August 29, 2007

Web Reconnaissance for 08/29/2007

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)
There Is Only One Executive - Anyone who thought that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales's resignation would improve the Bush administration's relations with Congress will be disappointed. The only unifying theme congressional Democrats have exhibited since taking control last January is an unremitting hostility towards President Bush in particular, and executive power in general. (READ MORE)

Slim Pickings - In the world of wealth, the big news this summer is that Carlos Slim, 67, of Mexico may have surpassed Bill Gates as the world's richest person. Inevitably, writers compare Mr. Slim, who built his wealth on a telecommunications monopoly, to America's so-called "robber barons" -- including men such as John D. Rockefeller, James J. Hill and Henry Ford. (READ MORE)

Desperate House Loans? - Subprime mortgages dominate the economic news. They have pushed $3-a-gallon gas off the front pages, and completely obscured the 4.6% national unemployment rate and the economic expansion that has now lasted five years and is the fourth longest since World War II. (READ MORE)

Bush Wants $50 Billion More for Iraq War - President Bush plans to ask Congress next month for up to $50 billion in additional funding for the war in Iraq, a White House official said yesterday, a move that appears to reflect increasing administration confidence that it can fend off congressional calls for a rapid drawdown of U.S. forces. (READ MORE)

Idaho Senator Asserts: 'I Never Have Been Gay' - Senate Republican leaders called for an ethics investigation of Sen. Larry E. Craig (R-Idaho) yesterday as he dug in for a legal and political fight to save his congressional career after acknowledging that he had pleaded guilty to disorderly-conduct charges.. (READ MORE)

Deal Reached For Release Of S. Koreans - Negotiators in Afghanistan said Tuesday they had reached agreement on a deal that will allow 19 South Korean church volunteers to go free after six weeks in Taliban captivity, apparently ending a hostage crisis that has gripped both nations, officials said. (READ MORE)

Riots at Iraqi Religious Festival Leave 28 Dead - Riots broke out during a religious festival in the holy city of Karbala on Tuesday, prompting the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of Shiite pilgrims and leaving 28 people dead, police said. Meanwhile, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad predicted at a televised news conference that the authority of the U.S. military will soon collapse in Iraq. (READ MORE)

Hostage Release Begins - Taliban militants today released eight of 19 South Korean captives they promised to free under a deal struck with the South Korean government to resolve a nearly six-week hostage crisis. (READ MORE)

From Fighters to Family Men - Thoughts have turned to home and family for soldiers in the 2-3 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, one of the first units set to complete extended deployments ordered by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates to meet demands of the U.S. troop surge. (READ MORE)

Up to 10% in Virginia Jails Illegals - Illegal aliens comprise between 6 percent and 10 percent of Virginia's jail population and about 2 percent of the state's prison population, according to a report released by the state crime commission yesterday. (READ MORE)

ICE Reassigns Agents to Customs - Immigration and Customs Enforcement criminal investigators will no longer be involved in immigration work site enforcement or conduct checks for illegal alien prisoners. (READ MORE)

Unelected Body Granted Power to Tax - An Arlington judge yesterday ruled that starting in January an unelected regional body can levy on Northern Virginia residents a slew of new taxes and fees to pay for local transportation upgrades. (READ MORE)

U.S. Troops Release Detained Iranians - A group of eight Iranians, including two diplomats, were released by U.S. forces Wednesday after being detained because unauthorized weapons were found in their cars, the U.S. military said. An adviser to the top U.S. general in Iraq called the situation "regrettable." (READ MORE)

Al-Sadr Suspends Militia Activity in Iraq - Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has ordered a six-month suspension of activities by his Mahdi Army militia in order to reorganize the force, an aide said Wednesday. The aide, Sheik Hazim al-Araji, said on Iraqi state television that the goal was to "rehabilitate" the organization, which has reportedly broken into factions, some of which the U.S. maintains are trained and supplied by Iran. (READ MORE)

From the Front:
Northern Disclosure: Can I get a hoo ha, Two tims Tuesday - When I lived overseas and would talk to people back in the states and I would try to set up visits for the short time I would be back. Now that doesn't seem weird at first but take in consideration that I would consider anyone within North America within reach. I would drive or fly anywhere to try and meet these obligations. (READ MORE)

Omar: Crossing Anbar - We've been getting some reports about the improvement in security in Anbar in the last few months but little was said about the highway that runs across the province. The several hundred kilometer western section of the international highway is technically Iraq's second "port" in a way as it connects Iraq with Syria and Jordan and was for years the only window to the world when all airports and the southern ports in Basra were closed to traffic in the 1990s. (READ MORE)

Eighty Deuce on the Loose in Iraq: Bringing 'em back! (Part II) - Alright well here is installment #2 in my attempt at going retro with my blog. Once again I have gone through, dusted the cobb webbs off a few more old posts, done some light editing and they are back online for your viewing pleasure. I even added a couple pictures to one of them. (READ MORE)

Acute Politics: Dead Eyes - It wasn't a good night to have a new LT on patrol. Our LT was was out with us, of course- the new guy would be leading the platoon coming to replace us. We were on a mission that could easily turn bad- as it happened, everyones night but ours was bad. We waited around at a Combat Outpost for hours for our Marine attachments to resolve some equiqment issues, cleared our route, and went home. One of our sister platoons ended up MEDIVACing two men on a helicopter after an IED strike, while another route clearance team out of Falluja was hit multiple times, and an EOD team hit a bomb that flipped a Cougar and sent two techs to the hospital. (READ MORE)

Acute Politics: Walking in Dreams - I was looking through some of Idaho Journal writer Bill Schaefer's dispatches last night, trying to find the one he wrote about Badger 6 and me. Alongside the title list for his writing is a constantly changing slideshow. When I loaded the page, the image that came up was a picture of a hand holding a framed photograph- a picture of Clev and his fiancé. I've been thinking about him a lot lately, and unexpectedly seeing his picture was a bit of a shock. Of the three guys we lost, I was closest to him. (READ MORE)

On the Web:
Wolf Pangloss: Can Muslims Awaken from their Civilizational Nightmare before they bring about the end of the world? - Very interesting from Bahrani blogger Emoodz, as translated by Amira Al Hussaini of Global Voices. “While speaking to my dad as he was devouring a piece of Mullet (type of fish) in a unique ferocity associated with Bahranis (Shia population of Bahrain), we started speaking about sectarianism and the division in society based on sects, particularly in Bahrain, and around the Arab world in general. He spoke in depth about how religion was the basis and reason for sectarianism, adding that it is now one of the woes we as Muslims have to accept without objection.” (READ MORE)

Kevin McCullough: Why Senator Craig is right - Senator Larry Craig is either incoherent or incompetent - or both. His press conference on Tuesday afternoon was exactly the wrong thing to do - on nearly every level. And I for one do not believe that most of his story holds. Save this one item, when he stated clearly, "I am not gay!" (READ MORE)

Amanda Carpenter: The Run-Up to the Petraeus Showdown - A flood of newly-issued war reports, speeches and international feuds are beginning to set the stage for an upcoming showdown between anti-war senators and Army Gen. David H. Petraeus this September. (READ MORE)

Austin Bay: Gen. Petraeus' Pivotal Report - There really is no particularly informative historical precedent for Gen. David Petraeus' upcoming public assessment of Iraq. (READ MORE)

Mike S. Adams: Of Mice and Mormons III - Duffy-Greslo spent the three hour class period exploring the homosexual political agenda and how her fellow students could advance it in America. (READ MORE)

Jacob Sullum: Alberto Gonzales' Misplaced Loyalties - Looking back at Gonzales' years in Washington as he leaves the Justice Department, we see no examples of the integrity and independence that a groggy Ashcroft displayed in that hospital room. (READ MORE)

Michael Medved: The Worst GOP Field Ever--or the Best? - If there?s one sentiment that seems to unite desperate Republicans in the run-up to the campaign of 2008 it would seem to be profound discomfort, if not outright disgust, with the current field of Presidential candidates. (READ MORE)

John Stossel: Another Bogus Report Card for U.S. Medical Care - In May, the Commonwealth Fund issued its latest comparison of the U.S. medical system with five other wealthy nations' systems: Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand and Great Britain. (READ MORE)

Ben Shapiro: Is Larry Craig The Face Of The U.S. Senate? - Larry Craig will almost certainly resign his Senate seat. But Craig is a symptom of a deeper problem plaguing our politics. Until voters insist on honesty rather than payoffs, corruption will remain endemic to the halls of power. (READ MORE)

Michelle Malkin: The Return of the Eagles - The dog days of August have drawn to a close. This is the calm before the gathering political storm. On Sept. 15, the far-left group ANSWER ("Act Now to Stop War and End Racism") will descend on the nation's capital to demand what they've been demanding for the last six years in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks: immediate withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan... (READ MORE)

Brent Bozell III: Democrats Win Morning-Show Primary - Watching network morning show anchors interview the Democratic presidential candidates often makes you wonder if you've seen tougher interviews on overnight acne-care infomercials. (READ MORE)

Andrew Stark: Bartering Up to a Better Life - Two years ago, Kyle MacDonald was a 25-year-old marketer of Table Shox, a shock absorber meant to prevent restaurant tables from wobbling. Sensing the signs of a limited career path, Mr. MacDonald, a Montrealer, faced an obvious choice. He could get serious and send off résumés in quest of a real job or he could take one of the red paper clips binding his résumés together and trade it on the Internet for something "bigger and better," with the idea of eventually "bartering up to a house." Naturally, he chose the second course. "One Red Paperclip" is his story. (READ MORE)

Nicole Gelinas: The Most Dangerous City - President Bush is visiting New Orleans to mark the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, as are Democratic presidential candidates Barack Obama, John Edwards and Hillary Clinton, and Republican candidates Mike Huckabee and Duncan Hunter. The White House will probably release a fact sheet detailing how many billions of dollars the government has spent on Gulf Coast recovery. The Democrats, no doubt, will call for more money and action. Here's hoping at least one political visitor will be brave enough to say the truth: that while many New Orleans residents are courageously taking the initiative to rebuild their homes, they cannot build an effective police and prosecutorial force on their own. (READ MORE)

WSJ Review & Outlook: Sarko Steps Up - Nicolas Sarkozy made headlines this week by telling his diplomatic corps that "an Iran with nuclear weapons is for me unacceptable." But the French President did more in his speech than name the gravest current threat to global security, itself a feat of clear thinking. He also signaled that France means to be something more on the international scene than an anti-American nuisance player. (READ MORE)

Austin Bay: Petraeus’ Pivtoal Report — a look forward - This week’s Creators Syndicate column, via StrategyPage. A teaser: “Perhaps we are entering new historical terrain, where the commanding general’s pivotal strategic gambit is a media event. And media event it is. With its certain long-term global import and short-term political impact, Petraeus’ report meets a hustling television exec’s primal requirement: drama.” In a recent post on the blog I listed some semi-quantifiable metrics — but note this: “But the gist of his message will be what military veterans call GUTINT — gut intelligence.” (READ MORE)

Kim Priestap: Shock: Another Shady Clinton Fundraiser Exposed - We're still more than a year away from the presidential election, but the weird stories about the Clintons' shady fundraisers are already coming out. This time it's Normal Hsu, a fugitive who has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Democrats, particularly Hillary Clinton: “For the last 15 years, California authorities have been trying to figure out what happened to a businessman named Norman Hsu, who pleaded no contest to grand theft, agreed to serve up to three years in prison and then seemed to vanish.” (READ MORE)

Jay Tea: "I Was Only Kidding!" - I like to think that I have a pretty good sense of humor. (Then again, so does most everyone -- it seems that the louder one proclaims one's sense of humor, the less likely others are to agree.) But lately it seems that the "humor defense" is starting to get a little tiresome -- especially when the politics of the "jokester" are taken into account. Let's take a look at some people who've tried to play the "joke defense," and see how well it worked. (READ MORE)

Jim Addison: Kutie Couric goes to war - CBS is sending Katie Couric to Iraq. Unfortunately, they also intend to bring her back. Michael Learmonth reports for Variety: “One year after Couric jumped from NBC's "Today" to CBS in a big-money talent deal, the "Evening News" anchor is embarking on a high-risk tour of Iraq and Syria to revive the broadcast.” (READ MORE)

Bryan Preston: Zogby poll: Most American don’t think the war is lost - That’s the good news: 54% of Americans polled don’t think that the war in Iraq is already lost. The bad news, though it’s hardly surprising, is that there is a massive split on this question along party lines. “While two in three Democrats (66%) said the war effort has already failed, just 9% of Republicans say the same.” (READ MORE)

Allahpundit: (Video) Steyn on the Opus non-controversy and “creeping shari’a” - Have any Muslims or Muslim groups actually criticized the Opus cartoon or have we already arrived at the point where America’s sacred, magical newsrooms are self-censoring merely on the off-chance that they might? This is CAIR’s bread and butter but I don’t see anything on their homepage or on Google News from them about it. In fact, the only statement from a religious group I can find is the Catholic League complaining about double standards and the only statement from a Muslim is this piece advising the Washington Post to “lighten up.” (READ MORE)

See-Dubya: Officer acquitted of Abu Ghraib charges - Lt. Col. Steven Jordan was cleared today of three charges of mistreating detainees. He was the only officer to face criminal charges (although others such as Brig. General Janis Karpinski faced administrative punishment). Rather than abandon the carefully built narrative that the US government ordered the prisoner abuse in Abu Ghraib, however, Time is trying to salvage it by digging elsewhere and looking into some private contractors. (READ MORE)

Bill Roggio: Pakistan: The Mohmand "peace" accord - While the Taliban attacks the Pakistani military and government institutions in the Northwest Frontier Province, the government sues for peace in the tribal regions. After negotiating failed "peace accords" with the Taliban in North and South Waziristan, Bajaur, and Swat, the Pakistani government has signed a new agreement in the tribal agency of Mohmand. (READ MORE)

Don Surber: Hillary’s Marc Rich? - The Wall Street Journal’s story on Tuesday about this little green house at 41 Shelbourne Ave. in Daly City, Calif., and its connection to Hillary Clinton’s various political campaigns has been picked up elsewhere. The Los Angeles Times reported a millionaire who once listed this address as his on federal election documents is a fugitive from justice. That’s a WSJ photo of him and Hillary from 2005. (READ MORE)

Meryl Yourish: Abbas talks peace, Palestinians want war - The “military wing” of Fatah—which is the same as saying that the U.S. Army is the “military wing” of the government—is claiming the latest rocket attack on Sderot, which injured an Israeli civilian and would have killed had the rocket been launched a little earlier. “A Sderot resident was lightly-to-moderately wounded Tuesday by shrapnel and several other people suffered shock after a Qassam rocket hit a house in town. The rocket landed directly in a bedroom, when all the residents of the home were hiding the bomb shelter. A man standing near the house was injured from shrapnel in his eye and was treated by emergency services. Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, Fatah’s military wing claimed responsibility for the attack.” (READ MORE)

WonkoBlog: Are blogs predictive? - A reasonable question concerning the Wonkosphere is: Are political blogs predictive? I will answer that question over the next three posts: first I shall answer the question from the perspective of the consumer-world, and then address it with respect to the political blogosphere, and then talk about some particular examples. What do we really mean by “predictive”? I think de facto this question is comparative; what we really mean to ask is 1. Do blogs process and spread information more rapidly than other MSM? In other words, are they a “first mover” or “early adopter”? 2. Do blogs create buzz around something that would otherwise go unreported by MSM? In other words, are they a “buzz creator”? (READ MORE)

Dafydd: Iranian President Supports Bush Argument on Iraq - In a surprising development, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad today endorsed a key argument made by George W. Bush for maintaining the counterinsurgency strategy in Iraq: "The political power of the occupiers is collapsing rapidly," Ahmadinejad said at a news conference, referring to U.S. troops in Iraq. "Soon, we will see a huge power vacuum in the region. Of course, we are prepared to fill the gap, with the help of neighbors and regional friends like Saudi Arabia, and with the help of the Iraqi nation." (READ MORE)

Blue Star Chronicles: Castro Endorses a Clinton - Obama Ticket for 2008 - The other day we had word that Castro had finally died. It was a rumor. I’ve decided the man will never die. He’s been a dead man walking for at least a year and yet he just keeps on popping up every time the rumors start that he’s finally gone on to his … reward. This time he has reemerged and he’s endorsing a Hillary Clinton - Barack Obama ticket for the 2008 election. (READ MORE)

Chickenhawk Express: The Haditha - My Lai Lie - Part 4 of the Haditha Series - The far left lapped up the story about Haditha especially after Murtha convicted the Marines without the benefit of a trial. When Murtha, the ex-Marine, whipped out the My Lai card, the lefties went practically orgasmic. Comparisons between My Lai and Haditha ruled the Internet – even now. Just Google My Lai and Haditha – I can promise you’ll get over 90,000 hits. One of the Haditha/ My Lai comparisons that seemed to be a fave of the Left was Rahul Mahajan’s “Haditha is Arabic for My Lai”. Mahajan’s disgusting piece of leftist drivel is chock full of lies and distortions. Why would we expect anything different from a member of United for Peace and Justice? (READ MORE)

Ed Morrissey: Edwards: One Of The Americas Can Engage In Conspicuous Consumption - John Edwards got a big round of applause from union workers in Florida when he shared his policy direction on the environment. He told the crowd that Americans should be prepared to sacrifice, and the first sacrifice should be the sports-utility vehicles that American drivers prefer: “Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards told a labor group that he would ask Americans to make a big sacrifice: their sport utility vehicles.” (READ MORE)

Bill West: Pre-Designation Argument Is Smokey - The ongoing trial in US District court in Dallas against former officials of the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) has once again surfaced defense arguments related to pre-designation of Hamas and other groups by the US Government as "officially" designated terrorist organizations. Essentially, these arguments posture that any support to or dealing with such organizations before the "official" US government terrorist designation is not illegal. It is such official designation that launches legal prohibitions against support and connections and business dealings, so goes the argument. This argument has been attempted in a number of other Federal terrorism and terror support cases. (READ MORE)

Fishwrap: Florida Dems not budging on primary date - Florida Democrats today flouted the national party's threat of retaliation if the state goes ahead with plans to move the presidential primary up to Jan. 29. The state's 10 Democratic members of Congress, led by Sen. Bill Nelson, issued a joint statement to "strongly encourage all Democrats to vote for their preferred nominee in that primary, regardless of whatever penalties the DNC might enact." "We cannot go along with anything but the state-run primary set for next January," they said. "The vote is going to matter -- period," the lawmakers said. (READ MORE)

Democracy Project: Shedding Light on the Professoriate - My most recent column for the Washington Examiner was published on the 16th. I'm late in posting it at Democracy Project, but here are some additional examples of perfidy among Middle East studies professors, and some observations, not found in the original essay. I argue that Middle East studies professors cry "censorship" whenever they're confronted with critiques of their work. (READ MORE)

Flopping Aces: The "New" Inconvenient Truth - Let’s talk about a NEW inconvenient truth. We’ve heard the Left, namely Al Gore, blather on about “global warming,” “carbon credits,” “carbon footprints,” etc. This “inconvenient truth” has been thrown in our faces endlessly by the Left, so much so that we are to accept Gore’s “claims” as canon. Nevertheless, it’s time to turn the tables and use the “Inconvenient Truth” moniker against the Left. Here’s the REAL “inconvenient truth:” the surge is working. (READ MORE)

Heading Right: The Threat In Soft Focus - The US knows that al-Qaeda has a plot in the works to attack America. We know some of the tactical details. However, we don’t know enough to generate a specific threat warning or to raise the threat level, according to the head of the National Counterterrorism Center, John Scott Redd: “Al Qaeda has an active plot to hit the West. The United States knows about it but doesn’t have enough tactical detail to issue a precise warning or raise the threat level, says Vice Admiral (ret.) John Scott Redd, who heads the government’s National Counterterrorism Center. In an interview at his headquarters near Washington, D.C., Redd told Newsweek’s Mark Hosenball and Jeffrey Bartholet that the country is better prepared than ever to counter such threats. But he also believes another successful terror attack on the U.S. homeland is inevitable.” (READ MORE)

Kobayashi Maru: Guns and Freedom - Some Alternative Scenarios - For the record, I don't own a gun and don't plan to. I've shot at targets before and gotten reasonably good at it, so it's not about being afraid of them. For myself, I just don't see the need. I live in a low crime area in a small city where 911 emergency response is reliable. Still, I'm glad--if only intellectually--to have the choice to own a gun if I want to. If I moved to the country (or to a high crime neighborhood), I might act on that choice. (READ MORE)

Kat in MO: The Battle For Iraq: Every Drop of Blood - As the war continues to wind down and the new election cycle in the United States begins to play out, the narrative of the Iraq war is, once again, being taken out, brushed off and reshaped to fit the current political climate. Even among certain pundits in the old media and the new, the same accepted wisdoms make their way into every commentary. (READ MORE)

William Teach: PETA Smacked For Smacking Vick - Don’t think that this is saying what Vick did is in any part OK. He did horrible things, he is a horrible person, and he should spend some good time in jail. At least 2-3. It is amazing to me, as a sidebar, that he could get anywhere from a year to 5 years, when that NBA ref is looking at 20+. They may have been just dogs, as some say, but, there is a difference between the brutality and killing of dogs Vick was involved in and simply betting and influencing games, eh? Anyhow: “The Center for Consumer Freedom on Monday charged People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) with hypocrisy because of PETA’s vocal criticism of NFL quarterback Michael Vick, who pleaded guilty to involvement in a dog fighting network.” (READ MORE)

Scott Johnson: The return of Walt and Mearsheimer - In the New York Sun, Ira Stoll takes an advance look at the new, slightly more refined (book) version of The Israel Lobby by Harvard's Stephen Walt and the University of Chicago's John Mearsheimer. Stoll finds peculiarities that it shares with the pseudoscholarly essay from which it is derived. The book's official publication date is next week, and I understand that the authors have been careful to keep advance copies from reviewers likely to be hostile, but Stoll has the professors' number: (READ MORE)

Pros and Cons: GWOT Update, Heavily Iraq-Centered, As Usual - The advances made by locals, as opposed to the troubles of the Sadrists and other bad actors are also lovingly reported at The Thunder Run.Though the big news takes these sorts of tensions with the Mahdi Army, really Iraqi security forces’ pursuit of the Mahdists as it’s killers try to go underground, and other Shiite groups to the front page in breathless alarm or resignation, I am not horrified by the news. Better to have the state clearly standing against Iran’s worst and most open proxies even as it pacifies what had been the worst Sunni Arab areas (see below). (READ MORE)

McQ: The poverty scam in the US (update) - Are there poor in the US. Yes, absolutely. Are they as large a portion of our population as politicians routinely try to claim there are (think John Edwards). No. Not at all. Robert Rector brings us up to date: As most understand "poor" - as defined in the US - is a relative term. There will always be a percentage of people in this country considered to be poor as long as the measure of poverty is defined as a certain percentage of the median income. (READ MORE)

Jeff Emanuel: Iraq is just the first step in Iran’s battle for regional hegemony - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad today said that “a huge power vacuum” was imminent in Iraq – and promised that, when it appeared, Iran would be ready to fill it. This plainly-stated desire by the totalitarian regime in Tehran to overtly interfere in the affairs of a sovereign nation – while simultaneously accusing the US of doing so, despite the fact that coalition forces are still present in Iraq at official invitation of that nation’s sovereign government – should come as no surprise to any who have followed the course of the Iraq war (and postwar) to this point. (READ MORE)

John Hawkins: The Democratic Underground Thread Of The Day: Why Do People Join The Military? - Over at the Democratic Underground Forums, there's a thread asking, "Why are people still joining the military?" Now, not every response ripped on the troops, but I think you'll find that there were several responses that confirm the worst stereotypes about liberal attitudes towards the military. For example, here's why some of the libs at the DU think soldiers join the military: (READ MORE)

The Tygrrr Express: Liberals and women never resign or surrender - When a politician is caught engaging in bad behavior, they must resign…provided they are republican, male, or both. The latest republican under fire is Larry Craig. Discussing the scandal is pointless. By the time Michelle Malkin is done skewering him, he will be shish kabob. Of course, the demands of immediate resignation are coming forward. While I want to make it clear that I am not defending these actions, or a Senator I know very little about, there is one aspect of this that makes me boil over. Why is it only republicans and men that have to resign? (READ MORE)

TigerHawk: Katrina reconstruction: Will government's failure make people more self-reliant? - We're back around to the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, so naturally there is a lot of press coverage provoking a lot of questions -- indeed, questions other than "Will the Katrina retrospectives end with the Bush presidency?" In particular, the press is full of stories about the delays in rebuilding New Orleans, as if a city 250 years in the making ought to have been rebuilt in even two years. Still, much depends on who is doing the reconstructing. USA Today has a front-page story that is not the least bit surprising to anybody who would read this blog: (READ MORE)

Baron Bodissey: A Letter to CNN - A reader forwarded us a copy of this letter he recently sent to CNN, concerning Christiane Amanpour’s recent series of features called “God’s Warriors”: “From the onset, it was obvious that no serious analysis had been undertaken with Amanpour’s ‘God’s Warriors’, broadcast this week on CNN. Conveniently packaged into a consumer-friendly trilogy, the politically-correct presentation of morally-equivalent religious fundamentalism — in Judaism, Islam and Christianity — only served to obfuscate the greatest geopolitical danger the world faces.” (READ MORE)

Confederate Yankee: Rebuilding New Orleans: A Continuing Mistake - Two years ago today, Hurricane Katrina made landfall near Buras-Triumph, Louisiana as a large Category 3 storm. While parts of coastal Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama suffered the onslaught of the storm's surging waves and wind, most of the world's attention was paid, and is still being paid, to the City of New Orleans, where dozens of levee failures flooded most of the city. More than 1,800 people were confirmed killed by Hurricane Katrina or in its wake, with 705 still missing, according to Wikipedia. (READ MORE)

Protein Wisdom: The Big Picture(s) [Karl] - In the midst of the still-lingering controversy over the truthiness of The New Republic’s “Baghdad Diarist,” more than a few people suggested that war supporters, unable to discredit the real bad news coming from Iraq, targeted the Scott Thomas Beauchamp stories as a weak link. I cannot speak for everyone who supports the mission in Iraq, but I would submit that Beauchamp’s apparent fables and embellishments are not a “weak link” to be attacked, but simply an egregious example of the establishment media’s flawed coverage of the conflict. Accordingly, what follows is an over view of the establishment media coverage of the conflict in Iraq. (READ MORE)

The Volokh Conspiracy: The elephant in the room: - Whenever one of these morality scandals comes up – whether it involves homosexuality, adultery, or being on a list compiled by someone the media calls a “Madam” – it often involves a Republican. Critics love to charge Republicans with hypocrisy – preaching traditional family values to the rest of us by day while trolling bathrooms and pressing sweaty palms to computer keyboards by night. Whatever explains these other public moral dramas, hypocrisy doesn’t fully capture the GOP’s plainly dysfunctional relationship to homosexuality. Believe it or not, there are plenty of traditional-values Republicans who are not secretly gay. They might be wrong about homosexuality, but they’re not hypocrites. (READ MORE)

Stop the ACLU: New leadership for GA ACLU– and a moment of candor - At the moment the Georgia chapter of the ACLU seems to find itself without any lawyers. The previous state director of the Georgia ACLU is moving on, and the named interim director is out of the country, according to this story. Offices go through changes, and that’s not the story. The article does tell us something about the ACLU of Georgia’s priorities. That’s not much of a story either, as the priorities of the ACLU in general are no secret. I simply appreciate the candor when I read: [The director’s] departure coincides with a new direction for the local chapter, according to Elizabeth V. Tanis, a partner at Sutherland Asbill & Brennan who is president of the ACLU of Georgia Foundation. She said the board wants the local chapter to litigate more “high-impact” cases, in keeping with the national ACLU’s emphasis on international human rights, racial justice and immigration issues. (READ MORE)

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