September 26, 2007

Web Reconnaissance for 09/26/2007

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)
At U.N., Iranian Leader Is Defiant on Nuclear Efforts - UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 25 -- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad vowed Tuesday not to give in to pressure by "arrogant powers" trying to force him to abandon his nation's uranium-enrichment program and unilaterally declared that as far as he is concerned, "the nuclear issue of Iran is now closed." (READ MORE)

House Passes Children's Health Bill - A broad House majority gave final approval last night to a $35 billion expansion of the popular children's health insurance program, with members from both parties brushing aside a stern veto threat from President Bush to vote their support, 265 to 159. (READ MORE)

Private Security Puts Diplomats, Military at Odds - BAGHDAD, Sept. 25 -- A confrontation between the U.S. military and the State Department is unfolding over the involvement of Blackwater USA in the shooting deaths of Iraqi civilians in a Baghdad square Sept. 16, bringing to the surface long-simmering tensions between the military and private... (READ MORE)

Bush's 'Virtual Fence' Faces Trouble, Delays - Technical and management troubles have caused the government's effort to secure a portion of the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border with a chain of surveillance towers to fall behind schedule, jeopardizing the success of a costly project meant to showcase the Bush administration's tougher stance... (READ MORE)

Bush Urges Reform at U.N.- President Bush yesterday called on the United Nations to reform its human rights panel and urged the world body he once dismissed as irrelevant to live up to its responsibility to spur change in countries ruled by brutal regimes. (READ MORE)

Violent Crackdown in Burma - Security forces shot and wounded three people today, and beat and dragged away dozens of Buddhist monks in the most violent crackdown against the protests that began last month, witnesses said. About 300 monks and activists were arrested, dissidents said. (READ MORE)

Nuclear Dispute 'Closed' to Iran - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad yesterday denounced the U.N. Security Council as tarnished and undermined by U.S. and Western interference, and declared that "the nuclear issue is now closed" in his second major New York speech this week. (READ MORE)

GOP Candidates Show Foreign Policy via Iran - Fred Thompson yesterday called for the U.S. to use its influence to stop World Bank funding to Iran, becoming the latest 2008 Republican presidential candidate to address what may be the next president's major foreign-policy challenge. (READ MORE)

From the Front:
Northern Disclosure: The Northern Part - Lately I have been reached out to by some old family friends of ours. It's exciting to get news from back home and I mean back home. Home is where the heart is so Sweety no worries but home of Terrace BC is where Dad is and all my childhood memories spawned from. I have been influenced by so many people in my life and alot of them were from Terrace when I was small. (READ MORE)

Matt Sanchez: Marines guard Iraq's gradual transformation - HURRICANE POINT, Ramadi – If you head west from this small forward operating base located on Route Michigan, you'll reach a bridge that crosses a peaceful river. It would be easy to spend an afternoon walking along the riverbank, and many Iraqis do. But the 3rd Battalion 7th Marines out of 29 Palms know complacency kills. In fact, that adage is written on the walls near the exit as a warning to Marines about to go outside the wire and into town. (READ MORE)

Eighty Deuce on the Loose: Welcome to Baghdad! - So theres one thing that I could never imagine and thats being straight out of basic training and coming right to Iraq. For me, it took almost 2 years in the 82nd before I finally deployed. Something that is almost unheard of, but thats to being in the wrong place at the wrong time, I ended up getting caught up in restructuring the division, and went places that kept me from deploying sooner. I was always bitter about this. One of my good friends from basic and airborne school got to Ft Bragg and 30 days later he was on his way to Afghanistan for 5 months. (READ MORE)

Calvey in Iraq: Doing better - Greetings from Baghdad! My friend who was injured by mortar schrapnel is home now. His surgeries thus far have been successful, although I have not heard what the long-term prognosis is. I am glad he is doing much better.
All in all, we have been getting attacked a lot less lately, much less than I had feared. I guess a lot of the attacks during the summer were just a lead-up to GEN Petraeus’ testimony to Congress. (READ MORE)

W. Thomas Smith Jr.: Face-to-Face with Hezbollah - BEIRUT (The Christian Sector) — Last night, following a briefing by Toni Nissi, who runs the 1559 Committee here in Beirut and is one of the founders of the Cedars Revolution; he, team members Carol Sokhen and Alexi Capucci, and I, left the offices and drove through the streets of the city. Soldiers were everywhere. Carol was a bit nervous – responsibly cautious might be a better description – because Toni had been watched leaving his office and then followed by Hezbollah men only a few days earlier. And it has been less than a week since parliamentarian Antoine Ghanem was killed on the same route. (READ MORE)

On the Web:
The Belmont Club: The Empty Throne - I wish I were enough of a political maven to understand two items which seem intrinsically related. Item 1: "Hillary has pulled way ahead of Obama in the key state of New Hampshire, and now enjoys a 23-point lead over her rival, a poll just released by CNN finds." Item 2: The biggest candidate-related group on Facebook is no longer "One Million Strong for Barack". Obama has been relegated to second place -- by the group "Stop Hillary Clinton (One Million Strong AGAINST Hillary)". Taken together the two items suggest that the "stop Hillary" sentiment is alive and even surging but that hopes Barack Obama can do the stopping are fading. If Hillary buries Barack in the coming contests, where will the discontent go? (READ MORE)

Ed Morrissey: Hsu's Strings Tied To Hillary - If Hillary Clinton had hoped that the Norman Hsu story would start to fade, she will find disappointment in an unlikely place this morning. The Boston Globe reports that Hsu's seemingly odd and disjointed list of benefactors had something in common -- most of them endorsed and supported Hillary (via Instapundit): (READ MORE)

Don Surber: European leaders sound like Bush - “The world does not have to prove to Iran that Iran is building a nuclear bomb. Iran has to convince the world that it is not striving towards such a bomb.” — Angela Merkel, chancellor of Germany. “Iran has the right to nuclear energy. But allowing Iran to have nuclear weapons would mean an unacceptable risk for regional and world stability.” — Nicolas Sarkozy, president of France. Yet we hear from the left that America is a pariah internationally under George Bush. We also hear that Bush alone is creating a war in Iran. (READ MORE)

Bryan Preston: New Vent: Michelle interviews Iranian democracy activist Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi - Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi is the English editor of Iran Press News and a lifelong Iranian democracy activist who, along with her family, has been battling the mullahs since they took power in 1979. Like everyone else who isn’t a student of Columbia University, she was locked out of yesterday’s forum on the campus featuring Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Had she been allowed to confront Ahmadinejad she might have been able to ask him what the regime has done with her father, who has been a political prisoner since 2001. (READ MORE)

Allahpundit: (Audio) Jewish lesbian dKos diarist tells John Gibson her Ahmadinejad crush is satire - Sound familiar? Surrrre it was a does. Why, it’s laff-a-palooza! Could it be that, to the Bush Administration, one of the most dangerous things about Ahmadinejad is that he is calling the Bush Administration out? And so, if Ahmadinejad can’t be silenced, at least he can be discredited. I’m not saying he’s a good guy at all. I’m only saying it’s hard to know the full story when the Bush Administration seems so invested in smearing Ahmadinejad… (READ MORE)

Jules Crittenden: Shots fired - If I were a human rights activist, I’d save some astonishment for this: “The Myanmar military opened fire on crowds of protesters in Yangon, almost certainly causing casualties, a French diplomat in the city said Wednesday.” Unless the military junta is willing to shoot and imprison thousands of Buddhist monks and tens of thousands of ordinary people … which this development suggests it may well be willing to do … this is going to end badly for them. (READ MORE)

Bill Roggio: Counterinsurgency in al Qaeda’s last bastion in Baghdad - Camp Striker, Baghdad Province: Nine months after the announcement of the Baghdad Security Plan and the subsequent "surge" of US forces, the battle for Baghdad remains engaged. With the effort to secure Baghdad from al Qaeda in Iraq and the Mahdi Army alike, the southwestern security district of Doura has proven difficult to tame. The soldiers of the 3rd Squadron, 2nd Stryker Calvary Regiment are currently engaged in a heated battle against al Qaeda in Iraq in a corner of Doura. (READ MORE)

McQ: A Soldier’s plea - We've recently had a spate of soldier written editorials such as the one written by 7 members of the 82nd Airborne Division which essentially supported redeployment. Here's another sincere article from a National Guard officer who is working with a Provincial Reconstruction Team in the north of Iraq. As you will see, his experience has been tough but encouraging. He obviously understands the amount of work still required of this mission. His conclusion, however, says what needs to be said about as well and as elegantly as it can be said: (READ MORE)

John Hawkins: James Carroll: 'Ground Zero Is A Holy Place, But Bush Is The One Who Desecrates It' By Solomon - Oh wow, just when you think you've read it all from the Globe's James Carroll, he goes one step further. Now it's George W. Bush's fault that Iran isn't with us any more. That's right, Iran, because everyone knows their regime's sincere empathy for us after 9/11 had them supporting us until the president overstepped: N.Y. site transcends boundaries: (READ MORE)

David Kopel: The Right to Arms in the DC(!) Consitution - Today I was examining an on-line copy of the Washington, D.C., municipal code, and came across a startling item. The D.C. government has enacted a "Constitution" which it styles as the "Constitution for the State of New Columbia." Apparently this was enacted in 1987, and presumably it supersedes the "Constitution of the State of New Columbia" which was enacted in 1982. In the Bill of Rights section of the 1987 Constitution is the following: “Sec. 102. Right to keep and bear arms. A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” The public Westlaw site of the D.C. Code provides a short history of the 1987 Constitution: (READ MORE)

Jay Tea: Choice Morsels - A little while ago, I heard some commentator note that Democrats, as a general rule, oppose giving the people any choice in matters -- unless the matter involves sex. It seemed like a good observation -- they don't think we can choose whether or not to wear seat belts, get health insurance, serve in the military (note that the biggest -- and nearly only -- proponents for reinstating the draft are Democrats), give more money to the government, or a host of other examples. It's only in matters related to sex (gay rights, gay marriage, abortion, etc. etc.) that they are champions of "choice." (READ MORE)

DJ Drummond: Freedom Is Evil When Used to Promote Evil - Iran's Hitler-esque President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, addressed the faculty and students of Columbia University yesterday, accorded more respect and honor than many worthier alternatives, such as a certain former President of Harvard. President Ahmadinejad's surreal portrayal of Iran as a sublime paradise of Justice and Peace, where no one is homosexual or sexist or hateful in any way, combined with his sneering derision of the ideals and practices of the country hosting his visit, is reasonably reminiscent of Adolf Hitler, who also assured his neighbors that he was a peaceful man who merely wanted 'lebensraum', and who simply asserted his country's natural desire for Justice. (READ MORE)

A Soldier's Mind: “Missing Parts In Action” - When I lived in Maryland, I had the honor of being able to visit Walter Reed on several occasions and spend some time with our Wounded Warriors. Their positive attitudes, drive and determination is nothing short of amazing and so very inspiring. Many of our Wounded Warriors have stayed in the Military and continue to lead by example. One, whom I’ve mentioned here, here and here is Major David Rozelle. The things Major Rozelle has accomplished, such as returning to Iraq following the loss of his right foot, never ceases to amaze and inspire me. Major Rozelle will be the team captain of a group of Wounded Warriors who will be competing in the 23rd Annual Army Ten-Miler, which I talked about in this story on Thursday, when I wrote about a group of Army wives who are competing in the race in honor of their deployed spouses. I’ve been sent the press release and would like to share it with everyone. (READ MORE)

Ace of Spades: Lawyer to Terrorists and Convicted Felon Lynne Stewart to Participate in, Wait for it…Legal Ethics Conference - It’s the kind of thing you can’t make up because no one would believe you. Stewart will be a panelist at Hofstra Law School’s Sixth Biannual Legal Ethics Conference "Lawyering at the Edge: Unpopular Clients, Difficult Cases, Zealous Advocates" The participant list blandly describes Stewart as someone who, “has defended many unpopular clients over the years”. (READ MORE)

Atlas Shrugs: Evil Regurgitated: The Mushroom Moslem - Charles runs this pic over at LGF taken at the Ahmadinejad rally The person in this photo is Joseph Cohen, a Jewish convert to Islam who now goes by the name “Youssef al-Khattab,” and has been the subject of several LGF posts for his vile videos posted to YouTube: Suspended Jihadi Back on YouTube (Update - Re-suspended).Atlas readers remember this poisonous snake from the Islamists Day parade. Watch our unpleasant exchange here; And Atlas reader Kevin, who joined me down at GZ, send me this intel on the lowlife. After ground zero I went up to the UN and then Columbia. Outside on 116th I took this picture of one of the Islamist counter-protestors holding a sign that read: "May Allah make a mushroom cloud over Israel." (READ MORE)

Augean Stables: Enderlin’s Modus Operandi: When in Trouble Lie, then Cover your Behind - There is considerable speculation about Charles Enderlin in the Al Durah affair: When did he know what. Given his commitments to impressionistic journalism — he believed Talal’s account because it corresponded to the situation in Gaza (which he got from Talal) — and his fast and loose relationship to anything resembling real honesty, it’s hard to pick one’s way through his murky testimony. A particular incident revealed to me by a colleague in France illustrates his modus operandi. According to France2, on September 30, 2002, Talal abu Rahmah sent a fax to their offices rescinding the sworn testimony he had made claiming that the Israelis shot the boy “in cold blood.” This was only revealed to the critics of France2 as a “Oh, by the way…” remark in response to their preparations for a major public protest in October 2002. (READ MORE)

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross: The Anatomy of a Betrayal - More information has recently emerged about the killing of Abdul Sattar al-Rishawi (also known as Abdul Sattar Abu Risha), who led the Anbar Salvation Front. The Associated Press reported on Saturday: “[Lt. Col. Jubeir] Rashid said Friday that Abu Risha's security chief, Capt. Karim al-Barghothi, confessed al-Qaida in Iraq had offered him $1.5 million for the slaying but that he was arrested before he could collect the money. Two other bodyguards as well as some of Abu Risha's neighbors were also detained, Iraqi police said. The arrests took place two days after the bombing. Al-Qaida front group the Islamic State of Iraq claimed responsibility for the assassination. Abu Risha, who organized 25 Sunni Arab clans into an alliance against al-Qaida, died along with two bodyguards and a driver when a bomb exploded near his walled compound just west of Ramadi, 70 miles west of Baghdad.” (READ MORE)

The Democracy Project: The Word They Dare Not Speak (Update) - No, it’s not one of George Carlin’s. The word is “rationing.” At the core of the debates over healthcare in the United States, those who argue for some version of a national health care scheme, while promising all sorts of illusory cost advantages, are really pushing rationing of health care. Britain’s National Health Service, according to a survey of readers of Doctor magazine, is increasingly relying upon rationing. (READ MORE)

Dr. Sanity: Rumors of U.S. Defeat in the Middle East Have Been Greatly Exaggerated - Did you catch the unreal speech given by the President of Iran at the UN today? If so, you might have come away somewhat confused about how similar this Marxist religious fanatic sounds to the Al Qaeda Marxist religious fanatic; and how both of these tyrants keep reiterating the talking points of the [supposedly] anti-religious poltical left.
According to the Ahmadinejad, we don't have the courage to face the fact that we have lost the Iraq war. You wonder if he's been channeling Harry "the war is lost" Reid, or something. (READ MORE)

Confederate Yankee: Absolute Moral Authority: Ahmadinejad Edition - The Hill reports that Cindy Sheehan is counting on celebrity endorsements to shore up her long-shot bid against Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. According to the Hill's Karissa Marcum: “Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan is making celebrity endorsements a key facet of her long-shot bid to defeat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) next year. In a recent interview with The Hill, Sheehan said she has been endorsed by actress Roseanne Barr, country crooner Willie Nelson and Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello.” (READ MORE)

Ron Winter: Hillary Clinton on Fox News Sunday: I yak, yak, yak, HATE, natter, natter, natter, BUSH, etc., etc., etc. - Hillary Clinton stopped by Fox News Sunday yesterday, an unusual move on her part because host Chris Wallace had sliced and diced her husband, the ex-president, gadfly and heir apparent to Hugh Hefner, in a controversial interview a while back. However, although her interview lasted more than 15 minutes, the fact is she talked incessantly, laughed a bunch of times in a manner that reminded me of the Wicked Witch from the Wizard of Oz, but said little to nothing, and answered very few questions. After her appearance that was terribly short on substance other than to toe the Move On party line and accuse George Bush of being the Great Satan - I think she got that from Green Bean Almondine, the President of Iran who has infiltrated New York City and is set to launch an attack on us from within later today and tomorrow - the Fox panel of commentators gave her high marks for her handling of Wallace's questions. (READ MORE)

Soccerdad: Waiting for Assad - Back in 1996, the New York Times had some surprisingly kind words for President Assad of Syria. In Closing Ranks against Terror the editors of the Times fretted that the senior Assad wouldn’t attend the “Summit of the Peacemakers” but that he was still on the right side of history. President Hafez al-Assad of Syria was conspicuously absent, as he was last fall at the funeral for the slain Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin. But as Prime Minister Shimon Peres noted on Wednesday, at least Syria is engaged in the Middle East peace effort, unlike Iran, Israel’s implacable foe. “Peace effort?” Please. Assad went to his grave after rejecting 98% of the territory he demanded of Israel, when President Clinton went to Geneva in 2000. As William Safire remembered the elder Assad in “The Rejectionist.’ (READ MORE)

Wolf Pangloss: Countering the Communist Narrative on Pakistan’s Troubles - Pakistan’s troubles concern everyone. It is a nuclear state with a dangerous, growing insurgency led by Al Qaeda. It is a semi-Islamist dictatorship imposed on a strong democratic culture descended from the British Commonwealth. It is an exporter of militant Islam in the form of Tablighi Jamaat, Hizb ut Tahrir, and the Pakistan-trained Taliban. We can expect plenty of Communist and Islamist agitprop about the troubles in Pakistan. (READ MORE)

The Tygrrrr Express: Tea With Mussolini, Columbian Coffee with Armageddonijad - For the sake of full disclosure, no, I did not watch the movie, “Tea with Mussolini.” I also have never seen, “Beaches,” “Steel Magnolias,” or “Fried Green Tomatoes.” If I did I would have to kick my own @ss, or have my friends come over and do it for me. I am a heterosexual, red meat eating, football watching alpha male. Feminists call me a Neanderthal. I refer to myself as a “guy.” For those of you who are passionate about the right of homosexual vegetarians to watch frisbee golf on tv, leave me alone. I have nothing against your causes. I just want to get home without being bombarded with leaflets. The bottom line is if I wanted to watch something about airhead women babbling, jabbering, and yammering about nonsense, I would watch, “The View.” I don’t, so I don’t. Yet “Tea with Mussolini” was merely a movie. “Columbian Coffee With Armageddonijad” is real life. (READ MORE)

Steve Schippert: Understanding Al-Qaeda's Pakistan PSYOP and Insurgency - Going forward in the global conflict before us, it is important to acknowledge and understand that al-Qaeda is currently engaged in an Information Operation (IO) campaign inside Pakistan. This is in addition to its efforts to gain influence outside of Pakistan, particularly with Muslims in Europe, the Middle East and in the US. The primary target of the Pakistan campaign is the Pakistani military and it is driven by al-Qaeda’s accelerating insurgency inside Pakistan. Understanding how and why al-Qaeda has undertaken this effort allows decision makers greater understanding of al-Qaeda’s aims and equips them with a ‘lay of the land’ required to counter al-Qaeda’s message and objectives. (READ MORE)

Texas Rainmaker: The Truth About the “Jena 6" - What happens when you combine bogus MSM sensationalism with professional race-baiters like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton? You get a small town story of common thugs turned into an international circus based on lies and propaganda. But the truth always has a way of getting out… The so-called “white tree” at Jena High, often reported to be the domain of only white students, was nothing of the sort, according to teachers and school administrators; students of all races, they say, congregated under it at one time or another. (READ MORE)

Stop the ACLU: TV’s The View Ready to Dump New Host Over ‘Conservative Religious’ Views? Already?? - Are the producers and Barbra Walters over at TV’s The View already about to dump a new View Hostess over her controversial views? Rumors to that effect are beginning to leak out, anyway. While Rosie got well over a year to spout her anti-American, anti-Bush garbage before the folks at The View finally got motivated to dump her for a new hostess, it looks like the new gal isn’t as lucky. What seems to have disgusted The View’s backstage handlers this time is a perceived “conservative” doubting of evolution in favor of a religious viewpoint that Sherri Shepherd recently revealed in one of her early appearances. (READ MORE)

Some Soldier's Mom: I'm running out of bridges here... - For those at Columbia or those (like I) who listened to the dear, peace-loving, "I embrace everyone in the world" Mahmoud and actually believed the crap he spewed, do I have a bridge for you!! Absolutely no homosexuals in Iran, llllooooooovvvvvvveeeeeeeee the Iranian women... (did you know that they actually respect their women by keeping them from all the responsibilities that men in Iranian society have! Who knew??)... they only kill criminals... refused to answer questions about whether Iran wants to obliterate Israel, whether they have put homosexuals and women to death for sexual conduct (launched into "we only kill criminals"... so I guess those were criminals?), and -- this made me drop my jaw in total amazement -- "We don't need to resort to terrorism. We've been victims of terrorism, ourselves,"!!! (READ MORE)

The Redhunter: Ahmadinejad at Columbia - I was able to tune into Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad about halfway through his address at Columbia University earlier today. What struck me was what a poor speech it was. He rambled and seemed not to be able to stay on any one topic for long. I was unimpressed. Much more interesting was the question and answer period which followed. He is the master of evasion, able to take just about any question and turn it into a soliquoly on "justice" for the Palestinians. When asked whether Iran was building nuclear weapons he engaged in moral equivalence; "you have them and you tell others they can't have them?" Sadly though unsurprisingly, many in the audience applauded him. (READ MORE)

Pirates Cove: WTW: Silky Now Ant-Frivolous Lawsuit - Morning, y’all, Jebediah Murphy here with a dose of the truth. And the truth is, I really cannot laugh any harder. John Edwards, one of the original big boys in the frivolous lawsuit business prior to his political career, is now calling for their end (h/t doubleplusundead) “Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, who made his fortune as a trial lawyer, says attorneys should have to show their medical malpractice cases have merit before filing them. He also said attorneys with a history of frivolous suits should be barred from filing new cases.” Yes, now that he is no longer in the business of defrauding North Carolina OBGYNs out of hundreds of millions of dollars by convincing juries that the doctors caused the babies to be born with cerebal palsy because a cesarean was not done, he wants to put an end to this practice. (READ MORE)

Pros and Cons: Of liberalism, economics and social class - I’ve listened to NPR since before we moved to the United States (when I was 4, and my parents would switch between the CBC and NPR). They are liberal, but sort of mainstreamly so. I recall way back when Tip O’Neil outlasted Presidents and a Democrat lock on the house of Representatives seemed a sure and permanent thing, NPR was already agitating for something to be done about the Big Three Automaker’s pension and healthcare costs, preferably nationalization, but if that failed, swapping them in for either ownership of the company or a defined contribution plan. Nevertheless, today’s UAW-GM compromise is something along the lines of what NPR was pushing back in the mid-1970s, and the reportariat seemed pleased with it now, if no longer as urgently interested. (READ MORE)

Patterico's Pontifications: More Toobin: The Amazing Assault on Judicial Independence that Never Was - In Jeff Toobin’s book “The Nine,” Toobin spends a few pages talking about the Terri Schiavo case, and the alleged threat to judicial independence posed by the Congressional law mandating a federal review of the case. (As an aside, I’ll remind you of my analysis defending the law as appropriate, and stating that the courts got it wrong.) Toobin spends pages discussing O’Connor’s reaction to the alleged assault on judicial independence, and closes the section with this disturbing anecdote that brings home just how real the threat truly was: (READ MORE)

Kat in MO: Iraq: Winning, Disconnecting From the Matrix - History, they say, is written by the victors. Except for modern history, which is written by the media with all the snapshots, sound bites, so called expert analysis, and two minute pundit riffs trying to tell the story before the next commercial break or within the 1.5" x 6" column they were allocated in the news paper. In this war, history is still being written by the media. They create a narrative that equates to the knowledge of the masses and trickles down to the polls. (READ MORE)

Libertarian Leanings: Hollywood's anti-war creme de la creme - The L.A. Times opinion section features a point-counterpoint between David Ehrenstein, Hollywood journalist and author of Open Secret: Gay Hollywood--1928-2000, and Andrew Breitbart, co-author of Hollywood, Interrupted: Insanity Chic in Babylon -- The Case Against Celebrity and publisher of Ehrenstein takes satisfaction in the speed with which Hollywood has leaped onto the anti-war bandwagon, much more quickly than it did during in Vietnam era. Dismissive of a spate of movies that seem more driven to winning Oscars than making a political statement, Ehrenstein celebrates the release of Redacted by Brian DePalma, which includes a graphic rape and an on-camera beheading. (READ MORE)

Ian Schwartz: (Video) Donald Trump Sez Bush Should Go Into ‘Hiding’ - In an interview with CNN the Donald says Bush is a liability to the Republican party and he should go into hiding: "The business mogul and vocal critic of the Bush administration told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Monday that he thinks the president is a “huge liability” for any Republican seeking the White House. Trump went on to say the best thing Bush can do for his party is to go into “hiding.” (READ MORE)

Grim @ Blackfive: Nikita and Mahmoud - What's the difference between character and statecraft? This is a question that apparently never crossed the mind of historian Rick Perlstein, who wrote an interesting but badly mistaken piece comparing Nikita Krushchev's visit in 1959 to this week's visit by the president of Iran. Let me put before you an illustrative example: one week in September of 1959, when, much like one week in September of 2007, American soil supported a visit by what many, if not most Americans agreed was the most evil and dangerous man on the planet. Perlstein suggests that the respectful welcome granted to Krushchev pointed to a confident, mature American character; whereas the rude reception given Ahmadinajad at Columbia was the mark of immaturity. To be specific, he thinks the immaturity comes from the fact that American character has been damaged by years of "conservative rule," which he says is "rewiring our hearts and minds" in bad ways. (READ MORE)

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