August 9, 2007

Web Reconnaissance for 08/09/2007

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)
Guard Troops Pulled from Border - National Guard troops assigned to help increase security along the U.S.-Mexico border are being pulled off the line a year earlier than promised, and some state and federal officials are not happy about it. (READ MORE)

Hearing Sought on Islamic, Mexican Ties - A ranking House Republican yesterday demanded a hearing based on recent reports that Islamic terrorists embedded in the United States are teaming with Mexican drug cartels to fund terrorism networks overseas. (READ MORE)

Democratic Hopefuls Set for Gay-Issues Forum - The homosexual rights movement reaches a milestone today when its agenda is the subject of a televised Democratic presidential candidate forum. Yet many activists — craving bolder support for same-sex couples — view the unprecedented event with mixed emotions (READ MORE)

Pro-Life Only Choice for GOP in Iowa - After a 30-minute, immigration-packed stump speech, Republican presidential candidate Tom Tancredo figured that he was done talking, but his campaign chairwoman wouldn't let him sit down until he assured supporters here of his perfect 30-year voting record on pro-life issues. (READ MORE)

S.C. to Move Presidential Primary - South Carolina's Republican Party will move its 2008 presidential primary forward to Jan. 19, sources said yesterday, a decision almost certain to spark a cascade of calendar changes that could push the start of voting to New Year's Day or even to before Christmas. (READ MORE)

Bush Weighs Corporate Tax Cuts - President Bush said yesterday that he is considering a fresh plan to cut tax rates for U.S. corporations to make them more competitive around the world, an initiative that could further inflame a battle with the Democratic Congress over spending and taxes and help define the remainder of his tenure. (READ MORE)

Sunnis See Benefits in Alliance - The Sunni insurgent leader lifted up his T-shirt, revealing a pistol stuck in his belt, and explained to a U.S. sergeant visiting his safe house why he'd stopped attacking Americans. (READ MORE)

Musharraf Rejects Crackdown - Pakistani president Gen. Pervez Musharraf, under intense pressure from his own advisers and the U.S. government not to curtail civil liberties, has rejected the option of imposing a state of emergency to deal with a deepening political crisis, top government officials said Thursday. (READ MORE)

From the Front:
Duty in The Desert: Cracking the Iraqi Army Code - Appears U.S. soldiers have figured out the right formula for working with the Iraqi Army: “Army Lt. Col. Morschauser, battalion commander for the 10th Mountain Division’s 2nd Brigade, 2nd Battalion, 15th Artillery, said his unit is doing more than simply training Iraqi soldiers. It’s partnering with them at all levels – and yielding results.” (READ MORE)

Fighting 6th Marines: Honoring the dead - Honoring the dead from wars past isn't something that stops once hostilities end. When Marines from 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines, rolled up their tents and packed their wagons to head home earlier this month, the last thing they did before they left was clean up a British cemetary from World War 2. Our correspondent with 3/6, Lance Cpl. Christopher Zahn, writes to tell us how that effort went. (READ MORE)

Northern Disclosure: Thats how the Escort Commander laughs at YOU! - Since being in the Army I have had the pleasure and honor of working with people of many different backgrounds. I enjoy working with different people because you learn so much and the experiences can always be taken forward. However there have been times in my career where working with others has hindered my ability to want to work with others. (READ MORE)

W. Thomas Smith Jr.: Some Things Never Change - AL TAQADDUM — Great chow here at TQ. In fact, they feed you like you're getting ready to go to the electric chair. This morning I had scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes and maple syrup, a huge bowl of cheese grits and gravy, biscuits and jelly, icy cold fruit juice and coffee ... oh, and a blueberry muffin (a breakfast almost, but not quite, as good as Mom's). Yes, I was hungry. Couple hours later, and I'm hungry again. It's like my teenage-boy metabolism is back. (READ MORE)

On the Web:
Austin Bay: Strategic Patience - According to major media, America's "surge in Iraq" is suddenly working. In an op-ed that appeared in The New York Times on July 30, Michael O'Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack of the left-leaning Brookings Institution called Iraq "a war we just might win." (READ MORE)

William Rusher: The immigration counterattack begins - When the American people rose up in wrath a couple of months ago and stopped dead in its tracks a bipartisan effort to ram a phony immigration "reform" bill through the Senate, I warned that our triumph was inspiring but very probably short-lived. It is extremely difficult to focus the attention of the people at large on any policy, however bad, that is wanted eagerly by an influential minority. (READ MORE)

Donald Lambro: At recess, Bush still head of the class - Congress has recessed for the month of August and, as an 18th-century critic once said, our liberties and fortunes are safe for the time being. (READ MORE)

Cal Thomas: Competance Over Ideology - The last (but unfortunately not the final) "debate" among Republican presidential candidates aired Sunday at 10:30 a.m. EST in the apparent hope that no one would watch. Few did. But among those who watched, or who read the transcript, ideology once again seemed to take precedence over something the voters might consider of greater importance in next year's election. (READ MORE)

Victor Davis Hanson: Surging politics - Critics of the U.S. troop "surge" in Iraq, called for by President George Bush in January, early on cited American losses and then announced the plan's failure. Supporters, on the other hand, have seen progress from new tactics (which, many argue, should have been adopted far earlier). (READ MORE)

Suzanne Fields: "Troublesome Young Men" - History repeats itself, but rarely exactly. Examples of both cowardice and courage have lessons to teach, and so do comparisons with the past. The oft-drawn analogy between abrupt withdrawal from Iraq and Neville Chamberlain's appeasement of Hitler in 1938 is inexact, but irresistible. Chamberlain, like some of the loudest voices crying now for taking the last plane out of Baghdad, was regarded by his colleagues and the newspapers as "a hero for peace." (READ MORE)

Paul Weyrich: A Dangerous Proposal: Government Academies for Public Service - In April of 1990 I visited Sverdlovsk, now Yekaterinburg, where the last Russian Tsar, Nicholas II, and his family were executed by the Communists. My colleagues and I created a school for Boris Yeltsin and his people, teaching them how to win elections. The director of the school requested that I return for a few weeks sometime during the year to teach his students how we govern. The director's intelligence was superb. He had learned that I liked trains and had arranged for me to ride trains throughout the Soviet Union. As I quickly imagined being arrested in a remote rural town, I declined. (READ MORE)

Marvin Olasky: Why the Bush Administration Communicates Poorly - Democratic presidential candidates in their Tuesday night debate were ragging, as usual, on "cool hand" George W. Bush's "failure to communicate," but I don't think they get why the president, an intelligent fellow, does a poor job of explaining his actions. (READ MORE)

Ken Blackwell: Huckabee’s Hope – There’s another governor from Hope, Ark., seeking to become the president of America. He’s Mike Huckabee. And while many would think that his hometown is the only thing Mr. Huckabee has in common with President Clinton, they share one other thing as well: Mr. Huckabee knows how to appeal to both the party base and middle America at the same time. (READ MORE)

Cliff May: Who Threatens the Homeland? -Senator and presidential candidate Barack Obama wants to fight al-Qaeda in Pakistan - after accepting defeat at the hands of al-Qaeda in Iraq. His critics say that shows his inexperience. But he’s hardly alone. (READ MORE)

Ashley Herzog: The Self Esteem Myth - Once upon a time - a time you probably don’t remember if you’re younger than 30 - American schools sought to teach children self-control, personal responsibility, and respect for others, especially adults. Students were corrected when they made mistakes and reprimanded when they slacked off or talked back. (READ MORE)

Michael Reagan: The Other Reagan Doctrine: Keeping the Lid On - I got thinking about something my dad Ronald Reagan wrote about in his book "An American Life" about the importance of sometimes keeping secrets from Congress. (READ MORE)

Ann Coulter: Absolutely fabulist - In their latest demonstration of how much they love the troops, liberals have produced yet another anti-war hoax. The New Republic has been running "true war" stories from a brave, anonymous liberal penning dispatches from Iraq. (READ MORE)

Doug Wilson: Public Diplomacy - Public diplomacy remains such a shadow in American foreign policy. As the threat of radical Islam grows by the day, we remain woefully unprepared to carry our message of freedom, equality and tolerance to the world. Into this void step the enemies of freedom, who seek to falsely define America as imperialistic, intolerant and morally bankrupt. (READ MORE)

John McCaslin: Lions for Lambs - This time, Jim Wrenn isn't trying to be funny when labeling "Lions for Lambs," the upcoming Robert Redford-directed movie starring Tom Cruise (he's now grown up enough to play the part of a U.S. senator) and Meryl Streep, as Hollywood's attempt to support a 2008 Democratic presidential ticket while at the same time influence public opinion on the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. (READ MORE)

WSJ Review & Outlook: Bill Jefferson's Constitution - We've been defending the Bush Administration's executive privilege claims, and liberals are crying foul. A year ago we were defending Congress and Louisiana Democrat William Jefferson in their claims of legislative privilege, and conservatives were howling. There's a lesson here in the separation of powers, one that was reinforced late last week in a decision by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals upholding much of Mr. Jefferson's claim. (READ MORE)

Daniel Henninger: Faith and Fiber - The American people may have "Iraq fatigue," but that doesn't mean they've stopped paying attention. A few days ago, the Gallup/USA Today poll reported that, over the past four weeks, belief that the extra troops in Iraq were "making the situation better" rose to 31% from 22%. The percentage who say the new troops don't matter dropped to 41% from 51%. Somehow people have found their way to reports that Gen. Petraeus's counterinsurgency strategy is toting up gains on the ground. (READ MORE)

Brian S. Wesbury: Fair but Unbalanced - Not that it needed any help, but the already energized debate about journalistic bias was electrified when Rupert Murdoch, owner of the "fair and balanced" Fox News Channel, struck a deal to buy The Wall Street Journal. I have no desire to take sides in this debate, or question anyone's integrity, but my role as a business economist gives me a unique view of this subject. I talk frequently with members of the print media, and I am a regular guest on business TV shows. Both venues stress debate and journalistic skepticism. In my view this tendency causes a great deal of confusion. (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 - But the rest of Cordesman's analysis isn't really very different after all: (READ MORE)

Paul: More Democrats Crawfishing on Iraq - No, not crawfishing IN Iraq. Crawfishing ON Iraq. I'll explain it to you Yankees in the crowd. Ya see... When a crawfish first sees you and is challenged, he waves his claws up in the air to attempt to scare you off. Even though his brain is about the size of a grain of rice, a crawfish ain't dumb... he knows he's going to lose the battle so the whole time he's waving those big scary claws at you he starts walking backwards, looking for an escape route. (READ MORE)

Don Surber: Barack-ing up - As Democrats fuss over who their presidential candidate will be, Republicans are stuck picking the next president. Hype from a guy who thought Republicans would hold onto Congress last fall? Perhaps. But I am not alone in seeing Barack Obama’s crack-up on foreign policy — Dennis Kucinich shows more gravitas — as further evidence of a party made up of the Not Yet Ready For Prime Time Players. (READ MORE)

Bill Roggio: Iraq Report: Pressing al Qaeda in Diyala and the North - While the U.S. conducted a major strike against the Iranian-backed Special Groups terror cells in Baghdad's Sadr City, resulting in 30 Shia terrorists killed and two captured, the relentless operations against al Qaeda in Iraq's network continue in parallel throughout Iraq. Operations are ongoing in Baghdad and the Belts, and the bulk of operations are occurring against al Qaeda's network in Northern Iraq, Salahadin, Diyala, and Eastern Anbar provinces. (READ MORE)

Jules Crittenden: Math Problem - OK, this one is going to require algebra to fully understand the ramifications, and I didn’t do too well at that in high school. But here we go. Here’s the math problem. If al-Qaeda hearts Mexican drug cartels, and both heart lenient U.S. border/immigration policies, and significant elements of our government heart same … notably strange political bedfellows Edward M. Kennedy and George W. Bush … does this put Kennedy and Bush in bed with al-Qaeda, drug cartels and 12 million illegals? (READ MORE)

Allahpundit: (Video) Jon Soltz and Buzz Patterson face off over Hillary - The media likes having Soltz on opposite the Move America Forward people, partly because it guarantees a screaming match over who supports the troops more and partly because MAF’s officers aren’t Iraq vets themselves so Soltz gets to play authoritative Iraq expert. (To Matthews’s credit, they had on Eric Egland from Vets for Freedom to oppose him last week, albeit on the subject of Pat Tillman.) (READ MORE)

Bryan Preston: Associate Press weighs in on the Beauchamp affair - I happened to catch an ABC radio news story about the Beauchamp story last night (the man’s name is pronounced “Beecham,” btw, if the radio reader got it right). This story is an AP piece published in the Washington Post, no less. So big media is taking note of the latest Winter Soldier tale. This one’s gonna leave a mark: (READ MORE)

Dan Riehl: The New Republic SLAMMED By AP In The WaPo - TNR gets hit up side the head every which way, including sideways, in this one and Foer didn't even respond for comment. It gets better, or worse, if you're TNR, as you go - assuming poor judgment, a failure to follow basic principles of journalism, possible competing interests and apparently not doing any kind of fact checking are big deals, of course. A magazine gets a hot story straight from a soldier in Iraq and publishes his writing, complete with gory details, under a pseudonym. The stories are chilling: .... Compelling stuff, and, according to the Army, not true. (READ MORE)

Right Truth: If you were a terrorists... the NYT would help you - The New York Times asks, "If you were a terrorist, how would you attack?", and goes on to suggest possible ideas that the terrorists can use to attack Americans. With media like that, who needs enemies. Let me say here, that I think this is a good idea for our experts, not for the open media. Suggestions like this should be going on behind closed doors, so that actions can be taken to prevent such possible scenarios. “That's the question posed by a blogger from the New York Times on Wednesday. Steven D. Levitt is soliciting terrorism worst-case scenarios in a posting on the paper's Freakonomics blog.” (READ MORE)

John Hawkins: CAIR: It's OK For Foreign Muslims To Drive Around With Pipe Bombs In Their Car - The reactions of "moderate" Muslims and America's most prominent Muslim front group, CAIR, to extremely disturbing behavior from other Muslims isn't going to reassure many Americans: "Two men found with several pipe bombs in their car near a Navy base were charged Monday with possession of an explosive device, authorities said.” (READ MORE)

Blackhedd: Financial Warning Bells Go Off In Europe - Something strange and arcane happened in France overnight (stories here and here). In short, a huge French bank suspended withdrawals from three investment funds that are exposed to the US subprime-mortgage market, and a benchmark dollar interest rate shot up nearly 60 basis points. Why should you care? First, there are strong implications for the global economy. Second, there is a clear and present danger from political chicanery in Washington. Third, there are frightening resonances with the past. (READ MORE)

Rachel Lucas: U.S. ship is close to sink. - Likely in response to what Tancredo said recently, some "officials" in Islamabad have declared that if the U.S. bombs Mecca and Medina, one billion followers of the Religion of Peace will turn into suicide bombers. Is that a promise? There are roughly 1.5 billion Muslims on earth, so if these turkeys are serious, that means all we have to do to wipe out two-thirds of them is to drop a couple of bombs. Why didn't anyone think of this before? That's one hell of a return on your investment. (READ MORE)

Kim Zigfeld: Three Cheers for the Washington Post! - Three cheers for the Washington Post! Over the past few years, as we have seen a malignant dictatorship rise in Russia eerily reminiscent of its Soviet predecessor, the Post has been an international leader among major media institutions in recognizing the threat and providing sage counsel on how to deal with it. Today the paper continues this trend with a brilliant editorial succinctly stating what the world's position ought to be on the recent Russian missile attack against Georgia. We reprint it in full: (READ MORE)

John Hinderaker: Kos Cleans Out the Party - The Yearly Kos convention in Chicago has ended, with every significant contender for the Democratic Presidential nomination having dropped in to pay homage. If you're curious about what happened, check out this fascinating video by Andrew Marcus of Pajamas Media. What strikes one most forcibly is the arrogance of the web-based leftists who are convinced that the Democratic Party is dancing to their tune. (READ MORE)

Scott Johnson: Remembering the Sbarro bombing - In "Such a lovely murderer" we noted the publication by the New York Times of the publicity still of the imprisoned Palestinian murderer Ahlam Tamimi. Here is how the Times described Tamimi in the review that occasioned publication of the photograph: “A former Palestinian newscaster, Ahlam Tamimi, recalls the day she dropped a suicide bomber off at his target, then coolly went on television to report on the resulting bombing.” Now comes Noah Pollak to reveal "the real Ahlam Tamimi you didn't read about in the Times." (READ MORE)

Patterico: Fair Voting: A Nonpartisan Issue - Fair voting should be a nonpartisan issue. Marc “Armed Liberal” Danziger has been writing about a couple of aspects of fair voting, and I agree with him on both issues. The first issue is voting machines. Here in California, Secretary of State Debra Bowen has decertified e-voting machines from several companies, including Diebold. Marc cheers this development, and so do I. Diebold machines have numerous security problems, including the fact that (at least in September 2006) they could be opened with a hotel minibar key. This sort of thing is a recipe for disaster — and we should all be able to agree on that, regardless of which side we’re on. (READ MORE)

Neptunus Lex: The way we were - I just received this story from an old comrade - it’s amazing to me sometimes how much sense this made six years ago, and how different the world has become in the interim. Still, a compelling read: “I was the lead for our first strikes against Tora Bora, but before the mission we had a ceremony on the flight deck where some folks brought out a flag from the WTC rubble. It was a fairly large, ripped, and torn American Flag. As we were going through our ceremony they subsequently raised the flag aloft on our mast. Once the flag had been hoisted a light breeze blew by and you could, for the first time, just see how tattered that flag was. I remember a profound sense of pride that after all that flag had been through she had a chance to fly above an American warship preparing to extract revenge on those who put her in that condition. (READ MORE)

Knee Deep in the Hooah!: Waste not, want not - I found the quote above last evening when I was brewing and stewing over a quote. I had read where an anti-war protester said that our soldiers' lives are being "wasted" in Iraq. I have heard this same sentiment time and time again. I have stopped going to the newspaper that reports the deaths where Mike is stationed when stateside. I used to go there to read the notices. It was hard, but I felt like it was the only way for me to pay my respects since I live so far away from the base. I simply can not stomach hearing it any more though. Every death is followed with comments about what a waste it all is. That comment is the ultimate insult added to injury. (READ MORE)

GayPatriotWest: Of Goddess-Worship and the Lies of Scott Thomas Beauchamp - I’m beginning to appreciate a course we took in my last regular quarter at Pacifica. I was first skeptical of the course because it, Religious Studies Approaches to Mythology, true to its name, focused on theoretical approaches to the study of myth. I would have preferred that we study particular myths more closely. The class seemed too abstracted from those myths whose study I both enjoy and find important to understanding the human condition. But, as we considered the work of the various scholars of myth, our professor reminded us (as did some of the other writers we read) that many of them, even the most gifted, brought their theories of myth and other biases into their work. (READ MORE)

Gribbit's Word: Bush Approval Numbers On The Way UP?!? - Could it be that the man who former President Carter labeled “the worst President in US history” has a rising approval rating? The mere idea that Carter would call any President worse than himself is laughable to begin with. But let us not forget that in the days following September 11, 2001, Bush enjoyed record high approval ratings. (READ MORE)

Walid Phares: An Idealistic Alternative to the Saudi Arms Deal - The US Government is considering a new gigantic arms sale to the Saudi Kingdom, up to 20 billion dollars' worth of complex weaponry. The proposed package includes advanced satellite-guided bombs, upgrades to its fighters, and new naval vessels, as part of a US strategy to contain the rising military expansion of Iran in the region. The titanic arms deal is a major Saudi investment to shield itself from the Khomeinist menace looming at the horizon: an Iranian nuclear bomb, future Pasdaran control in Iraq, and a Hezb'allah offensive in Lebanon. The real Iranian threat against the Saudis materializes as follows: (READ MORE)

Ed Morrissey: Poll: No New Gas Tax - It didn't take long for people to demand higher gas taxes after the collapse of the St. Anthony Bridge. One local crank managed to hold his water for an entire six hours before blaming Governor Tim Pawlenty and tax-restraint activists for killing people on the "death bridge" in the pages of the Star Tribune. It seems that old cranks are in the minority in Minnesota, however, as KSTP's new poll discovered (via Mitch and Freedom Dogs): (READ MORE)

Blonde Sagacity: No Troops for You! - Anybody who still thinks liberals have anything but contempt for our military probably also believes that a Vegan diet and cigarette burns are both essential elements to a “tough love” approach towards raising children. The fact is that the same people who support the rights of NAMBLA members to take the words “child rearing” into very disturbing directions, believe it is their constitutional right to undercut our military by a strategy of starving them out. (READ MORE)

Blue Crab Boulevard: The System Unraveling - The South Carolina Republican party is moving its primary up in response to Florida's move to change its primary. Other states will now have to move their dates as a result. Iowa and New Hampshire have state laws in effect that require them to have primaries scheduled before other states (strictly speaking, Iowa uses a caucus, not a primary). The entire primary system is unraveling and forcing candidates into making some tough choices. (READ MORE)

Dafydd: Kosher Security: the War Against Global Pork - This is the second in our ongoing series, searching for a unifying theme of national security in the campaigns of Republican candidates for president. I believe that we desperately need such a theme: an easy-to-understand, overarching "narrative" that melds together a number of urgent problems and their solutions. Our first post in this series explained why the future of energy production is actually a national-security issue: In this installment, I hope we can demonstrate that eliminating "pork" (earmarks, phonemarks) from the government's diet is also a vital national-security issue. (READ MORE)

The Belmont Club: Thirty Days of Night Part 3 - The Daily Telegraph reports that Iraqi PM Minister Maliki demanded the relief of General Petraeus because he used Sunni forces to fight al-Qaeda, but the demand was refused. “Relations between the top United States general in Iraq and Nouri al-Maliki, the country's prime minister, are so bad that the Iraqi leader made a direct appeal for his removal to President George W Bush.” (READ MORE)

The Anchoress: Is Socialism incompatible with Monasticism & Religion - A while back I wrote: The thing is, communism works in very small enclaves, in monasteries, for example, where everyone involved is entering willingly, is voluntarily looking to be denuded, is eager to “give stuff up” in an effort to attain something quite different from worldy “stuff.” Communism does not work, though, in a large-scale national situation whereby people are expected to sublimate themselves, their instincts and their ambitions for the good of the party. Socialism does not work. There is an enormous difference between a few dozen people voluntarily giving up their worldly goods for communal living, and forcing people to participate in such a society against their will. The first brings freedom for those who choose it. The second, historically, has brought tyranny, poverty, slaughter and the gulag.” (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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