October 17, 2007

Web Reconnaissance for 10/17/2007

A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.

In the News: (Registration may be required to read some stories)
Many GOP Donors Yet to Open Wallets - More than a third of the top fundraisers who helped elect George W. Bush president remain on the sidelines in 2008, contributing to a gaping financial disparity between the GOP candidates and their Democratic counterparts. (READ MORE)

Does Obama's Message Match the Moment? - WASHINGTON, Iowa -- A hush fell over the crowd as Sen. Barack Obama crossed the field, his white shirt glowing in the sun, waves of cornstalks rustling behind him. Once inside the open barn on the county fairgrounds here, he offered a message as uplifting as the backdrop, promising a new era… (READ MORE)

Support Wanes For Armenian Genocide Bill - Chances for a U.S. resolution calling the mass killings of Armenians that began in 1915 genocide eroded dramatically last night, as sponsors dropped off in droves and senior Democrats urged House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to abandon her support. (READ MORE)

Justice Dept.'s Focus Has Shifted - The Justice Department under the Bush administration has retreated from prosecutions of mobsters, white-collar criminals, environmental crimes and traditional civil rights infractions, new department data show. (READ MORE)

Blackwater Won't Allow Arrests - A defiant Blackwater Chairman Erik Prince told editors and reporters at The Washington Times yesterday he will not allow Iraqi authorities to arrest his contractors and try them in Iraq's faulty justice system. (READ MORE)

Patience Sought on China Deal - The White House yesterday said critics of a proposed merger between a U.S. maker of computer-security equipment and a Chinese company should give an interagency national-security review a chance to do its job. (READ MORE)

Hillary Leads in Donor Refunds - Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential campaign has cut nearly $1.3 million in refund checks to hundreds of donors since July 1 — more than triple what the rest of the Democratic field returned to supporters combined. (READ MORE)

Putin Urges U.S. Not to Strike Iran - Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday warned against a U.S. military strike against Iran and invited Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to make a precedent-setting visit to Moscow. (READ MORE)

GOP Hopefuls Take a Hard Line on Tehran - The top Republican presidential candidates yesterday repeatedly threatened attacks on Iran if it pursues nuclear weapons, drawing lines between themselves and the Democratic candidates. (READ MORE)

From the Front:
Bill and Bob's Excellent Adventure: Picture Time - Here are a few pictures of some of the recent happenings in The Valley. The Valley has a lot of farms. They primarily grow wheat (already harvested,) corn (pictured,) potatoes, tomatoes, onions (they LOVE onions,) melons, and cotton. Sunrise in The Valley. Pictures just don't do the mountains justice. (READ MORE)

Those Wacky Iraqis: The Ziggurat of Ur - FOBs, COBs, ASRs, MSRs, DFACs, MREs, MRAPs, MEF, M1-A1. It seems like that is the only lingo we know but every once in a while we hear a phrase of word that just stops us in our tracks and we go,"What"? This happened to me when I heard the name "Ziggurat of Ur". I said, "What the hell is that"? I was in Tallil and heard about this ancient edifice that existed on post. I had a vague remembrance of reading something about it years ago and went to wikipedia to read about it. (READ MORE)

Northern Disclosure: Like a Visa Commercial - Every deployment that I have been on the time gets divided into sections. The predeployment anticipation, early deployment shutters, the "I CAN"T STAND YOU!", Time keeps on ticking, and the "WOW! that was fast." Right now we are in the "I can't stand you" phase of our deployment. This is the period of time that everyone has been together for 6-8 months and personal ideosycracies are coming to the surface and everyone is getting rubbed the wrong way. I too am falling victim to this phenomena. (READ MORE)

B.A. Patty: To raise them up. Part 1: The lesser and greater insurgencies of the Philippines - Zamboanga, Philippines: The Philippines and the US have a history that formally begins with the Spanish American War of 1898. After the intense fighting that followed the secession of the Philippines from Spain to America, fierce Moro warriors fought US troops with tourniquets tied around their limbs, so they could fight a little longer before dying. In order to knock down the Moros, the US Army turned to John Moses Browning, who developed a more powerful military sidearm, the 1911 .45 Automatic Colt Pistol. (READ MORE)

IraqPundit: Listening Might Help - I would have a much easier time respecting the opinion in the NYT today had it been written by someone, anyone, who knew something about Iraq. The writer complains of bonuses the U.S. offers soldiers to stay in the Army. Then the same writer says: "The bonuses are another desperate reminder of how little planning was done for the Iraq war, and how much damage it has done to America’s forces. They are also the right thing to do, especially given the prolonged sacrifice demanded of the troops and their families. We are agnostic at this time on the Marine’s proposal for Afghanistan but are relieved that at least somebody is starting to plan for leaving Iraq." (READ MORE)

From an Anthropological Perspective: Back From Another Base - I just got back this evening to my FOB, flying in by Blackhawk, from another FOB where I met and brainstormed with another Human Terrain Team. My brigade has made incredible resources available to me and my team, flying from place to place by helicopter, doing an areal survey previously written about, letting us ride along in convoys, among other things. I'll blog soon about an awesome research effort the other team and I brainstormed regarding how to help Internally Displaced People and reduce the damage they are causing water infrastructure and the spread of water-bourne diseases. (READ MORE)

On the Web:
Holman W. Jenkins Jr.: The Microsofting of Google - That Microsoft is leading the lobbying charge against Google's pending acquisition of DoubleClick is ironic for a lot of reasons, particularly this: "It is difficult to imagine that in an open society such as this one with multiple information sources, a single company could seize sufficient control of information transmission so as to constitute a threat to the underpinnings of a free society. But such a scenario is a realistic (and perhaps probable) outcome." Those words come from a famous 1995 brief by an imaginative Silicon Valley attorney that kicked off the Microsoft antitrust wars. Though the dread forecast today is the same, the bogeyman has changed. Now it's Google. (READ MORE)

Rhodes Cook: College Try - It would not be surprising if the most important single primary in 2008 takes place in California. But don't look for it to be the presidential primary on Super-Duper Tuesday Feb. 5. Look instead to the state primary on June 3, up to now a low-profile event that could become fraught with significance if some California Republicans succeed in getting a highly controversial proposition on the ballot. If successful, it would ensure the party's nominee 20 or so electoral votes from California next fall, even if the GOP candidate loses the state for the fifth straight election. And if the 2008 election is as close as the last two been have been, that could be enough to keep the White House in Republican hands. (READ MORE)

WSJ Review & Outlook: See No Proliferation - The silence from the Bush Administration over Israel's recent bombing of a site in Syria gets louder by the day. U.S. officials continue to look the other way, even as reports multiply that Israel and U.S. intelligence analysts believe the site was a partly constructed nuclear reactor modeled after a North Korean design. The weekend was full of reports about these intelligence judgments, first in the U.S. media then picked up by the Israeli press. Israel's former chief of military intelligence, Major General Aharon Zeevi Farkash, called them "logical." That's the term of art people use to confirm things in Israel when they want to get around the military censors. (READ MORE)

Brent Bozell III: Al Gore's Nobel Propaganda Prize - Twenty or 30 years ago, the Nobel Peace Prize was considered to be among the most prestigious awards in the world. It helped make historic figures out of Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa and Lech Walesa. But in the last 20 years, its prestige has lessened as its political correctness has hardened. It went from an award that championed human rights to an award that honored dictators and terrorists (Mikhail Gorbachev, 1990, or Yasser Arafat, 1994). (READ MORE)

Amanda Carpenter: Kids - House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) blamed “hate radio” for demeaning children who were being used to lobby for an expansion of federally funded health insurance in a press conference late Tuesday morning. In the run-up to a House vote to override President Bush’s veto of a $35 billion increase to the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, children like the 12-year old Graeme Frost---who suffered brain injuries after a car accident-- have been pushed to the forefront of the debate. (READ MORE)

Austin Bay: Recognizing the Armenian Genocide - It's an old phenomenon: When the dispossessed get clout, the past becomes a battleground. Often the stakes in the present are extraordinarily high. An exemplary skirmish over very bad history is taking place in the U.S. Congress -- in this case, the World War I slaughter of Armenians by Ottoman Turkey. (READ MORE)

John Stossel: Turning Kids into Sex Offenders - Imagine how DeMarcus Blackwell felt when he was told that his son Chris had engaged in "sexual contact and/or sexual harassment" at school. School officials in Waco, Texas, said Chris rubbed his face in the chest of a female teachers' aide. Well, before you can imagine this father's reaction, you need to know one other fact: His son was 4 years old when the "sexual" incident occurred. (READ MORE)

George Will: The Supply and Demand for Government - WASHINGTON -- Explaining a simple proposal to help people squirrel away gold for their golden years, Hillary Clinton said that a person "should not require a Ph.D. to save for retirement." But can even Ph.D.s understand liberalism's arithmetic and logic? Consider the controversy over the State Children's Health Insurance Program, which is up for renewal. Most Republicans favor extending it. Almost all Democrats, and some Republicans, favor expanding it in a way that transforms it. (READ MORE)

Thomas Sowell: Crime and Rhetoric - Oakland, California, continues to suffer the high crime rate, and especially the high murder rate, which has long afflicted that city. Judging by a recent speech by its current mayor, long-time leftist Ron Dellums, it can look forward to a future all too much like its past. Why is Oakland so crime-ridden? According to Mayor Dellums, "we have closed our eyes to the injustices and inequities, and now we are reaping the wild winds of that disregard for a whole range of people." (READ MORE)

Michelle Malkin: Sinking SCHIP: A Defining Moment - On Thursday, the House of Representatives will vote on a measure to override President Bush's veto of a massive government-subsidized health insurance entitlement expansion plan. I agree with the Democrats on one thing: This is indeed a "defining moment." The left-wing elite is in high dudgeon over conservatives who have dared to question the wisdom of extending the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to middle-class families, adults and even illegal aliens to the tune of $35 billion... (READ MORE)

Debra J. Saunders: The Dean Wing of the Republican Party - It's pretty clear that Mitt Romney made a big mistake over the weekend when he told voters that he speaks for "the Republican wing of the Republican Party." Romney handed rivals Rudy Giuliani and John McCain the opportunity to remind GOP primary voters about the Old Romney, who was pro-abortion rights and courted gay voters when he ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate, then successfully for governor of Massachusetts. That's the Romney, who while debating Sen. Ted Kennedy in 1994, proclaimed: "I was an independent during the time of Reagan-Bush. I'm not trying to return to Reagan-Bush." (READ MORE)

Homefront 6: The last - When this deployment started, I pondered the first care package and all of the other "firsts" that would come. Now I get to revel in the "lasts". For the last time, I took my daughter to school alone. That's not to say MacGyver will be able to take her to school every day but at least he'll be able to consider the possibility. Other than R&R, he's missed every day of her school career thus far. For the last time, I took my kids to Awana alone. From now on, if MacGyver isn't working he'll be able to join us and see exactly how much fun the kids have each week and what they learn. (READ MORE)

Bill Roggio: Yemeni al Qaeda leader Jamal Badawi surrenders - Yemeni al Qaeda leader Jamal Badawi has surrendered to police in Yemen. Badawi was the leader of the al Qaeda cell that responsible for the December 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in the port of Aden, Yemen. Al Qaeda carried out the bombing using suicide attackers in explosive-laden inflatable boats. Seventeen 17 US sailors were killed in the strike. The FBI placed a $5 million reward for Badawi's capture. (READ MORE)

Ilya Somin: Is "Genocide" Really Worse than "Mere" Mass Murder? - Columbia lawprof Michael Dorf discusses some of the issues raised by the congressional resolution that seeks to condemn Turkey's World War I-era mass murder of its Armenian citizens as "genocide." The Turkish government is angry at the prospect that its predecessors actions might be so characterized. Back in 1994-95, there was a similar debate over the question of whether the mass murder of Rwandan Tutsi by Hutu nationalists counted as genocide. As Samantha Power describes in her book, A Problem from Hell, the Clinton Administration and others took the position that it was not genocide in order to reduce political pressure to mount a military intervention. Today, there are arguments about the question of whether there is a genocide in Darfur. This raises the more general issue of why genocide should be considered worse than the deliberate murder of a similar number of innocent people for other reasons. (READ MORE)

Right Wing Nut House: The World According to Hillary - As all other Presidential campaigns have done, Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy team has written an essay for Foreign Affairs outlining her thoughts and goals for her potential presidency. I felt that given the fact that it is a good bet at this point that Mrs. Clinton will be putting her thoughts into action come January, 2009, a close look at her ideas and proposals would be of interest to all. Generally, speaking the essay is typical Democratic party boilerplate with some interesting differences, including the eye-popping inference that a Clinton Administration may be willing to negotiate with al-Qaeda: (READ MORE)

John Hawkins: The Democratic Underground Thread Of The Day: Stick It To Rush By Taking Money Away From The Children Of Fallen Soldiers - Most of you are undoubtedly already familiar with the "phony soldiers" controversy involving Rush Limbaugh. But, for those of you who aren't, let me give you a recap. Rush Limbaugh criticized "phony soldiers" like Jesse Macbeth, who certainly deserve anything Limbaugh has to say about them. Shortly thereafter, dishonest liberal bloggers and politicians, in an effort to smear Rush, deliberately lied about his comments and claimed that they were aimed at members of the military who oppose the war in Iraq. Harry Reid and 41 Democratic senators even wrote a letter to Clear Channel calling Limbaugh "unpatriotic" and calling CC to force Rush to apologize for calling anti-war soldiers "phony soldiers," even though again, he never said any such thing. (READ MORE)

Jules Crittenden: Vlad Hearts A’Jad - In case anyone on any side had any illusions about either of these parties: Erstwhile godless commie seeking to restore lost Soviet greatness gets chummy with messianic Iranian zealot seeking to precipitate return of the Mahdi and/or restore lost Persian greatness, threatens Great Satan/Yankee Imperialists.
There’s something to despise here for everyone, from godless commies and Russki neo-imperialists to freedom-loving capitalist running dogs to skittish Euros to suicidal Sunni jihadis to end-timing Mahd-men, as Putin plays a dangerous game with A’jad. (READ MORE)

Allahpundit: (Video) NBC News salutes MOH winner Lt. Michael Murphy - The first Medal of Honor recipient of the Afghan war, killed in a firefight with the Taliban that saw two of his three team members die alongside him and then 16 more soldiers, eight of them Navy SEALs, perish when an RPG hit the Chinook that was carrying them to the scene as reinforcements. According to the LA Times, it was the bloodiest day for Navy special ops since World War II. (READ MORE)

Ed Morrissey: The Human Rights Violations Of Today Seem Less Compelling - As the enthusiasm wanes for alienating a key ally in the war on terror, Congress seems much less interested in tweaking a nation for its current abuses of human rights and support of genocidal regimes. A proposal to boycott the China Olympics this year has attracted almost no support, nor has any other proposal condemning China for its support of Sudan's genocidal government or its repression of Tibet: (READ MORE)

Dafydd: Nancy "Deer in Headlights" Pelosi - "Zoom. What was that? That was your speakership, mate. Oh! Do I get another one? No, afraid not." (Not John Cleese's exact words, but close enough.) Squeaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Haight-Ashbury, 95%) has got to be wondering, Where are the show-trials of yesteryear? It was supposed to be such a bodacious debut: The war would be aborted, the troops withdrawn; Bush aides and cabinet members would be investigated, disgraced, and indicted, one by one; The failed "surge," health care, and tax cuts for the ultra rich would have the entire country cursing the very name of the President. But somehow -- as in a spirit act -- the tables turned without a human touch. (READ MORE)

Jim Addison: Hillary shortchanging Hsu-donor refunds? - When the Hillary Clinton campaign announced, after their leading fundraiser Norman Hsu was found to be a scam artist, they would return all donations to Hsu-related donors, I had my doubts. One of the raps against Hsu was that he bilked investors out of millions, some of which he funneled through straw donors to favored political candidates, especially Mrs. Clinton. But if so many of the donors listed weren't actually the source of the money, just WHO would she be refunding the money TO? The bilked investors? How? Pro-rata? "Curiouser and curiouser," as Alice observed. (READ MORE)

ROFASix: The Armenian Genocide Resolution - When I first heard about House Resolution 106, "Affirmation of the United States Record on the Armenian Genocide Resolution," I admit, I was impressed by the subtlety of the Democrats in the House of Representatives. They had obviously found a way to torpedo US national interests in the region and create a logistics nightmare for the military who depend on Turkey to support the logistic pipeline that flows into Iraq. That was the only possible explanation for the newly found 'concern' for a genocide that the Ottomans had conducted in the early 1900s against the Armenians. (READ MORE)

Andrea Shea King: The Protectors of Illegal Aliens Are at it Again - Terry Funderburk goes to court in two days to defend himself against those who are breaking the law by hiring illegals. This during the same week when the US Senate continues to ignore the will of American citizens by screwing us again -- this time slipping the Dream Act onto a Labor Appropriations bill. Last night I received emails from Steve Elliott of Grassfire.org and Roy Beck of NumbersUSA, urging - PLEADING with us to write to our Senators to tell them -- yet again -- that we won't stand for this. Elliott writes: “I've just received stunning news that amnesty Senators are ready to make yet another run at passing the Dream Act as soon as late today or tomorrow!” (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.

Trackbacked with:
US Unveils New Maritime Strategy in Newport from Steeljaw Scribe

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