September 20, 2007

Web Reconnaissance for 09/20/2007

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)
Senate Blocks Bill on Iraq Combat Tours - The Senate blocked legislation Wednesday that would have regulated the amount of time troops spent in combat, a blow for Democrats struggling to challenge President Bush's Iraq policies. (READ MORE)

Anti-Syrian Lawmaker Killed in Beirut Blast - An anti-Syrian lawmaker and at least six other people were killed by a car bomb in a busy Beirut neighborhood Wednesday, only six days before parliament is to convene to begin electing a new president. (READ MORE)

GOP Blocks Bid on Rights Of Detainees - A Republican filibuster in the Senate yesterday shot down a bipartisan effort to restore the right of terrorism suspects to contest in federal courts their detention and treatment, underscoring the Democratic-led Congress's difficulty with terrorism issues. (READ MORE)

Past Clouds Candidates' Donor Lists - A list of the donors who have "bundled" large sums from dozens of individuals to give to Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential campaign includes several figures who were involved in the 1990s Democratic Party fundraising scandal that tarnished her husband's record. (READ MORE)

Democrats Can't Afford '08 Promises - The 2008 Democratic presidential candidates are promising voters billions of dollars in new government spending, paid for in part by "rolling back" the Bush tax cuts. (READ MORE)

Panel to Study Security Firm Rules - The State Department yesterday said a joint U.S.-Iraq commission has been created to examine the rules governing private security firms that guard U.S. diplomats in Iraq. (READ MORE)

'Dream' for Illegals Gets a Wake-Up Call - A Senate Democratic leader, trying to win support for his proposal to give legal status to illegals who go to college or join the military, is promising to impose an age limit to cut the number of eligible people. (READ MORE)

Melee Spurs Calls for Action on Day Laborers - Community leaders scheduled a public-safety meeting in a D.C. neighborhood after a clash among a group of Hispanic men that residents said began in an area where day laborers gather. (READ MORE)

Parents’ Protests Over Army Recruiters Won’t Deter Future Efforts, Officials Say - A protest by parents who sought to stop an Army recruiter from talking with students at a Montgomery County high school will not deter future visits by military representatives pitching a career in the armed services, Pentagon officials said Wednesday. (READ MORE)

Bin Laden Tape to Declare War on Musharraf - Osama bin Laden will release a new message soon declaring war on Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf, al-Qaida announced Thursday. The announcement of the upcoming message came as al-Qaida released a new video in which bin Laden's deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri, boasted that the United States was being defeated in Afghanistan, Iraq and other fronts. (READ MORE)

From the Front:
Michael Totten: The Next Iranian Revolution - In a green valley nestled between snow-capped peaks in the Kurdish autonomous region of northern Iraq is an armed camp of revolutionaries preparing to overthrow the Islamic Republic of Iran. Men with automatic weapons stand watch on the roofs of the houses. Party flags snap in the wind. Radio and satellite TV stations beam illegal news, commentary, and music into homes and government offices across the border. (READ MORE)

Matt Sanchez: The Dogs of War - Corporal Jared Martin is a commodity, he's one of the few Marines who can literally raise morale, just by doing his job. Cpl. Martin is a Marine Cpl dog handler. Dog handling is a rare MOS (Military Occupation Speciaty, or just plain "job") in the military, but somehow I've met several in my travels. A dog is very much in the military, it has an SRB (Service Record Book) Medical record, and even a memorial should an dog fall in the line of duty--as they sometimes do. (READ MORE)

Hard Soldier: Tis the season - Ramadan has come to the middle east and traditionally this is a time when US casualties go up. I have prepared for the festive Ramadan season by setting up my Ramadan tree and putting little Ramadan lights all over my tent and stringing garland made of bullets across my chest. Ah yes you gotta love the holidays. (READ MORE)

Desert Flier: Camp Virginia, Kuwait - 25 by 100 foot hut. The stench was overpowering by midday. The smell of old crusty uniforms in desperate need of a change out and stacked bodies in need of scrub. So I sat outside and read James Herriot until the heat got to me, then re-entered when forced with few other choices. (READ MORE)

Argghhh!: News from our Man in the 'Stan. - I spent the last two days in Bahgram Airfield meeting with the eastern regional commander (82nd Airborne) to discuss how things were going so far. Now when I say “meeting with” of course I mean I sat in another room listening to him give his assessment without him knowing I was ever there. It was a fun trip and it was great to get out of ISAF for a while and see something new. We took a convoy to Kabul Airfield late at night. (As we piled into the SUV with our guns the Brit driver was listening to rap…It all seemed so right somehow.) Then sleeping the night away at the airfield in a tent for transients (insert joke here) and off the next morning on a Blackwater plane to Bahgram. (READ MORE)

American Ranger: You've Gotta Love the Army - The major and I arrived in the vicinity of a large airport at 2130 hours. We traveled to that location instead of the original departure point because the Army changed our international flight reservations. When we couldn’t get a last minute flight to this airport, we were forced to take a military vehicle and drive for almost five hours to get there. Then we had to wait again, so we stayed overnight in a local hotel. Our baggage was packed, our weapons were securely encased in locked containers, we said goodbye to our families and we purchased those last minute things you always buy before you head to a war zone. (READ MORE)

On the Web:
Daniel Henninger: Mukasey or the Muck - Judge Michael Mukasey's acceptance of George Bush's offer to become his third attorney general brought to mind the title of a relatively obscure 19th century French novel called "La Bas," which means "down there."
"La bas," of course, would be modern Washington. "Down there" the denizens push a great grinding wheel that circles endlessly. (READ MORE)

Pete Du Pont: Chill Pill - There is both global warming and global cooling on the planet Earth. There always has been and there always will be, because temperature change is cyclical: The Earth's temperature oscillates up and down, ebbs and flows, over decades and centuries. Sometimes the earth warms, as it did in the Roman Warming period (200 B.C. to A.D. 600), the Medieval Warming period (900 to 1300) and in modern times from 1910 to 1940. And sometimes it cools, as it did in the Dark Ages (600 to 900); the Little Ice Age (1300 to 1850) and from 1940 to the late 1970s. (READ MORE)

WSJ Review & Outlook: French Revolution - Unveiling his domestic reform agenda in Paris Tuesday, Nicolas Sarkozy called for "a new social contract" for France. His proposed revision of French socialist tradition going back to Jean-Jacques Rousseau is nothing short of revolutionary. His ability to deliver will make or break his presidency. True to character, Mr. Sarkozy came out swinging. The new President declared that France's generous welfare state is "unjust" and "financially untenable," "discourages work and job creation," and "fails to bring equal opportunity." The result: France's jobless rate is the euro zone's highest. (READ MORE)

Baltimore Examiner Editorial: What is rich? - When the great warrior Masai nation must mix cattle blood with milk for a nutritious drink, they have sense enough not to bleed the animals to death. That means they are a lot smarter than Gov. Martin O’Malley. As part of his plan to reduce the state’s newly revised upward $1.7 billion “structural” deficit, O’Malley wants to raise income taxes on “the wealthy.” In his eyes those are households making $150,000 or more. Certainly, that income sounds like a lot, but let’s break it down. (READ MORE)

Mrs Greyhawk: For the Record - Slate's "Explainer" David Sessions, answers your question about the news. Today he set out to debunk John McCain: “Yesterday, John McCain told supporters in Iowa that U.S. soldiers are ‘carrying 40 pounds of body armor in 130-degree temperatures.’” For reasons unknown, it's important to him to prove McCain is wrong about that temperature claim. He cites climate records from the US Air Force... (READ MORE)

The Belmont Club: The Clipped Wings of the Flightless Dodo - Richard Miniter reports that CIA teams operating out of the Green Zone have had their wings clipped by the State Department ban on Blackwater escorts. Blackwater Blogger correctly observes the issues involved are far broader than the identity of the security contractor itself. It goes to the heart of how "diplomacy" should be conducted in the age of terror. “Embassy Security For Dummies: OK, this is put together on the fly, in about five minutes of internet research, but it is apparently necessary because the idea that there might be security personnel as part of a diplomatic mission and host nation security personnel as well is apparently quite a complex one.” (READ MORE)

Ed Morrissey: Former CBS Producer Rips Rather - Forget the O.J. Simpson trial. The court case with the highest bitchiness quota in years will be the lawsuit that Dan Rather filed against CBS yesterday. Howard Kurtz tracked down John Howard, the executive producer of 60 Minutes II that resigned after the airing of the infamous National Guard segment, and Howard thinks Rather has lost his mind: (READ MORE)

Don Surber: A new Hsu for Hillary - This one is William Danielczyk, described by the Wall Street Journal as the “founder of a Washington-area private-equity firm and a major fund-raising bundler for Mrs. Clinton.” One of his employees, Pamela Layton, told the Journal that Danielczyk reimbursed her the $4,600 maximum donation that she made to Hillary’s campaign. (READ MORE)

Bryan Preston: CAIR scrubs its web site of Audrey Hudson criticism - First they hated her work, then they cited her work. And when they cited her work, all the bad things that they had said when they hated her work just…disappeared. Update: Perhaps I was too obscure with this post. Here are some backgrounders. (READ MORE)

Allahpundit: Stalemate: Webb’s troop-rotation amendment fails again, draws no new votes since July - Webb’s is the bellwether proposal Reid has offered at the start of each round of Iraq battles in the Senate. The idea is to mandate a set period of time between tours for the troops, ostensibly in order to give them more rest at home but actually to force a partial drawdown of troop levels in Iraq by making it impossible for the Pentagon to maintain pre-surge numbers in the field at any given time. (READ MORE)

Jules Crittenden: Lurxst - Too bad there aren’t more like ”lurxst,” not afraid to tell everyone how he, she, it, whatever “lurxst” is, feels. Daily Kos: "I Don’t Support the Troops..oops, there, I said it ... lurxst, Wed Sep 19, 2007 at 04:27:34 PM PDT" Now that wasn’t so hard. “lurxst” didn’t even have to use “lurxst’s” real name to make that brave statement. More like that, please. More impressive with a name, though. (READ MORE)

Bill Roggio: Improving security: Baghdad's Adhamiyah neighborhood - An afternoon helicopter flight with Brigadier General Jim Huggins, the deputy commander of Multinational Forces Central, took us from Camp victory in southern Baghdad to the Adhamiyah neighborhood. Two Blackhawks, one with the general and his staff, another with his personal security detachment, flew low and fast. (READ MORE)

Neptunus Lex: Good news, bad news - Apparently it’s not true that Ol Beady Eyes will be offered the chance to visit Ground Zero when he heads to New York next week. The idea had caused quite a stir in the Big Apple, but apparently it was all some class of misunderstanding: "Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly caused considerable confusion earlier today when he suggested that the request was still pending. In fact, police officials said later, the request — made at a meeting that included the Secret Service and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey — was denied for reasons of security and safety." (READ MORE)

McQ: Webb, the Dems and "home leave" - I love this first paragraph: “Senate Republicans yesterday rejected a bipartisan proposal to lengthen the home leaves of U.S. troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, derailing a measure that war opponents viewed as one of the best chances to force President Bush to accelerate a redeployment of forces” "Home leaves"? Doesn't that sound awful? If you didn't know any better you'd think our troops come home from war and stay there until the next time they're called to go into harm's way. But they don't. They come back to the US and do what troops always do - they train. (READ MORE)

John Hawkins: Dan Rather: It Was The One Armed Man Who Misled America About Those Fake Documents, Not Me! -As you may know, disgraced former newsman Dan Rather is suing CBS for $70 million: “Mr. Rather, 75, asserts that the network violated his contract by giving him insufficient airtime on ‘60 Minutes’ after forcing him to step down as anchor of the ‘CBS Evening News’ in March 2005. He also contends that the network committed fraud by commissioning a ‘biased’ and incomplete investigation of the flawed Guard broadcast and, in the process, ‘seriously damaged his reputation.’” (READ MORE)

ShrinkWrapped: I Hope You Know This Means War! ... or Maybe Not - The Middle East is that area where the needs, passions, and desires of much of the world's population come together in a swirling amalgam of contention. It is sacred to three great religions, central to the operation of the world economy, and the font of the most destructive passions at play in the world today. At the moment, many critics of the Bush administration believe that there is an orchestrated campaign afoot, similar to the prodrome to the Iraq War, to prepare the American public and the world for war with Iran. (READ MORE)

Pete Hegseth: Iraq vets take Capitol Hill - Yesterday, unbeknownst to anyone watching wall-to-wall O.J. Simpson coverage on our so-called cable "news" networks, over 250 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans from Vets for Freedom descended on Capitol Hill to deliver a message: support General Petraeus and don’t tie his hands with burdensome legislation. (READ MORE)

Jay Tea: A World Gone Mad - Sometimes I really feel sorry for the authors of technothrillers and other crafters of fiction. Far too often, they find their works rejected by editors and readers as "too fantastic" or "too unbelievable." But what they come up with can not possibly be as insane as what happens in the real world. For example: Syria. (READ MORE)

Jim Addison: Harry Reid jumps thru hoop, falls flat on face - Only two days after being called on the carpet by his Masters of the antiwar Left, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid failed to deliver on his whiny promises as the Jim Webb Senatorial Stupidity Amendment, which would have dictated the details of troop rotations in and out of Iraq, fell four votes short of the needed 60, and died the ignominious death it so richly deserved. (READ MORE)

Michelle Malkin: The Democrats’ bundles of straw - The Wall Street Journal continues to dig into Democrat funny money. They identify a Clinton donor who says her political contribution was reimbursed by her husband’s boss, a fund-raising bundler for the candidate: “When Hillary Rodham Clinton held an intimate fund-raising event at her Washington home in late March, Pamela Layton donated $4,600, the maximum allowed by law, to Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign.” (READ MORE)

Monkey Tennis Centre: BBC playing down Israel's strike on Syria - Why is the BBC playing with such a straight bat (note to US readers: the expression is cricket parlance, and is used to suggest that someone doesn’t want to take sides on an issue, or give away more information than is necessary), over Israel’s air strike on Syria? Almost every other major news outlet has reported, some in considerable detail, that the Israeli raid targeted nuclear material that had been shipped from North Korea. (READ MORE)

Ian Schwartz: (Video) Wesley Clark Implies Troops ‘Bust Down’ Doors And ‘Rough Up’ Women - Appearing on ‘The Daily Show’, Wesley Clark compared our troops in Iraq to “space invaders” who “bust down your doors and rough up your women and throw you on the ground.” Sounds exactly like what John Kerry said two years ago. Transcript: “WESLEY CLARK: But if you didn’t have those rules of engagement, like we had in some units at the outset where you just sort of knocked on doors and roughed people up. Well, look, I mean, in America, think of how it would be. I’m from Arkansas, but think of how it would be anywhere in the states, you know? An invading force comes in. They’re wearing space helmets.” (READ MORE)

Baron Bodissey: Gathering of Eagles, Part III - Last Saturday, anti-war protesters under the umbrella of the Answer Coalition gathered on the Mall in downtown Washington DC to oppose American involvement in Iraq and push for the impeachment of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. Fortunately for rest of us, military veterans and other loyal Americans were there under the umbrella of Gathering of Eagles. I wasn’t able to attend this time, but our Flemish-American correspondent ProFlandria was there, and he took a lot of photographs and sent us a written account of what happened. (READ MORE)

Chickenhawk Express: Gathering of Eagles Counters the Latest IVAW Vietnam Flashback Event - Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) have started their "truth in recruiting" campaign to hopefully prevent others from signing up to serve in the US Military. It's another one of their "we wanna live in the 70's" attempts to revive the anti-Vietnam War actions. Here's how Mike Ferner describes the first morning... “In the early morning chill of September 17, on the plaza in front of Union Station, members of IVAW set out literature and donuts on a card table and waited for the young International A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition activists to arrive. After a briefing, four-person teams left for various military recruiting offices and the campaign was underway.” (READ MORE)

Uncle Jimbo: Playing fair with the other team - My cred for dealing with the "loyal" opposition is pretty well established. I'm nowhere near nice in my commentary on progressive views, but I spend more time engaging their views tolerantly than most, often in person. Madison is a renowned sanctuary of liberalism in all it's variants. Now any of us even a step right of center are continually vilified by the left as haters and usually most unfairly. Charles from Little Green Footballs is a perfect example. (READ MORE)

Big Dog: Let Ahmadinejad Visit WTC Site - President Ahmadinejad or Iran (the fellow who looks like one of the chimpanzees on planet of the Apes) wanted to visit the site where the World Trade Center Towers stood before they were knocked down by Muslims who stole airplanes and flew them into the buildings. He will be in New York to address the UN and he wanted to visit the site and lay a wreath there. It is unclear if he would be laying that wreath in memory of the victims or in memory of his fellow terrorists who flew the planes. (READ MORE)

Lawhawk: Media Messages From Al Qaeda - Al Qaeda's media wing has delivered a bunch of videos today - including another one by Osama (although I suspect that it will be along the lines of a voice over and a static photo of Osama), and one by Zawahiri that calls for jihad against Pakistan and Musharraf. Guess that the jihad against the infidel in Iraq and Afghanistan is going so well that they've got to call for jihad against their safe haven in Pakistan to keep things going. (READ MORE)

Kat in MO: Ahmedinejad At Ground Zero? - I haven't written for awhile. I am working on an my epic review of the current Iranian situation coming soon along with a video on how to fight the war of ideas. In the mean time, reports are out that Iranian President of Terrorism Inc, Ahmedinejad, is looking to visit Ground Zero and "Lay a Wreath". A lot of people are extremely unhappy. (READ MORE)

Melanie Phillips: The money quote - In his newly published memoir, the former Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan, wrote: “I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.” When the book was published, the anti-war crowd predictably had a field day. On the day that story broke, however, Greenspan told the Washington Post in an interview which was published two days later that: “while securing global oil supplies was ‘not the administration’s motive,’ he had presented the White House with the case for why removing Hussein was important for the global economy.” (READ MORE)

Pros and Cons: Immigration and Gumballs - The father of our own Illegal Lawyer, who ought to have his own cool handle quite frankly, sent me a speech on immigration that is making the rounds on You Tube. I have my own pet approach, as regular readers know, which boils down to let anyone who is safe and can pay a relatively small amount in, with some cost savings for speaking English, let in some targerted refugees and reward some nations that support us abroad, El Salvador’s hard-fighting troops in Iraq come to mind, through our immigration system. (READ MORE)

Cassandra: Goodbye - For once in my life, I am going to keep this short. The only thing I regret about leaving, is leaving all of you. That has been the hardest thing, and putting it off will not make it any easier. So many people have told me the real world is out here. But for almost four years I found a group of people, perhaps for the first time in my life, that I truly felt comfortable with; people who were interested in the same things I was, who got my stupid jokes, my love of Shakespeare, my Friday lyrics (or who at least didn't mind them too much :), who seemed to understand why I am passionate about certain things, who could take a silly idea: a game, story blogging, a poetry slam, and turn it into magic. (READ MORE)

K.C. Johnson: The Administration's Response - “Pandering” (New York Times). “Clearly terrified of the racial and gender activists on his own faculty” (Wall Street Journal). “Did little, if anything, to defend the lacrosse players or to criticise the faculty for its lynch-mob mentality” (Economist). “Weak-kneed” (Newsweek). “Seemingly terrified of the protestors and a radicalized faculty with the power to turn him into another Lawrence Summers” (Weekly Standard). The reviews on Duke president Richard Brodhead’s performance in the lacrosse case are less than glowing. Such a poor performance hadn’t been expected in 2004, when Brodhead arrived in Durham after serving as dean of faculty at Yale. (READ MORE)

A Soldier's Mind: Panel Urges That Iraq/Afghanistan Vets With PTSD Should Receive Lifelong Care - In late July, I reported on the President’s Commission on Care for America’s Returning Wounded Warriors and the recommendations the panel made to the President and to members of Congress. They had many recommendations, some of which, steps have already been taken to implement. On Wednesday, they urged that the Bush Administration and Congress, not lose sight of the needs of our Wounded Warriors, in their continued disagreement over the war in Iraq, and to act quickly on measures to improve the care given to our Wounded Warriors. Hopefully they’ll be listened to. Our Wounded Warriors deserve nothing less than state-of-the-art healthcare, for as long as they require it. That’s the very least our country can do for our warriors. (READ MORE)

Richard Landes: How Media Error Poisons the World: Al Durah and Terror - For those who think that George Bush is the major incitor of Jihadi violence in the West, think again. In my book, the Western media, with their addiction to the Israeli-Goliath/ Palestinian-David paradigm, do far more damage, by providing Muslims with images of Israelis killing Palestinians. In some cases, they are staged, in others, they are real tragedies but unfairly blamed on the Israelis, in others they are accidents, and yet the medias eagerness to present them as deliberate, intentional or wantonly violent acts, the media turn these false accusations into often staged or real tragedies caused by Palestinians presented as false accusations as incidents (or false accusations) into “objective fact” and wrap it in wads of moral outrage (disproportionate response). Given what they see on Western TV, how could any self-respecting Muslim hate the Israelis? (READ MORE)

Ace: Obama Chastized for "Acting Like He's White" - Reverend Jesse Jackson (apparently he's still around?) criticised Senator Barack Obama during a South Carolina interview on Tuesday for "acting like a white man" with regard to the "Jena Six." If you (like me) missed all the hubbub about the "Jena Six," apparently six black students were charged for the racially motivated assault of a white student in December of 2006. Five of the six were originally charged with attempted murder, a rather outrageous treatment for a school-yard brawl, even in Louisiana. (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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