September 25, 2007

Web Reconnaissance for 09/25/2007

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)
Judge Halts O'Malley Order - A Maryland judge yesterday issued a temporary restraining order against Gov. Martin O'Malley's administration, saying the governor acted unconstitutionally in signing an executive order to unionize child care workers. (READ MORE)

Huckabee Hits Hillary on Ad - Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, an ordained Southern Baptist minister, told The Washington Times in an interview that he is "absolutely confident" that the New York senator will be the Democrats' presidential nominee, but questioned Mrs. Clinton and the Democratic Party's reliance on Mr. Soros, who has compared President Bush to Adolf Hitler. (READ MORE)

NRA Now Eyeing Role in GOP Primaries - The National Rifle Association, which did not endorse President Bush in 2000 and 2004 until just a month before the general election, is considering stepping into the presidential campaign fray early next year during the primary season. (READ MORE)

Ill Will for Ahmadinejad - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad yesterday plunged into an openly hostile audience at Columbia University, defying Zionist groups, Iranian expatriates and anti-nuclear activists to defend his government's nuclear program and its antipathy toward Israel. (READ MORE)

Bush to Announce Sanctions Against Burma - President Bush today will announce additional sanctions against the military dictatorship in Burma to support the push for democracy in that Asian country, the White House said yesterday. Mr. Bush, in a U.N. General Assembly speech, will announce financial sanctions against key members of the regime and those who provide them financial aid, said Stephen J. Hadley, the president's national security adviser. (READ MORE)

What Defines a Killing as Sectarian? - On Sept. 1, the bullet-riddled bodies of four Iraqi men were found on a Baghdad street. Two days later, a single dead man, with one bullet in his head, was found on a different street. According to the U.S. military in Iraq, the solitary man was a victim of sectarian violence. (READ MORE)

U.S. Trying to Block Calif. on Emissions - The Bush administration has conducted a concerted, behind-the-scenes lobbying campaign to try to generate opposition to California's request to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks, according to documents obtained by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. (READ MORE)

Court Reverses Ruling on Detainees - The new Court of Military Commission Review has ordered a military judge to reopen the terrorism case against a 20-year-old Canadian accused of killing a U.S. serviceman in Afghanistan, ruling that the judge's decision earlier this year to dismiss the case was in error. (READ MORE)

Suicide Attack Kills 21 at Gathering Intended to Reconcile Iraqi Factions - BAGHDAD, Sept. 24 -- A suicide bomber attacked a reconciliation gathering of Shiite and Sunni tribal leaders, provincial officials and security commanders in Baqubah on Monday, killing at least 21 people, including the city's police chief. (READ MORE)

From the Front:
Desert Flier: Nostos - Nostos (Greek: νόστος) (pl. nostoi) Homecoming. It is a theme dealt with in many Homeric writings such as the Odyssey, in which the main character, Odysseus, strives to get home after the Trojan War. The plural term nostoi is applied to Greek heroes homeward journeys after the taking of Troy. Fishing trawler a half mile up the coast. I just walked over the berm from the cabana, and the trawler is the first thing I spy. She's slowly crawling my way, and only several hundred yards from shore. Great booms reaching out over the water like the tentacles of an octopus. But it's the birds that really nab my attention. A cloud of shorebirds lazily floating, diving, and endlessly rotating around the old trawler. The atom doesn't exist without the electrons, and the electrons have no function if it weren't for the atom. It's like that. The surf is washing over my feet. The sun is climbing with nary a cloud in the sky. And it dawns on me: I'm here. Shorts, bare feet, and a beer. This is me, I'm doing this, and it just won't process. (READ MORE)

Outlaw 13: Iran Supplies MANPADS to Insurgents - In a story that has some concern to me personally... “US military spokesman Rear Admiral Mark Fox told reporters in Baghdad that Iran was shifting sophisticated arms such as "RPG-29s, explosively-formed penetrators (EFPs), 240 mm rockets and Misagh-1 surface-to-air missiles" across its borders into Iraq.” The Misagh 1 is an Iranian man-portable infrared guided surface to air missile. It was developed by the Shahid Kazemi Industrial Complex in Tehran and is an all-aspect passive infrared homing system. It is a variant of the Chinese QW-1 Vanguard missile system. Meanwhile back home, people are having discussions over tea with the leader of a nation(the same nation that is giving arms to people who are trying to kill me) that would kill all of them in a heartbeat if he could get away with it. (READ MORE)

On the Web:
WSJ Review & Outlook: Other People's Politics - Two bastions of liberalism are discovering the nasty side of campaign finance reform now that it has landed in their own backyards. On Sunday, a spokeswoman for the New York Times admitted it had "made a mistake" when it charged the radical group a special discounted rate for an ad accusing General David Petraeus of betrayal in advance of his Congressional testimony. Meanwhile, DailyKos's Markos Moulitsas Zuniga has faced a Federal Election Commission inquiry into advertising sales at his blog, which has become a force in pushing the Democratic Party to the left on various issues--among them, campaign finance reform. (READ MORE)

Bret Stephens: Columbia's Conceit - On Saturday John Coatsworth, acting dean of Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs, made the remark that "if Hitler were in the United States and . . . if he were willing to engage in a debate and a discussion to be challenged by Columbia students and faculty, we would certainly invite him." This was by way of defending the university's decision to host a speech yesterday by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. (READ MORE)

Shelby Steele: The Legacy of Little Rock - Fifty years ago today, riot-trained troops from the 101st Airborne Division escorted nine black students through the doors of Central High School in Little Rock. Just 48 hours earlier, President Eisenhower deployed--in a single day--1,000 troops to restore order and to reassert federal authority in Arkansas's capital city. For weeks the entire nation had watched on television as a mob of angry white adults gathered each morning to prevent the nine black students from integrating Central High. It would come to be remembered as one of the ugliest and meanest white mobs of the entire civil rights era. (READ MORE)

Cal Thomas: Intolerance in the name of tolerance - I would not be as bothered by Columbia University's decision to host Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad if Columbia and other universities had a consistent policy toward those they invite to speak and the rules applied equally to conservatives and liberals; to totalitarian dictators and to advocates for freedom and tolerance. (READ MORE)

Dennis Prager: Does the Left Value Truth? - There are conservatives who lie and there are liberals who lie. Neither blue nor red has a monopoly on truth-tellers. However, unless one denies that there are distinctive values on the right and on the left -- a proposition that no serious liberal or conservative would deny -- how much truth is valued may be different for the right and the left. (READ MORE)

David Limbaugh: Columbia University's Selective First Amendment Affinity - Over an avalanche of protests, New York's Columbia University invited Iran's Holocaust denying dictator Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to speak on campus. That any American institution would furnish a propaganda platform for this murderous thug is symptomatic of staggering ignorance about our enemies in this global war on terror. Self-congratulatory liberals, like Columbia's President Lee Bollinger, actually see the university's hosting of Ahmadinejad as a cause to celebrate -- advancing free speech and diverse viewpoints -- as opposed to something that must be reluctantly tolerated. (READ MORE)

Douglas MacKinnon: Message to PC police: We have a responsibility to monitor U.S. Mosques - New York Republican Congressman Peter King has become the latest target of those who value political correctness and pandering over the national security of our nation. For recently speaking his mind and worrying about the influence radical Islam has in this nation, Congressman King is being predictably attacked by the left-leaning media, by the Democratic National Committee, and certain Muslim organizations. What exactly did Congressman King say to incite the anger and rage now being directed at him? (READ MORE)

Rich Lowry: The Iran exception - When five American soldiers were killed at an Iraqi government building in Karbala in January, Democratic Sens. Chris Dodd and John Kerry erupted in outrage. They both knew one of the soldiers killed, a talented West Point grad. According to The Washington Post, his loss "radicalized Dodd, energized Kerry and girded the ever-more confrontational stance of Democrats in the Senate." (READ MORE)

Gregory S. McNeal: Ahmadinejad and Support of Non-State Armed Groups - Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's recent visit to Columbia University caused quite a bit of controversy. Although his responses to questions about human rights, the absence of homosexuals in the Islamic republic, and the need to revisit the research behind the holocaust were somewhat amusing and perhaps revealing, the questions he did not answer are particularly noteworthy. Specifically, how does he reconcile a claim to peacefulness and his wish to wipe Israel off the map? Why doesn't he fully cooperate with the UN with respect to his nuclear facilities? And why does Iran continue to support armed groups as a cornerstone of its foreign policy? (READ MORE)

Pete Hegseth: Academia at war? - Yesterday, Columbia University was blessed by the presence of the Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, along with his host of denials ("there are no gays in Iran," "the holocaust was fabricated, " and "Iranian women are happy.") And while Columbia's president attempted to hit Ahmadinejad with tough questions, the loud applause from the audience, along with Ahmadinejad's very presence were sufficient indication of the political environment at Columbia. Free speech above all else; unless, of course, we don't agree with you. Ahmadinejad, while certainly a controversial figure at Columbia, has done enough Bush-bashing and America-cursing to earn him more respect than, say, anyone in the Bush administration. (READ MORE)

Bryan Preston: New Vent: Protesting Ahmadinejad at Columbia - Michelle and I traveled to New York on Monday to document events as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived and spoke at Columbia University in New York on Monday. Only Columbia students were allowed to attend the speech and the Q&A that followed it, so many people who wanted to challenge Ahmadinejad were kept outside. We spoke to some of them, along with Columbia students and others who turned out to protest Columbia’s decision to give Ahmadinejad a forum on its campus. (READ MORE)

Allahpundit: Yawn: Hillary used Bill to have negative GQ piece killed - First one to make a Vince Foster joke in the comments is a total hack. Sad to say but I’m sure this sort of thing isn’t uncommon on either side of the aisle. The Clintons can simply get away with more brazen threats because Slick is, after all, the liberal Jesus. On the upside, here’s yet another publication that will never, ever be allowed to lecture bloggers on the magically sacred precincts of the sacred, magical newsroom. (READ MORE)

Jules Crittenden: Learning Moment - Columbia President Lee C. Bollinger just set a new academic standard. The university as a moral force, a leader in struggles for peace, freedom and justice. Here’s Bollinger’s speech, an exercise in stark clarity. Bollinger’s bio suggests this might be a bold new course for him.* So maybe he is shining a light, as academics are supposed to do, showing a new way forward. Among the many parts I liked, is this part where in plain terms he calls Iran the enemy in Iraq, and asks A’jad why he’s supporting terrorists who kill American troops. How come everyone else seems to have such a hard time saying that? (READ MORE)

Don Surber: Obama sells out - Democrats pushed the McCain-Feingold campaign deform as a way of reducing the influence of big money on campaigns. Now, five years later, Democrats are all about the money as the two richest men in the world have contributed the maximum amount they can to Barack Obama. (READ MORE)

Ed Morrissey: 'Betray Us' Bombed: Rasmussen - The MoveOn ad that accused General David Petraeus of possibly traitorous testimony before he even began speaking has alienated the majority of American voters -- and even a plurality among MoveOn's allies believed it harnful to their cause. A new Rasmussen poll shows that 58% of those polled disapprove of the accusatory ad in the New York Times, while only a paltry 23% approve (via Memeorandum): (READ MORE)

The Belmont Club: Ahmadinejad at Columbia - The San Francisco Chronicle thinks Ahmadinejad speech at Columbia was a resounding victory for Lee Bollinger: “Columbia University President Lee Bollinger courageously, imho, resisted pressure to call off Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speech at Columbia today. But he went one better. In a stunning statement, right in front of Ahmadinejad, he wiped the floor with the putative head of Iran's despotic regime, taking him to angry, articulate task on issues such as Holocaust denial, Israel's right to exist, subversion of Lebanon's government and support for terrorism.” Too bad that many may not hear about Bollinger's triumph in Iran. (READ MORE)

The Tygrrrr Express: Poison Ivy League Education - I ran out of toilet paper today, but luckily a neighbor of mine had a college degree from Columbia University. Poison Ivy League Education is now upon us. It started with grade inflation, where students “pay their fee, get their ‘B’ (average)” (Disclosure: I benefitted from grade inflation). Now the Ivy League universities still insist that they are places of critical thinking, logical reasoning, and intelligent analysis. Yes, and the CBS memos were “fake, but accurate,” and the Jayson Blair Times is “all the news that is fit to print.” (READ MORE)

Jay Tea: Just A Turd In A Gilded Cage - Well, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad went and spoke at Columbia, and the world didn't end. And, surprisingly, he didn't leave with an honorary degree. I guess he should have timed it for commencement. Rather, he did pretty much what I expected: he tried to put a human face on his nation's brutal theocracy, polish the gilded cage a bit, polish the turd that is the government of Iran. And, to some, he did just that. Others, though, could see the Mr. Hyde lurking behind the Dr. Jekyll mask, which slipped a bit when he made the absurd assertion that "there are no gays in Iran." I think Cox & Forkum captured the moment perfectly: (READ MORE)

DJ Drummond: BDS - The Obsession and the LefTrolls - Neither President Bush nor Vice-President Cheney are running for any office next fall; indeed no one in the Bush White House has expressed a desire to be the nation's next President or a Senator or Congressman. Yet the leading Democrats are all running against President Bush, as if he were the GOP's nominee. Hillary Clinton leads the pack, and acts as if it were the 2004 election again, not 2008. (READ MORE)

Donald Douglas: The Case Against Ahmadinejad at Columbia - While monitoring the continuing controversy over Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's visit to New York, be sure to read Caroline Glick's phenomenal essay outlining the moral case against the Iranian president's speech. Glick list all of Iran's outragreous actions and statements, on the Holocaust and Israel, on human rights, on regional security, and so on. These actions - which represent Iran as the true international pariah that it is - clearly justify denying Ahmadinejad a platform. But Glick's objections go further, to an even more fundamental ethical issue in the controversy: (READ MORE)

Uncle Jimbo: Winning at Counter-Insurgency - There are many factors that contribute to turning an insurgency around, the number one is convincing the people that working with you is the way to a better life. After Abu Ghraib you might think it a little odd that some of our best work is being done in the prison system that houses captured insurgents, you haven't met MG Stone. H has decided to use the full attention of the detainees to educate them about civil society and many other things. My favorite bit is this which points out how hope grows all "A Tree in Brooklyn"-ish. (READ MORE)

Chickenhawk Express: They Support Our Troops? - We all know just how vile and nasty some of the posters at Democratic Underground can be especially when it comes to the US Military. But some of the responses to the death of Sgt. Eddie Jeffers made me physically ill. There were several posts expressing true sympathy for the Jeffers family and the Sgt. but the overbearing nastiness of the following posts completely eclipsed the sympathetic ones. What really fired up the venom was the misconception that the parents of Sgt. Eddie Jeffers are members of FreeRepublic. THAT made the grieving parents targets of the vitriol. (READ MORE)

Dr. Sanity: An Exercise in Narcissism - Let's see how the Iranian news is playing Ahmadinejad's appearance at Columbia: “Before President Ahamadinejad's address, Colombia University Chancellor in a brief address told the audience that they would have the chance to hear Iran's stands as the Iranian President would put them forth. He said that the Iranians are a peace loving nation, they hate war, and all types of aggression. Referring to the technological achievements of the Iranian nation in the course of recent years, the president considered them as a sign for the Iranians' resolute will for achieving sustainable development and rapid advancement. The audience on repeated occasion applauded Ahmadinejad when he touched on international crises. At the end of his address President Ahmadinejad answered the students' questions on such issues as Israel, Palestine, Iran's nuclear program, the status of women in Iran and a number of other matters.” (READ MORE)

Hatemonger's Quarterly: The Other Presidents People Should Hate - We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” always figured that politicians were pound for pound the most obnoxious folks on the planet. After all, they’re rich buffoons who tell half-truths for a living. But events of the last year or so have led us to rethink our previously stated position. Perhaps it’s not the politicians who so rankle, it’s the fancy-pants types in the world of university administration. That is to say, the presidents of the United States may be bad, but the presidents of your local colleges are far, far worse. Just take the higher education headlines of the last few months as a guide. (READ MORE)

Monkey Tennis Centre: A Bad Night for Freedom - While a few commentators are suggesting that Ahmadinejad was put in his place by Columbia President Lee Bollinger tonight, I just can't see it. Those who think he's mad and dangerous will have heard nothing to change their minds, while those on the extreme left who see him as an ally in their war against President Bush will if anything be emboldened. As John Bolton pointed out, it’s not like we don’t know what Ahmadinejad’s positions are; the issue is whether you legitimise those positions by giving him a platform. For Ahmadinejad to have been in any way phased by Bollinger's attack would have required that he have a conception of right and wrong that relates in some way to ours. (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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