September 13, 2007

Web Reconnaissance for 09/13/2007

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)
Democrats Push Toward Middle On Iraq Policy - Democratic leaders in Congress have decided to shift course and pursue modest bipartisan measures to alter U.S. military strategy in Iraq, hoping to use incremental changes instead of aggressive legislation to break the grip Republicans have held over the direction of war policy. (READ MORE)

Reid Says Senators Would Block Olson - The Senate majority leader said yesterday that Democrats would block former solicitor general Theodore B. Olson from becoming attorney general, kicking off a spirited nomination debate even before the White House has named a candidate. (READ MORE)

Clinton May Revisit Donors Whose Funds Were Returned - Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) left open the possibility yesterday that her presidential campaign may get new donations from the 260 people whose contributions are being returned because they were raised by Norman Hsu, the political donor whose business dealings are being examined by law enforcement agencies on both coasts. (READ MORE)

U.S. Starts a Push for Tighter Sanctions on Iran - The Bush administration has begun mobilizing support for a third U.N. resolution that would impose tougher sanctions against Iran, as the top U.S. military and diplomatic officials in Baghdad said yesterday that one of the biggest and still unfolding surprises in Iraq has been the depth of Iran's intervention. (READ MORE)

Petraeus Unites GOP On Pullout - Senate Republicans, bolstered by Army Gen. David H. Petraeus' war report this week, are closing ranks and say Democrats will continue to fall far shy of the votes needed to force a pullout from Iraq. (READ MORE)

Obama: Complete Withdrawal by End of '08 - Sen. Barack Obama yesterday called for the immediate withdrawal of American troops from Iraq at a steady pace, with all combat troops either at home or redeployed elsewhere by December 2008. (READ MORE)

Illegals Talk Alienates Giuliani - Rudolph W. Giuliani has put himself at odds with most congressional Republicans by saying he does not think being in the United States illegally should be a crime. (READ MORE)

From the Front:
Far From Perfect: In Memoriam.. Year Six. - Due to current operations, I was unable to post my annual 9/11 EMS memorial on time. I hope fighting in a war to prevent its recurrence is a reasonable excuse. I had planned on making it the index of this site for the whole day. Unfortunately, computer access was not anywhere nearby, or a priority, so I am posting it now. The memorial page has now been made a permanent part of this site as well. It was six years ago yesterday that I heard the news. I was offshore and read the news on Slashdot first. (READ MORE)

Those Wacky Iraqis: Leaving Ain't Easy - Leaving ain't as easy as it sounds. I am working my exit plan and handing things off. My wife is just overjoyed to hear that I am sending her more of those black footlockers from AAFES. I am actively sending my stuff home and entertaining some interesting offers from elsewhere but it looks solid that I will be out soon. (READ MORE)

Matt Sanchez: Sheik Sattar Assasinated! - Update: Sheik Sattar was just killed by an enormous explosion that was felt on Camp Ramadi more than a mile away. (READ MORE)

On the Web:
The Tygrrrr Express: 9/11/7–Sean Hannity’s 9/11 Freedom Concert - Show me a person who states that talk about 9/11 is overdone, and I will show you a person that was not affected by it. As a Brooklyn Born, Long Island raised individual, 9/11 will be with me forever. It would take me several forevers and a day to talk about everything I experienced on 9/11/7, since for me it was a day filled with experiences. I deliberately arranged a flight to New York so that I would be in the air at 8:46am. I was saddened by the fact that only 12 people were on the plane, and even more concerned that there were maybe 100 people at JFK airport when I landed at 10am. Half of these 100 people were employees. The mood was somber, and yes, discouraging. (READ MORE)

The Belmont Club: Intent and capability - Former Spook reasons his way through the muddle of news speculation about what target Israel bombed in Syria. The key idea is to recognize that references to a possible Syrian nuclear program and an Iranian/Syrian missile threat are two different programs, though obviously they may intersect at some point. (READ MORE)

Ed Morrissey: German Government: Truthers? - The German public television channel ZDF recently ran a documentary on 9/11. According to Henryk Broder in Der Spiegel, the program took an unusual approach, but unfortunately one that seems all too familiar now to Americans, and Broder wonders whether people have become too stupid to comprehend objective reality: (READ MORE)

Don Surber: Google warming - Google billionaires Larry Page and Sergey Brin are so concerned about global warming. From Google’s corporate blog: “Soon we plan to begin installation of 1.6 megawatts of solar photovoltaic panels at our Mountain View campus. This project will be the largest solar installation on any corporate campus in the U.S.,” (READ MORE)

Allahpundit: (Video) Hillary lectures Petraeus about the war, Osama - Drudge has been leading with Rudy’s knock on her for this for the past several hours so I thought you’d appreciate the primary source. Never will you hear someone called a liar more politely. Lantos was much, much harsher, but he’s not running for president so he can afford to be. (READ MORE)

See-Dubya: George Will’s Stunning, Devastating, Campaign-Wrecking, Bye-Bye-Fred Column - Overhyped, wordy, yet ultimately pointless…whether I’m describing Fred’s candidacy, or George Will’s latest (of several, actually) Fred-bashing column is left as an exercise for the reader. Looks like Will gets a solid base hit on one subject: contrasting Fred’s record on campaign finance reform with what he told Laura Ingraham (audio, skip to 5:43) about his record on campaign finance reform. To wit: (READ MORE)

Jules Crittenden: Women Drivers - Saudi women demand the right to drive. Because I’m a forward-thinking progressive who supports women’s rights and anything that inches the Muslim world closer to the 21st century, I totally support this. Saudi women should be allowed to drive. Just one problem. Niqab. Burkha. The full bedsheet with a face mask. Then, throw in a cellphone and put her behind the wheel of a BMW. (READ MORE)

Neptunus Lex: Signs of the apocalypse #265 - And this in North by-God Carolina: On the sixth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, students at one high school were not allowed to wear clothes with an American flag. Under a new school rule, students at Hobbton High School are not allowed to wear items with flags, from any country, including the United States… (READ MORE)

John Hinderaker: Carrying Water for Schumer and Leahy - The New York Times reports on President Bush's selection of a nominee to replace Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. It turns out, though, that there isn't any real news to report. The Times says that Bush is "closing in on a nominee," but several possibilities are still under consideration, and the Times' account contains little or nothing that is new. The point of the Times story seems to be to discourage the administration from nominating Ted Olson, whom the paper describes as a "staunch partisan." The Times rehashes controversies from the 1990s in which Olson was marginally involved, and goes to Senators Schumer and Leahy for comment. (READ MORE)

Paul Mirengoff: Feeling it - John McCain was "feeling it" during his blogger phone conference today. And why not? The domestic political climate with respect to Iraq seems to have improved, and he's doing better in virtually every poll. McCain began by calling on the Democrats to repudiate the aspersions cast by on the patriotism and integrity of General Petraeus. McCain reminded us that he repudiated what he considered attacks on the patriotism of Max Cleland and John Kerry. Later in the call, he declined an invitation to come down hard on the Democrats' conduct during the hearings this week. McCain said he wants to maintain a respectful relationship with the war critics in Congress, but added that they seem to have made up their minds. (READ MORE)

Pros and Cons: Our immigration system is a broken, inefficient, intrusive, socialist mess. - Don’t believe me? Read this post about the difference between a granite installer and a granite “fabricator”. Seriously. If that doesn’t convince you, consider also my source, which will let your read the gobbledygook that is our law here. Instead, why not let immigrants pay, say, $75,000.00 of their own money or let someone sponsor them for same, and let them all in if they pass health and security checks. (READ MORE)

Mark Steyn: Feeding the Hand that Bites You - I was sorry to hear of the death of Body Shop founder Anita Roddick. She was a fantastically dynamic entrepreneur, and, unlike many limousine liberals, walked the walk on a ton of her goofy ideas - and she was, in my limited encounters with her, someone who enjoyed robust argument. On TV, she could sometimes seem like a cliche of caring capitalism. (READ MORE)

John Hawkins: Media Matters Bogus Claim: The Conservative Advantage In Syndicated Op-Ed Columns - Media Matters, which is a left-wing outfit, put together an attention grabbing study that purports to show that conservative columnists get significantly more of their work published on editorial pages across the country than liberals. Here are some of the conclusions from their report, “Sixty percent of the nation's daily newspapers print more conservative syndicated columnists every week than progressive syndicated columnists. Only 20 percent run more progressives than conservatives, while the remaining 20 percent are evenly balanced.” (READ MORE)

ShrinkWrapped: On Reassurance - One of the most popular misconceptions about psychotherapy is the near ubiquitous belief among those who are naive to psychotherapy that the primary purpose of therapy is to reassure and thereby lessen anxiety. This belief is perpetuated almost daily on the various talk shows that dependably confirm the victimhood of the publicity hungry sufferers who populate their stage and reassure them of their inherent goodness and right to whatever particular emotional state they currently inhabit. While there is a place for reassurance in Medicine and in Psychotherapy, its wanton overuse is both reflective and reinforcing of a problem. (READ MORE)

McQ: The Iraq political landscape - This week has, so far, been interesting as concerns Iraq (a classic understatement). As expected the two sides have staked out their sides and either found reason to continue to further support the surge and other work in Iraq (that would be me) or to call it an utter failure and call for immediate withdrawal. The Washington Post notes: “Senate Democratic leaders on Wednesday called the administration’s plan to keep 130,000 or more troops in Iraq through mid-2008 unacceptable and promised to challenge the approach through legislation next week.” (READ MORE)

Theo Sparks: The President quits!!! - The speech George W. Bush SHOULD give: “Normally, I start these things out by saying "My Fellow Americans." Not doing it this time. If the polls are any indication, I don't know who more than half of you are anymore. I do know something terrible has happened, and that you're really not fellow Americans any longer. I'll cut right to the chase here: I quit. Now before anyone gets all in a lather about me quitting to avoid impeachment, or to avoid prosecution or something, let me assure you: there's been no breaking of laws or impeachable offenses in this office. The reason I'm quitting is simple. I'm fed up with you people.” (READ MORE)

Cassandra: Bloody Fascists!!! Caption Contest - The Princess labors mightily to understand the blatherosphere. She really does. And then something inexplicable like this violates her retinas. Is there some reason why every cheap, imitation Cassandra out there seems to be a card-carrying member (heh... she said member) of Teh Patriarchy? It's bad enough that we Womyn are victyms of potential rape at the average rate of tens of billions of times per second. This is a known scientific fact that only knuckle dragging, Faux-news watching, snake handling fascist minions of the Chinese toy-worshipping Red State Moronocracy really dispute, and who listens to cretins like that anyway? (READ MORE)

Jay Tea: Clinton Crime Cabal II: The Electric Bugaloo - Just recently I realized that I better not give up the day job, because there is no way in hell I'd ever get a position in a Hillary Rodham Clinton administration. Apart from the obvious ideological disagreements, I simply lack certain key credentials: I've never been convicted of anything, let alone arrested. Let's review a few key people behind Hillary's campaign: (READ MORE)

Kim Priestap: Hillary Clinton: I Will Change Our Country - Steven M. Warshawsky has the must read piece of the day about Hillary Clinton. It's nothing we don't already know about her, but Warshawksy outlines Hillary's marxism so well that it's the most persuasive and compelling piece about her that I've read so far. Here's a portion: “In the spring of 1993, shortly after her husband and political benefactor Bill Clinton took office as the nation's 42nd president, Hillary Clinton delivered the commencement address at the University of Texas.” (READ MORE)

Jim Addison: Hillary ignored warnings on Hsu - The Hsu fundraising scandal is sticking to Hillary Clinton's campaign, although the scam artist also gave considerable sums to other Democratic candidates and the DNC as well. [Paul posted a related story earlier]. Hillary's campaign was warned months ago and did . . . nothing, apparently. James Gordon Meek and Michael McAuliff report for the Daily News: “Hillary Clinton's campaign couldn't explain yesterday why it blew off warnings about felon-turned-fund-raiser Norman Hsu - and the Daily News learned FBI agents are collecting e-mail evidence in the widening scandal.” (READ MORE)

Melanie Phillips: Denial, England - When I published my book Londonistan last year, I believed Britain was deeply in denial over the threat of radical Islamism. Today — six years after 9/11; two years after the 7/7 London suicide bombings; one year after the discovery of the al Qaeda transatlantic-airline plot; two months after the car-bomb attacks on a London nightclub and Glasgow airport — even with an apparently neverending procession of trials of British Islamist terrorists and with MI5 stating that it is monitoring no fewer than 200 U.K. Islamist terror groupings, 2,000 individual terrorists, and 30 known active major terrorist plots, Britain is still failing to acknowledge the true nature and scale of what it is facing and what needs to be done to counter it. (READ MORE)

Pamela Geller: Dearbornistan: Lone Jihadi Thwarted - The real story you won't get. This AK47 toting jihadi out of Dearbornistan has a website here. I've posted a few screenshots in case they take it down to hide the truth from the American people. It's a jihadis wet dream. This is just a tiny sampling. The site is enormous - all jihad, all Jew hating, all America hating, all Nasrallah loving, all Hezbollah loving ..............a medical student too. Terror alert has more - go here. The "lone Jihadis a misnomer. No jihadi is alone. They are joined by every faithful adherent to the Koran. (READ MORE)

Legalbgl: Obama To Surrender Before Becoming President - "I am here to say that we have to begin to end this war now," the Illinois senator said in excerpts from a speech he was to deliver later in Iowa. The excerpts were released by his presidential campaign. He said he would immediately begin to pull out troops engaged in combat operations at a pace of one or two brigades every month, to be completed by the end of 2008.” Wait, am I missing something? When is the 2008 election? (READ MORE)

Uncle Jimbo: Sandy Berger, Seriously Sandy Berger? - I have had to throw out any ability to be shocked by shameless behavior in order to even comment on politics. But still, after the withdrawal of any expectations they still get me. Hillary Clinton has put Sandy Berger on her National Security team. I'll give you a minute while you sort that out........I say again, Hillary has made Sandy Berger one of her top advisers. That is one of the most brazen and outrageous things I can recall. (READ MORE)

Some Soldier's Mom: Almost Farcical If It Were Not So Deadly Serious - It would be an understatement to say that I was disgusted and appalled at the behavior of most of the Senators and Congressmen towards General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker. It took very little time to see that most of the people in attendance had no intention of asking appropriate questions or any desire to listen to the answers. It was almost farcical if it were not so deadly serious. And just to clear up all those that were confused as to why testimony was occurring on Sept. 11 (attention Sen. Obama, Sen. Byrd, et al.): Congress said by Sept. 15... and since Congress does not usually work on Mondays (Sept. 10) and Congress is on a break for the observance of the religious holiday of Rosh Hashanah for three days (Sept. 12 - 14) ... that left 1/2 day on Sept. 10 and more than 11 hours of testimony yesterday -- Sept. 11. (READ MORE)

Sachi: Two Left Iraq - It is, one presumes, just a coincidence; but two familiar Iraqi bloggers both left Iraq within the last few days. Although they lived thousands of miles away, we've come to know them very well... one as a respected thinker and member of the most well-known families of Iraqi bloggers in the dextrosphere; the other as an anti-American hack who bemoans the fall of Saddam Hussein, and is very likely the daughter of a former high-ranking Baathist. Let's take the last first... (READ MORE)

Dafydd: "Surge a Failure, Democrats Tell General" - The title -- the headline of a Breitbart story on Gen. David Petraeus' and Ambassador Ryan Crocker's testimony before Congress -- says it all, doesn't it? "Surge a failure, Democrats tell General." I'm sure Petraeus was properly grateful for being instructed. This is our first post from the Noordam, a Holland-America cruise ship. It turns out to be a bigger pain than expected to post from here: The connection fee is horrendous -- we just dropped $100 for 250 minutes (of which 180 remain); so we must go online, save a bunch of web pages we intend to use, then logout. Then we read the material we downloaded offline and write the post (I'm writing in Netscape Mail). At the end, when the post is finished, I will log on again, paste this text into Movable Type, edit it and check the links, and then post. Yeesh! (READ MORE)

Big Dog: Harry Reid is a Festering Pus Bucket - I am getting tired of hearing the stupidity that comes out of Harry Reid’s mouth. This little man is so extremely partisan and obstructive that he is eroding the ability of America to get things done. This jackass declared that the war was lost long ago and has shown no support whatsoever for the American military or its mission because he suffers from Bush Derangement Syndrome. He is so full of hatred for President Bush that he will ruin this country before he would play like part of the team. I have had enough of this squirt so it is time for me to unload both barrels into this maggot. (READ MORE)

Burkean Reflectins: Americans Oppose Immediate Iraq Withdrawal - Today's Wall Street Journal-NBC News poll finds that a large majority in the U.S. opposes an immediate troop pullout from Iraq. The poll also finds President Bush picking up some support for his war policies, although the Democrats have some favorable opinion trends to anticipate as the political calendar unfolds: Public discontent with the Iraq war has eased slightly, a new Wall Street Journal-NBC News poll shows, suggesting President Bush may have a little more maneuvering room at a critical point in debates over war costs and troop levels. (READ MORE)

Blue Crab Boulevard: Hsu’s Next - The article from the Wall Street Journal on Norman Hsu has come out from behind the pay wall and can be read in its enitrity courtesy of Real Clear Politics. It looks very much like the investment firm of Source Financing Investors will be trying very hard to get some of the money Norman Hsu got from them back. “Source Financing's arrangement with Mr. Hsu's company, according to court documents and investor accounts, echoes an older matter that came to light in recent weeks. In 1991, California officials charged Mr. Hsu with grand theft for failing to repay investors for money he raised to import latex gloves from China.” (READ MORE)

Chickenhawk Express: Now About That ABC/BBC Iraq Poll... - The Democrats hit General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker with the results of an ABC/BBC poll of Iraqi citizens during the two days of testimony. Barbara Boxer was so immersed in the poll results that she couldn't even muster up a question for General Petraeus. Since the poll results were not released until Monday September 10, 2007, it left little time for an indepth look at the poll, the sampling size, the surveyors and the results from all the questions. First of all - the sample size. The number of Iraqis questioned for the poll was approximately 2100 people. (READ MORE)

Dennis Lormel: Becoming a Safer Nation is an Incremental Process - With the somber remembrance of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the question is always posed “are we safer now then before 9/11?” The invariable answer is we are safer, but not safe. We’re not safe because we are an open society that is easily exploitable. One reason why we are safer is how the government has evolved. The counterterrorism landscape in the government has changed dramatically and for the better. Initially, I was not a proponent for creation of the position of Director of National Security. I have since changed my view and believe we have a stronger intelligence community and infrastructure as a result. (READ MORE)

Confederate Yankee: U.S. Soldiers in Iraq Unload On Petraeus Testimony - Did I say "unload on?" I meant echoed: “At this wind-swept base near the Iranian border, the main points of Gen. David Petraeus' testimony to Congress were met with widespread agreement among soldiers: The American troop buildup is working, but the military needs more time. Most of the soldiers at FOB Delta, some 100 miles southeast of Baghdad, were out on patrol or sleeping when Petraeus' comments were broadcast late Monday and Tuesday in Iraq. But some heard it and others have read about it, and say they agree with their commander's assessment.” (READ MORE)

Dr. Sanity: Take That, Bin Laden! - From a post at The Corner from Larry Kudlow, titled "Free Market Capitalism 10, Jihadism 0": “Since September 11, the economy hasn’t suffered a single down quarter. In fact, it has notched 23 straight quarters of economic growth … Overall, the American economy is, adjusting for inflation, $1.65 trillion bigger than it was six years ago. To put that gigantic number in some perspective, the U.S. economy has added the equivalent of five Saudi Arabias, eight Irans, 13 Pakistans, or 15 Egypts, depending on your preference. And while 9/11 did cause the stock market to plunge, the Dow is 37 percent higher than it was on Sept. 10, 2001, creating trillions of dollars of new wealth for Americans. What’s more, the unemployment rate is 4.6 percent today vs. 5.7 percent back then. Not bad at all.” Indeed. Humans are clearly well-suited to some economic, political, and religious systems and not to others. (READ MORE)

Diary of a Hollywood Refugee: Spotlight on Iraq themed films fades to black. - I've been attending screenings, parties, & schmoozing with the rich and boring at The Toronto Film Festival. Later I'll talk about the films that have done well, but it should come as no surprise that the response to several Iraq themed films that are screening here,including Redacted, Valley of Elah, Rendition and Battle for Haditha, has been lackluster. At first I thought that perhaps this was only the opinion of a small minority, but in truth, it's not.While Reuters insists the films have had "positive response", a reality check proves otherwise. (READ MORE)

Freedom Eden: Kids, Candidates, and Cash - You have to admire how politically engaged some children are. After all, the future of our democracy is in their hands. Kids are forgetting about cracking open the piggy banks to buy video games or Barbie dolls. They're donating to political campaigns, throwing their support behind the candidate they believe will lead the country in the right direction. We're not talking small change here, either. We're talking about kids generously giving thousands of dollars of their own money, of their own accord. (READ MORE)

The Foxhole: Cold War Part II (Cont) - Russia Tests ‘World’s Most Powerful Non-Nuclear Bomb’ “MOSCOW — The Russian military has successfully tested what it described as the world’s most powerful non-nuclear air-delivered bomb, Russia’s state television reported Tuesday, the latest show of the nation’s military muscle amid chilly relations with the United States.Channel One television said the new ordnance, nicknamed the ‘dad of all bombs’ is four times more powerful than the U.S. ‘mother of all bombs.’” The “Dad” of all bombs? This harkens back to the old Soviet ‘keeping up with the American Jones’. Quite frankly, at this point I’m unimpressed. This is a feel-good ‘look at us, we still have bombs’! The fracture of the post-Berlin Wall empire has removed the threat of the Warsaw Pact, leaving Russia on its own as far as regaining status as a world power. (READ MORE)

Flopping Aces: The Left's reaction to Petraeus, part 1 - I wanted to examine the Democrats’ reaction to General Petraeus’ testimony at Capitol Hill. Since his report, the Left, notably it’s elected leaders, have come forth in a cavalcade of collective protest. I propagated the notion in part II of my surge reaction essay that the Left is nothing more than a bunch of small, ill-behaved children. Upon not getting their way, in this case complete and utter withdrawal and surrender from Iraq followed by head bowing to terrorists, they throw themselves violently on the floor, kicking and screaming. (READ MORE)

Kit Lange: Task Force Eagle Results - On Monday, 10 September we rallied outside the Capitol Building in Washington, DC to demonstrate our support for both General Petraeus and victory in the War on Terror. Approximately 30 Eagles were addressed by Rep Thaddeus McCotter of Michigan’s 11th District. We then broke into teams and took to the halls of Congress. In the end result we visited somewhere in the order of 70 Congressional offices, left our business cards and letters of support for victory in Iraq. In the offices of those members of Congress who have been holding the line for our guys, we were well received. In those where the opposite is true the reception was, at times, downright chilly. (READ MORE)

Heading Right: Blue On Blue, Heartache On Heartache - Congressional politicians usually make a point of supporting colleagues within their own caucus when it comes time for re-election campaigns, for several reasons. One reason is just pure karma — no one wants to see their own re-election endangered by an intramural attack. More importantly, majorities tend to be fragile, and a loss of majority means a loss of committee assignments and power. However, that hasn’t stopped some Democrats from suggesting that a few less Democrats in Congress may be just what’s needed: “Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) is encouraging anti-war activists to find challengers to centrist Democrats, with the aim of moving the party to the left and ramping up opposition to the war in Iraq, to the chagrin of top Democratic aides.” (READ MORE)

Quid Nimis: 9/11 - This morning I called a friend of mine and reminded her that she was the one who alerted me to what was going on six years ago, at that moment. I remember what I was doing when she called. I remember how the rest of the day went. For me and for most Americans, 9/11 changed our lives fundamentally but not catastrophically. The events of that day changed the fortunes of millions, even as it ended the lives of a few thousand. As a bystander, all I can do really is remember, mark the day in solidarity with my fellow Americans, and to offer my prayers for those who mourn their loved ones. I enclose here the words of two such people. One, a survivor of the attack on one of the Towers. The other is the now famous Debra Burlingame, a woman I have come to admire greatly. She is a great voice, a great patriot and a sister who has never broken faith with her brother. (READ MORE)

Dean Barnett: If You Don't Like the News, Make Stuff Up - And you though the Moveon.Org ad was something. You ain’t seen nothin’ yet. There is no hole so deep that the modern left considers it unnecessary to keep digging. In other words, the demonization of David Petraeus has just begun. The lefties at the Daily Kos and Think Progress are both giving a lot of play to the following quote that Admiral William Fallon allegedly (much more on that in a bit) made about his underling David Petraeus during their first meeting in Baghdad last March. The Daily Kos and Think Progress report Fallon called Petraeus “an ass-kissing little chicken-sh*t.” (READ MORE)

John Campbell: Well, it Didn't Take Long - Congress has only been back in session for a week and already, they are finding new ways to waste your money….this time to the tune of $4 billion. The West Los Angeles Medical Center, sits on some of the most valuable real estate on the West Coast. Many of you may have seen it on the west side of the 405 freeway. The 387 acres that make up the campus, neighbors some of Hollywood’s biggest names. The medical center is home to one of the largest Veterans Affairs facilities in the country. The compound is so large, that roughly 21 out of 91 buildings are vacant. (READ MORE)

IMAO: I Think the U.S. Military Should Kill Terrorists - I remember that back in the 80s when I was but a wee child there were a people called Communists. They were very bad, but we also had Rambo and he killed them. Thus we felt safe and happy and would say, "Yea, though there be Communists, verily there is John Rambo to kill them. Things are well in the world." Today, there no longer are Communists since Rambo killed them all with explosive arrows, but there are terrorists. "Who will kill the terrorists?" we ask, and it is a good question. (READ MORE)

Ian Schwartz: (Video) Ron Paul Says Mall Security Guards Doing Better Job Than Armed Forces in Iraq - During an interview with KFI-AM host John Ziegler, Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul compared mall security efforts to the effectiveness of US military presence in Iraq: (READ MORE)

Bill Roggio: Counterinsurgency success in Haswa - Combat Outpost Corregidor, Baghdad Province: A crucial indicator of success or failure of the “surge” – the deployment of an additional five US Combat brigades and supporting soldiers – is the ability of US forces to involve the local population to provide for security. The crux of the General David Petraeus’ counterinsurgency plan for Iraq is to provide the security to allow the local, provincial, and central governments to move forward with political accommodations. Security comes first, the more difficult political compromises needed to reconcile the reconcilable come second. To gage the progress of the surge, we visited Combat Outpost Corregidor, which is situated in the Baghdad Belts, the regions surrounding the capital where the insurgency has staged attacks into the capital and established bases of operations. (READ MORE)

Leather Penquin: Dear Dems Running for Prez - Which one of you are gonna slap the crap out of Kuci Kuci Kook? First he goes to the Middle East–but refuses to make a stop in Iraq–instead popping up in Syria, where he proceeds to shoot his mouth off, and now he pulls this move: Kucinich Stands Alone Opposed to Sept. 11 Commemoration Resolution (READ MORE)

Amy Proctor: Maliki Believes U.S. Criticism Comes From Ignorance - Anderson Cooper sat down with Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who expressed that he understand criticism from U.S. politicians are from a place of ignorance and a lack of understanding. Great interview: “COOPER: You're actually agreeing, to some extent, that -- that the government has been dysfunctional? NOURI AL-MALIKI, IRAQI PRIME MINISTER (through translator): Yes, definitely. That is why we are considering reenergizing it and reconsidering the process of minister selection, so that they are more professional.” (READ MORE)

The Marching Camp: 9/11 and Following - The attacks on September 11th, 2001 are worth remembering. But what history will judge more significant than the attacks themselves--which did little long-term damage to the nation as a whole--is the reaction to those attacks. There are those who categorize US Foreign Policy into a handful of schools. Frequently, they are referred to by various commentators by the names of presidents associated with them. (READ MORE)

Missiles and stilettos: CNN is seriously a bitch. - General Petraeus mostly kept his cool despite being grilled for thirteen hours by snotty politicians dummies. They kept repeating the same ridiculous questions and probably bored the General by the fifth hour. CNN couldn't wait to rip General Petraeus' testimony apart, as well as Ambassador Crocker's, and hinted they were trying to spin their own reports... even after two U.S. intelligence agencies declared that General Petraeus' statistics were the most accurate. Progress is being made, and it's because of a very able General and the New Greatest Generation. (It's what they're calling the troops now! Rightfully so!) (READ MORE)

OPFOR: Another reason to be ready... - I have said many times, "Carry." I am, of course, referring to legally carrying a concealed pistol, not only for self-defense, but for any situation in which others may be placed in danger by someone who would do them harm. I also advocate that anyone who does not or cannot carry do what you can to be ready. Pay attention to your surroundings. Always have a plan. Follow Rule 21. So after this morning's run, I am watching the news, and I watch this little tidbit (from WXYZ Channel 7 in Detroit): (READ MORE)

William Teach: TTLF: Move On To Continue Attacks on GOP: Write The FEC - It is another beautiful Thursday in America, still a bit thirsty, almost time for some weekend beer! And (Never) Move On is going to continue to attack Republicans. Now, it might be that I woke up just a short time ago, but I do not think my confusion is out of place. According to the Federal Elections Committee, Civic Action is 501(c)(4), in which an organization may engage in lobbying on legislation, but is not allowed to intervene in political campaigns in support of or opposition to any candidate for public office. (READ MORE)

The Redhunter: The Fascists of Code Pink - If you haven't seen it before, here is the video of two members of Code Pink getting thrown out of the Petreaus/Crocker hearing on Monday. The Pinko sitting in back taking videos with her cell phone might be Gael Murphy. Let's get one thing straight right up front; this is not just some harmless protest that we can all laugh at and go on with our business. This is an attempt by a bunch of fascists to destroy American Democracy. And good for Rep Ike Skelton for taking matters firmly in hand. The Pinkos have continued to disrupt the hearings, at periodic intervals one or more of their members would stand and scream some inanity. (READ MORE)

Haystack: Democrats: Dazed, Confused, Befuddled - This has become a really bad rendition of an old comedy routine. How can we argue the merits and alternate strategies of a thing when we can't seem to understand it or agree on where it is even taking place? Consider this shimmering genius from the Speaker of the House: “What Congress is trying to do is a responsible redeployment and change of mission in Iraq so that we can focus on three things - redeployment out, readiness of our troops, strengthening our military to protect our interests wherever they may be threatened, and focusing on the real war on terror, which is in Afghanistan, as well, now, as in Iraq.” (READ MORE)

Right Wing Nut House: Holy Socks! He's Baaaaack - Like a Phoenix rising from the ashes of his own destruction, former National Security Advisor Sandy Berger, a convicted thief of classified documents, has been hired by the Hillary Clinton campaign as a foreign policy advisor. Giving an ex-con a helping hand is fully in keeping with Mrs. Clinton’s compassionate nature so I’m loathe to criticize her for hypocrisy. But as a result of the scope of Berger’s crimes – stealing and destroying classified documents that reflected badly on her husband’s presidency – he may be just the man Hillary needs to white wash the historical record so that her foreign policy, instead of being a mish mash of liberal bromides and bewildering zig zags on Iraq and the War on Terror, may actually acquire a coherence so far lacking. (READ MORE)

The Shield of Achilles: The War Against General Petraeus - And no, I'm not talking about the insurgents. I'm talking about Americans. It's one thing to disagree with what the General said before Congress this week (I'll get to that later). It's another thing entirely to attack him even before he had a chance to speak, or with insults and character attacks unrelated to his testimony. This outrageous advertisement in the NY Times by recently brought this issue into the open, but it's been going on for some time. I wrote about this problem back in July: (READ MORE)

Guard Wife: It's Anticipatory Something - We've had several poignant posts recently about Anticipatory Grief. It's a very real and serious topic. It's also something I have succombed to myself for periods of time. As a National Guard Wife, I spend a great deal of my waking hours somewhere else. I know it's anticipatory in nature as well, but I haven't quite devised a perfect name. So, for now, let's just call it "Sweating The Reality Every Stinking Second" (STRESS) I'm sure you know what I'm talking about with STRESS. (READ MORE)

Stop the ACLU: BBC Backtracks On Correction Of Children’s 911 Guide - Wow! This story is wearing me out! The editor of NewsRound, Sinead Rocks, speaks out about the outrage from Americans to her biased 911 guide for children in her Editor Section. You can read the whole non apology there, but I’ll summarize for you here. In short she said that the majority of people clicked through Drudge to an older version and provides a Drudge Archive. As reported earlier, she said she took that page down (we will come back to this). Down a few paragraphs in her piece she says that she later realized that many blogs were actually complaining about the newer version…which you can find here. She wants it to be known that her apology did not apply to the newer version and that BBC stands by it. (READ MORE)

C. Hart: Defending Israel in an Age of Missile Terror - The latest missile attack on an Israeli military base in the western Negev may force Israel into a ground offensive that overshadows any diplomatic efforts between Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. Israeli opposition leaders are calling for more than precision strikes on terrorist targets, with some seeking a repeat of the IDF’s 2002 Operation Defense Shield: the largest military operation in the West Bank since the Six Day War. However, the Israeli government is hesitant to take action before the Jewish holidays and is already dealing with numerous terror plots and warnings in the West Bank, Tel Aviv and other parts of the country. (READ MORE)

Steve Schippert: Why Iran's Quds Force Left Iraq - Many were surprised by General Petraeus's revelation (sans elaboration) this week that Quds Force has left Iraq. The DC Examiner's Rowan Scarborough sought the elusive elaboration Wednesday and got a bit from Defense sources. “Defense sources told The Examiner on Wednesday that Tehran recalled the Qods Forces out of concern that more Iranian operatives would be captured and disclose valuable information about how Iran is funding, training and arming Iraqi Shiites.” (READ MORE)

T.F. Boggs: Dose Of Good News - With the reports of General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker out now I believe there is reason for hope in Iraq. Of course I am a biased source as I have always believed Iraq was the right place at the right time. However, even liberals seem to acknowledge that we have to stay in Iraq for some time longer in order to prevent a complete catastrophe. I am enthusiastically optimistic these days and am excited to see what happens in Iraq in the years to come now that Petraeus is in charge and it seems that his recommendations will be followed. (READ MORE)

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