MORE)

Walter E. Williams: Silencing Dissent “Global warming has become a big-ticket item in the eyes of its supporters. At stake are research funds, jobs and the ability to control lives all over the globe. Most climatologists agree that over the last century, the Earth's average temperature has risen about one degree Celsius.” (READ MORE)

Michelle Malkin: Winter Soldier Syndrome “Self-aggrandizing soldier recounts war atrocities. Media outlets disseminate soldier's tales uncritically. Military folks smell a rat and poke holes in tales too good (or rather, bad) to be true. Soldier's ideological sponsors blame the messengers for exposing anti-war fraud.” (READ MORE)

Amanda Carpenter: What Hillary Told the Kossacks “In a special session at the YearlyKos convention, Hillary Clinton praised left-wing bloggers and promised she would provide universal internet access, full benefits for same-sex couples and pre-kindergarten that caters to children who don’t speak English if elected President.” (READ MORE)

Fred Thompson: The Economic Reality “Economist Larry Kudlow calls today’s American economy, ‘the greatest story never told.’ If you’re generally predisposed to not support tax cuts and economic growth, you’re probably satisfied that the U.S. economy isn’t bragged on more. But you’d also be out of step with Americans traditional optimism, and out of step with reality, too.” (READ MORE)

Scott Garrett: This Entitlement Will Sink Us “The U.S. House of Representatives last week approved a $160 billion entitlement explosion, a $53 billion tax hike, relaxed rules for illegal immigrant access to federal benefits, and a package of Medicare cuts. With this they are saddling our children with extraordinary debt, and are doing so without my vote.” (READ MORE)

James Kirchick: South Africa's Betrayal “Last September, not long after the Israeli-Hezbollah war, South Africa's minister of intelligence, Ronnie Kasrils, praised the Islamist group committed to Israel's destruction. The Iran News Agency, albeit prone to exaggeration, reported that Mr. Kasrils ‘lauded [the] great victories of the Lebanese Hezbollah against the Zionist forces’ and ‘stressed that the successful Lebanese resistance proved the vulnerability of the Israeli army.’ The comment received no attention in the South African media; nor, for that matter, did the international press seem particularly interested.” (READ MORE)

WSJ Review and Outlook: Reason and Wiretaps “To hear the critics tell it, the warrantless wiretapping law passed by Congress this weekend is an immoral license for a mad President Bush and his spymasters to eavesdrop on all Americans. For those willing to believe such things, mere facts don't matter. But for anyone still amenable to reason, the deal is worth parsing for its national security precedents, good and bad. The next Democratic President might be grateful. The good news is that the new law will at least allow the National Security Agency to monitor terrorist communications again.” (READ MORE)

DJ Drummond: Government Economics - Why Lowering Taxes Means More Revenue “The August 5 debate of Republican candidates for the office of President of the United States had a number of interesting points, but one of the most intriguing came when a reporter tried to imply to Rudy Giuliani that raising taxes was the only way to provide sufficient revenues for things like bridge repair and infrastructure maintenance. Giuliani called the question a "knee-jerk liberal response", and explained that the key is providing revenue, not pursuing a desire tp punish success.” (READ MORE)

Kim Priestap: More Democrats are Admitting that Winning in Iraq is Bad for Them “First Congressman James Clyburn acknowledged it, and now other Democrats are too. Investors Business Daily has an editorial that further illustrates how the Democrats are now laying aside all pretense and are admitting that a win in Iraq is bad for their party:” (READ MORE)

Andi: Bittersweet “This has certainly been one of the most difficult posts I've ever had to write. After some long and thoughtful deliberation, I've decided to close Andi's World. I love this blog, with a passion, primarily because this blog has afforded me other, better opportunities to make a difference in the lives of our troops and their families. Opportunities that are more of a priority for me right now than providing daily, unimportant commentary here, and opportunities which allow me to make a tangible contribution to the military community, of which I'm a proud member. Never, in my wildest dreams, did I think when I started this blog that I would meet so many incredible people, and become involved in so many worthwhile projects. I am grateful every single day that I decided to begin blogging.” (READ MORE)

Don Surber: Clinton gets Obama “Politics is a stock car race, meaning the crashes into the wall are just as important as who wins. And far more entertaining. Edmund Muskie crying. Gary Hart’s follow-me romp. Dr. Howard Dean’s scream. Ah, sweet memories. Last week, Barack Obama kissed the bricks as coasting on his good looks and charms took him only so far.” (READ MORE)

A Soldier's Mind: “Enough Is Enough,” say Citizens of Adhamiyah “I’m always happy to see reports of Iraqi citizens taking a stand against the terrorists who are bullying their way into neighborhoods and taking over neighborhoods with violence and indiscriminate terror. It says a whole lot about the mindset of the citizens… that they’re tired of being afraid in their neighborhoods and they’re not going to take it anymore. More and more, Iraqi citizens are providing information to Iraqi and US forces about terrorist activity in their neighborhoods and many times they’re assisting in the capture of these individuals. It’s nice to see them taking back their communities from the terrorists.” (READ MORE)

Army Girl: Soltz and his rank trip “There's been a lot around the blogosphere about Mr. Jon Soltz's inappropriate little tirade at the Kos Conference. I'm not even sure what a 'Kos' is but apparently it's a well-known lefty blog. I have not heard good things about it and although I tend to lean left of center, I am disgusted by most of what I read at pretty much every lefty blog out there. -Which is why I just quit reading them all. So this Kos thing is apparently a big deal. I'm assuming as much since Wesley Clark was there on the panel. I'm not sure if that means he's come down a bit in popularity or he was there trying to raise the legitimacy of the convention.” (READ MORE)

Blonde Sagacity: Two Americas or Two Edwards? “Brad Warthen writes for The State and also has his own blog. He's someone on the left I read because he seems like a real no nonsense kind of guy... This is from his profile: ‘This is not yet another blog to cater to the pathologies of the Democratic and Republican partisans. Here, we're gonna shove the ideologues of left and right out of our way (there are plenty of other blogs out there for them), and talk about pragmatic ways to do stuff that truly needs doing in South Carolina, the nation and the world...’” (READ MORE)

Ed Morrissey: New York Times Delivers Coup De Grace To TNR “Despite the oddly-worded non-denial denial from the New Republic yesterday, the Army did determine that allegations made in its magazine by Scott Beauchamp were false. The New York Times reports this morning that their investigation showed no substantiation for Beauchamp's stories of petty mischief and ghoulish behavior on the part of his fellow soldiers: ‘An Army investigation into the Baghdad Diarist, a soldier in Iraq who wrote anonymous columns for The New Republic, has concluded that the sometimes shockingly cruel reports were false.’” (READ MORE)

Bill Roggio: Pakistan strikes two al Qaeda camps in North Waziristan “Artillery, helicopters assault two camps near the Afghan border - As the security situation in North Waziristan and the greater Northwest Frontier Province deteriorates, the Pakistani military launched an assault on two "militant" bases near the Afghan border. The military struck two Taliban and al Qaeda bases in the village of Daygan with artillery and Cobra gunship helicopters. "No ground forces were used in the assault," the Associated Press reported. The attack, which occurred 10 miles west of Miramshah, lasted four hours.” (READ MORE)

Bill Roggio: US, Iraqi forces kill 30 Iranian-back Special Groups operatives “Raid in Sadr City the latest in a series of strikes against the Qods Force front - Iraqi and US security forces maintain the pressure on the Shia terror groups while continuing the hunt for al Qaeda in Iraq. A joint Iraqi and US forces conducted a raid inside Sadr City on Wednesday, killing 30 members of the Iranian-back Special Groups cells and capturing 12.” (READ MORE)

Scott Johnson: What war did to the New Republic “The New Republic subtitles John Judis's article on the suicide of a troubled Iraq war veteran "what war did to Jeffrey Lucey." Judis doesn't actually know what caused Lucey's alcoholism and mental illness, as the reader can observe: ‘[W]hether Lucey's memories of what he did were of real or imagined events, what remains striking about his story is the degree to which the fear and anxiety that are normal to war are mixed from the start with a searing guilt. Lucey may never have killed two unarmed Iraqi soldiers, but he did witness the carnage in Nasiriyah and perhaps elsewhere, and that may have fuelled his later delusions.’ By the following sentence, Judis's speculations become a fact on which further speculation can be based:” (READ MORE)

Right Wing Nut House: Making the Case for a Long Term Commitment to Iraq “The idea is seductive to the left. Bring the troops home from Iraq in dignified retreat, patting ourselves on the back that we did the best we could while that country explodes in sectarian conflict. Bravely, we take the blame before the world, say three our fathers, three hail Mary’s, and go about the business of turning America into a bastion of democratic socialism. The only problem is, it isn’t even remotely possible:” (READ MORE)

The Tygrrr Express: January 20th, 2009–The death of the left “The left is on life support, and will be officially dead on January 20th, 2009. This is because a new President will have taken office. It does not matter which party wins the White House. Win or lose, the left is done. The Scott Beauchamp scandal is the final nail in the coffin, although without it, the left’s demise would still be taking place. For those of you wanting up to date information on this latest left wing debacle, Michelle Malkin provides it. However, this scandal is a symptom of a much larger disease, that being the disease of hatred.” (READ MORE)

Bill Ardolino: More Surge Analysis: Pollack, O'Hanlon & the Other Guy, plus Iraqi Reform from the Ground-Up “Via Greg Sargent, here's an analysis of the Surge and current options in Iraq by Anthony H. Cordesman of the Center for Strategic & International Studies. Cordesman traveled with Michael O'Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack on the same fact-finding trip which prefaced their recent NYT Op-Ed with the hopeful title. War skeptic Sargent linked Cordesman as a contrast to O'Hanlon and Pollack's optimism, and his lede is championed by the opening of the report's summary:” (READ MORE)

Confederate Yankee: Deceiver “In the New York Times this morning: ‘In an e-mail message, Mr. Foer said, "Thus far, we've been provided no evidence that contradicts our original statement, despite directly asking the military for any such evidence it might have," adding, "We hope the military will share what it has learned so that we can resolve this discrepancy."’” (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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