January 16, 2008

Web Reconnaissance for 01/16/2008

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)
Romney Wins Michigan GOP Primary - SOUTHFIELD, Mich., Jan. 15 -- Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney resoundingly won the Michigan presidential primary Tuesday, seizing his first big victory in the Republican competition and blunting the momentum of his chief rival, Sen. John McCain (Ariz.). (READ MORE)

Station Chief Made Appeal To Destroy CIA Tapes - In late 2005, the retiring CIA station chief in Bangkok sent a classified cable to his superiors in Langley asking if he could destroy videotapes recorded at a secret CIA prison in Thailand that in part portrayed intelligence officers using simulated drowning to extract information from suspected al-Qaeda members. (READ MORE)

In Child Porn Case, a Digital Dilemma - The federal government is asking a U.S. District Court in Vermont to order a man to type a password that would unlock files on his computer, despite his claim that doing so would constitute self-incrimination. (READ MORE)

Blast Near U.S. Embassy Vehicle Kills 3 - BEIRUT, Jan. 15 -- A bomb exploded Tuesday next to a U.S. Embassy sport-utility vehicle on a coastal road in Beirut, killing at least three motorists nearby but only lightly injuring two embassy workers, American and Lebanese officials said. (READ MORE)

No Standard Bearer - Mitt Romney finally won the "gold" yesterday, as he so effusively puts it, and the result is a Republican Presidential battle that is more muddled than ever. The most important story out of Michigan is that Republicans are still looking for a standard bearer. (READ MORE)

Too Big to Succeed? - The first goal of any new CEO taking over at a time of trouble is to clear out the other guy's losses and move on. For Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit, the job also seems to include traveling the world with a tin cup begging for new capital. Once he's done with that, maybe he'll ask whether the oft-troubled bank has become too big to succeed. (READ MORE)

The 'Wacko Vet Myth' - Most journalists consider it bad form to mention the race or ethnicity of a criminal defendant without a compelling reason. But racial and ethnic groups are not the only ones who take offense at such stereotypes. As early as World War I, the American Legion passed a resolution urging reporters "to subordinate whatever slight news value there may be in playing up the ex-service member angle in stories of crime or offense against the peace." In 2006, Veterans of Foreign Wars magazine bemoaned the "wacko-vet myth." (READ MORE)

A Win for Investors - The Supreme Court did the economy a favor yesterday by declining to open up a whole new avenue -- er, superhighway -- for securities class-action suits. But the decision in Stoneridge v. Scientific Atlanta may be most remarkable because three justices nonetheless voted to validate the trial bar's "scheme liability" scam. (READ MORE)

Romney Gets Win in Michigan - Native son Mitt Romney last night pulled out his first big win of the Republican presidential race, defeating a surging Sen. John McCain in Michigan's primary and reviving his flagging bid to win the party's nomination. (READ MORE)

Hillary Likens Obama to 'Pathetic' Bush - Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton last night compared her rival, Sen. Barack Obama, to President Bush on executive abilities — just minutes after calling the current president "pathetic." (READ MORE)

Bush Hopeful of Peace Accord - President Bush today said he remains optimistic an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement can be reached, despite escalating violence in Israel, and thanked Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak for his support. (READ MORE)

D.C. Yet to Issue Fines for Smoking - The District's ban on smoking in restaurants and bars has been in effect for more than a year, but no one has been cited for violating it. (READ MORE)

Democrats to Look at Tax Cuts, Rebates - House Democratic leaders yesterday said they were open to an economic-stimulus package with tax cuts for small businesses and rebate checks to U.S. consumers that are not "paid for" with tax increases, moves likely to win Republican support. (READ MORE)

Signals Point to 'Faltering' Economy - Signs that the economy is on shaky ground piled up yesterday as it became apparent that consumers, reacting to the housing mess and gas prices above $3 a gallon, slashed their Christmas spending and major losses prompted more foreign bailouts of Wall Street titans Citibank and Merrill Lynch. (READ MORE)

From the Front:
Yellowhammering Afghanistan: Pie charts and snow angels - Two-thirds! I remember the fractions class in school when they used a pie chart to show how much two-thirds is. I remember how it looked like so much more than one-half. An Afghan boy takes aim with his snowball.Today marks the eight-month mark of my one-year deployment to Afghanistan. If you're good with fractions, that's two-thirds. I spent the day getting some major things accomplished with the Ghazni Afghan National Police. I even found time to get into a snowball fight with some Afghan children. My wife requested a snow-related video for the blog, so here I am doing a snow angel in body armor. (READ MORE)

Sgt Hook: A Letter to the Candidates - I read the news today, oh boy… The “out by year’s end” mantra is really starting to get under my skin so I felt compelled to compose the following letter to the candidates... I certainly hope I’m not told to go back on my word. (READ MORE)

A Surgeon's Letters Home From Iraq: 16 JAN 2008 The peripatetic road home, first inhalation - Hi friends! I've finally found a quiet comfortable spot to rest on my way home. Since I've got nothing to do but rest and wait for air travel, I thought it was a good chance to tell you a little bit about the road that got me here. I feel like I'm at a pit stop for the night on "The Amazing Race." It is wonderful to be here, but I won't have won until I get home to M! (READ MORE)

Lt Nixon Rants: The Surge and the Media - There's some good reading on the right-wing site HumanEvents entitled "The Surge: Still Working". It's written by a retired SpecOps LTC by the name of the Roger D. Carstens. I'm gonna try and respectfully critique his article in the hopes that I don't piss off the green berets and end up getting covertly punched in the face in the middle of the night. The crux of the article suggests that yes the surge is working, but the media isn't covering it, so it's not helping win the information war. (READ MORE)

Iraq Pundit: U.S.-Shiite Conspiracy Time - Surely you already have heard that the United States is involved, with Iran, in a plot to put the entire Middle East under Iranian or Shiite rule. Naturally, the U.S. goes out of its way to protect Shiites, while it ignores Sunnis -- especially in Iraq. This explains why a female suicide bomber had no choice but to kill eight people near a Shiite mosque and a market, to liberate Iraq. (READ MORE)

Desert Dude: 15 January - WOOOHOOOO PAYDAY!!!!! Like it really matters –but it is one step closer to my Harley and another two weeks closer to leaving …I am not counting down the days, but the paydays…time is actually flying by lately …maybe because I am sleeping most of my time away …my typical day now is wake up whenever, email a little, practice with the band, gym, and back to bed… (READ MORE)

On the Web:
Lawrence B. Lindsey: The State of the Stimulus Debate - The odds that the American economy may encounter a recession this year have risen. And the odds that it might be longer and deeper than recent recessions are significant. As the Federal Open Market Committee noted in the minutes of its December meeting, the biggest risk comes from a feedback developing between the availability of consumer credit and rising, recession-induced increases in credit defaults and delinquencies. While they will help over the long term, even rate reductions by the Federal Reserve will take time to have their salutary effects. (READ MORE)

Paul Ingrassia: Two Heroes of Detroit - The Detroit Auto Show's media preview this week comes at a most difficult time for the hometown companies. The price of General Motors stock is just one-third of what it was at the beginning of this decade. During this same time period Ford has had three different CEOs. Chrysler has had three different owners since 1998. Nonetheless, executives of all three companies have posed for pictures alongside their latest vehicles, and talked earnestly about how they plan to right their respective ships. (READ MORE)

Meryl Yourish: More Palestinian war crimes - The “cycle of violence” yesterday: Terrorists in Gaza murdered an Ecuadoran volunteer, firing at him while he worked in the field at a kibbutz. The IDF attacked a group of Hamas terrorists, killing at least a dozen of them. Mahmoud al-Zahar’s son is among the dead terrorists. Hamas responded with a volley of rockets into Sderot, harming at least one child. And how does the AP spin this? “19 Gazans, Kibbutz Worker Killed” Note the headline. “Gazans.” Not “terrorists,” or even its bogus substitute, “militants.” And note the order of importance in the lede. (READ MORE)

Paul Cassell: My First Post -- Crime Victim's Right to Be Heard - Well, it's nice to be aboard. I'm excited to be a part of this great group — thanks Eugene for thinking of me. I noticed that when I was introduced as a co-conspirator, a few readers wondered whether I really left my old job as a federal district court judge here in Salt Lake City mainly to do pro bono crime victims' litigation and research on similar subjects. Well, actually, yes I did. Providentially, my last day on my old job I picked up a copy of the Salt Lake Tribune to read a story entitled something like "Crime Victims Denied Day in Court." The article was about Sue and Ken Antrobus, whose daughter Vanessa was murdered at the Trolley Square massacre last February. For more about Vanessa (the first in her family to graduate from college), go to her memorial website. I now represent them on crime victims' issues — pro bono, since they have limited income. (READ MORE)

David Bernstein: Obama Responds to the Farrakhan Controversy - Obama: "I decry racism and anti-Semitism in every form and strongly condemn the anti-Semitic statements made by Minister Farrakhan. I assume that Trumpet Magazine made its own decision to honor Farrakhan based on his efforts to rehabilitate ex-offenders, but it is not a decisions with which I agree." The Senator assumes wrong. As I noted previously, Trumpet Magazine, published by his church, explicitly explained [in the video it prepared for the banquet at which Farrakhan was honored] that it was honoring Farrakhan for his purported dedication "truth, education, and leadership." Obama's spiritual mentor, Rev. Wright, [quoted in The Trumpet last Fall] praised Farrakhan for his "astounding and eyeopening" analysis of the "racial ills of this nation," a "perspective" that is "helpful and honest." (READ MORE)

Cassandra: Faith-based Rhetoric and Obama: The Views The Media Keep To Themselves - Ed Driscoll coins a great phrase for a disturbing phenomenon: The Views They Kept To Themselves: “‘Why is it’, Burt Pretlutsky wonders, ‘that nobody is asking Barack Obama about his religious convictions? From what I’ve gathered, they’re far more fascinating than Mitt Romney’s.’ The answer of course, is for the same reason that virtually no one in the legacy media uttered the words ‘Winter Soldier’ on camera to Senator Kerry in 2004.” Bingo. The media don't question their candidate because they're determined to influence the next election. But there may be a more disturbing reason for their uneven coverage of the candidates. (READ MORE)

TigerHawk: The best defense of free trade you will read all year - Writing in today's Grey Lady, economist Steve Landsburg has produced the best defense of free trade -- and the case for letting the consequences fall where they may -- that you are likely to read all year. Teaser: "All economists know that when American jobs are outsourced, Americans as a group are net winners. What we lose through lower wages is more than offset by what we gain through lower prices. In other words, the winners can more than afford to compensate the losers. Does that mean they ought to? Does it create a moral mandate for the taxpayer-subsidized retraining programs proposed by Mr. McCain and Mr. Romney?" (READ MORE)

Elaine Donnelly: Gay Soldier Uses Media to Mock the Military - Once again, activists for gays in the military have capitalized on the contradictions of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” to push their relentless agenda. And the Department of the Army is helping them do it. The story du jour centers on Sgt. Darren Manzella, a soldier who says he was retained in the Army even though he had told his commanders in August 2006 that he is a homosexual. Manzella publicized his story in a December 16, 2007, segment of CBS’ 60 Minutes. Interviewed by correspondent Lesley Stahl without official authorization, just before his unit’s return from Kuwait, Manzella showed off several bare-chested photos and a video of himself passionately kissing his boyfriend. (READ MORE)

Sister Toldjah: Is Richard Cohen part of the VRWC/Hillary Clinton cabal against Obama? - I ask that because not only has the liberal Cohen, in the past, called the rabid fanatical Bush haters for what they are, but today he has broached a subject that the Barack Obama campaign and its supporters are sensitive about, and that’s the Senator’s close relationship with controversial Chicago Trinity United Church of Christ minister Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.: “Barack Obama is a member of Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ. Its minister, and Obama’s spiritual adviser, is the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. In 1982, the church launched Trumpet Newsmagazine; Wright’s daughters serve as publisher and executive editor. Every year, the magazine makes awards in various categories. Last year, it gave the Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. Trumpeter Award to a man it said ‘truly epitomized greatness.’ That man is Louis Farrakhan.” (READ MORE)

Melanie Phillips: President Bush's visionary hero - This morning, a 20 year-old Ecuadorean volunteer, Carlos Chavez, was murdered by a Palestinian sniper who shot him while he was working in a potato field on a kibbutz near the border with Gaza. During the day, 26 rockets and mortar shells were fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip, a barrage which left four people wounded in the beseiged Israeli town of Sderot. Another rocket hit Ashkelon. Rockets are being fired without remission at Israel. Last year, almost 1500 rocket and mortar attacks were fired from Gaza at Israel. To stop this onslaught, Israel is killing Hamas terrorists. Today it killed at least 18 people in Gaza, almost all of them Hamas terrorists. (READ MORE)

John Hawkins: Bill Clinton Thinks He Can Make People Believe Absolutely Anything - The Big Dog has apparently come to believe that he's such a good liar that he can make anyone believe anything, no matter how implausible it is: “The former president trumpeted New York Sen. Hillary Clinton's accomplishments while painting Obama as the ‘establishment’ candidate who would bring only the ‘feeling of change.’ ‘One candidate says you should vote for me because I've not been involved at all in the struggles of the past and therefore we need to turn over a new leaf and (try) something absolutely new. And if you want the feeling of change, then that is the person you should support,’ Clinton said in a 75-minute speech to about 300 people in a YMCA gymnasium.” (READ MORE)

Dale Franks: About the Anarcholibertarians - Well, it seems my post on jury duty last week ruffled a few feathers among the "real" libertarians. They proceeded to do what "real" libertarians always do, which was excoriate me for everything from intellectual inconsistency, to "chust followink orders" like a Nazi concentration camp guard. In other words, their usual style of argument—one which, by the way, has made the Libertarian Party so beloved of voters. The trouble with their analyses is that, as usual, they leave holes in their arguments big enough to drive a truck through. (READ MORE)

Political Vindication: San Francisco Libs Lose Battle To Disarm Law Abiding Citizens - In the santiarium by the bay voters declared in 2005 that they wanted everyone to be equally vulnerable to rape, robbery and murder. They attempted to ban handgun ownership throughout the city. the National Rifle Association immediately sued to stop the round up, and today we get news that a three judge state appeals court has struck down the liberal gun grab on the basis that local governments have no authority to ban pistols. (READ MORE)

News of the World: Exposing a Fucking Idiot - On Jan 11th I went to a blog I often visit for the sake of exercising my imagination and to have some fun doing it. I’m a 50 year old man who likes to get silly once in a while and some fun. Ration Reality is the place to do it. The participants and myself usually engage in off beat topics and apply as much humor and twists to the subject as we can. All the while humiliating and poking fun at each other. At first glance anyone would think RR is just stupid. But after participating for a while you’ll find out that its very witty, intelligent and intriguing in many ways.
On Jan 11th things took a shit. One of the authors wrote a post referring to Hillarys little wet eye event which we have all heard enough about by now and some of the other asinine antics the candidates are pulling off. (READ MORE)

Neal Boortz: The Warming Cult - Global warming “activists” are not ashamed to tell you how to live your life. But when it comes to their own lives, it must be “do as I say, not as I do.” A recent report out of Great Britain shows that the most environmentally conscious people are also the biggest polluters. Imagine that, OwlGore! This shouldn’t be all that grand a surprise for you. These people aren’t out there to save our planet, they’re out there to make our planet unsafe for capitalism. People who claim they are “green” or “climate conscious” or whatever the euphemism is this week … these people have the biggest carbon footprints because they are more likely to fly abroad or drive cars. These enviro-whackos are 7% more likely than the general Joe Sixpack to take flights and 4% more likely to own a car. (READ MORE)

Bill Roggio: Taliban overrun military fort in South Waziristan - The Taliban in South Waziristan have overrun a fort manned by the Frontier Corps in the town of Sararogha. During a massed assault, the Taliban launched a coordinated attack on the military post which was manned by 42 paramilitary soldiers of the Frontier Corps. The military claimed seven soldiers were and up to 50 Taliban were killed. Reports indicate 20 paramilitaries may have been captured by the Taliban, The Pakistani military confirmed the assault. "Around midnight 400 miscreants attacked the Frontier Corps at Sararogha," military spokesman Major General Athar Abbas told AFP. "The fort was captured by militants, we are taking stock of the situation.”There are reports of 40 to 50 dead miscreants, while seven personnel embraced martyrdom." (READ MORE)

Amy Proctor: Lech Walesa Slams U.N., Looks to U.S. for Leadership - Poland ’s former president Lech Walesa and leader of the anti-communist Solidarity movement slammed the U.N. and suggested the world look to the United States to lead the fight against terrorism. Walesa said yesterday in Israel that the world needs a new organization to lead the fight against international terrorism in the 21st century and deal with the Iranian nuclear threat since the United Nations has proved itself to be woefully ineffective in facing the challenges of the global world: (READ MORE)

Jules Crittenden: Dad Steps Up - A slain Marine’s dad looks at antiwar Iraq vet Patrick Murphy’s performance in Congress, figures he could do better. AP: “WASHINGTON - The father of a Marine killed in Iraq announced yesterday he is running for the Pennsylvania House seat held by the only Iraq war veteran in Congress. Thomas Manion, a Republican who recently retired as a colonel in the Marine Reserves, is reacting to the anti-war stance of Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.). Manion’s son, 1st Lt. Travis L. Manion, 26, of Doylestown, Pa., died April 29 during his second Iraq tour while living with an Iraqi unit he was leading and training. He said his son’s death was a wake-up call to step forward and serve.” (READ MORE)

GayPatriotWest: Of Rush Limbaugh, Jonah Goldberg, Bias and Bookstores - Welcome Instapundit Readers!! Back when I was in law school and Rush Limbaugh published his first book, I walked into my favorite bookstore in Charlottesville to pick up a book I had ordered (this was before amazon) and took note of a sign behind the counter saying something like, “We don’t carry Rush Limbaugh’s book, so don’t even ask.” Obviously some people had asked. And that irritated the store’s owner. I made some comment to the clerk, indicating that while I respected the store’s right to stock whichever books it pleased, I also had the right to go elsewhere to buy my books. His refusal to carry Rush’s book decreased the likelihood I would return to that store. The clerk observed that I had not been the first to make such a comment. (READ MORE)

Dymphna: Historical Truth is Painful for Fundamentalist Believers - In “Indiana Jones meets the Da Vinci Code” Spengler, on the Asia Times site, does one of his tour de force essays, bringing together important commentary on a particular subject. This time, he explores the evolution of the Koran as a written document: “No one is going to produce proof that Jesus Christ did not rise from the grave three days after the Crucifixion, of course. Humankind will choose to believe or not that God revealed Himself in this fashion. But Islam stands at risk of a Da Vinci Code effect, for in Islam, God’s self-revelation took the form not of the Exodus, nor the revelation at Mount Sinai, nor the Resurrection, but rather a book, namely the Koran. The Encyclopaedia of Islam (1982) observes, ‘he closest analogue in Christian belief to the role of the Koran in Muslim belief is not the Bible, but Christ.’The Koran alone is the revelatory event in Islam.” (READ MORE)

Freedom Eden: No GOP Anchor in Sight - So Mitt Romney was victorious in the Michigan primary. The lib media are spinning that as the Republican Party in disarray. It's January. Iowa, Wyoming, New Hampshire, and Michigan have had their caucuses and primaries. That's all. There are 50 states participating, plus the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, and Puerto Rico. Why should there be a clear front-runner at this stage in the process? What's with the lib media? Are they trying to disenfranchise voters outside of Iowa, Wyoming, New Hampshire, and Michigan? (READ MORE)

Dr. Sanity: The Dream That Has Become a Nightmare - Siggy just found this YouTube video that unequivocally demonstrates the complete and absolute moral bankruptcy of the United Nations--particularly the Council on "Human Rights" and the current president of that council, Ambassador Luis Alfonso de Alba of Mexico. Please watch the entire atrocity. It is from last year, but its never too late to appreciate how worthless the UN has become and how far it has deviated from the lovely intentions of its founders. Or, to put it another way, the "dream" that led to the founding of the UN has been perverted beyond imagining and is now only a nightmare. Here is a transcript of the remarkable testimony of Hillel Neuer, Executive Director of UN Watch, who elicits the "Inadmissible" comment. (READ MORE)

Noah Shachtman: Ex-Spook Blasts New Net-Spying Plan - It's bad enough that the Director of National Intelligence is trotting out a bogus threat so the government can snoop on all Internet traffic. What's worse is that this kind of mass surveillance is a pretty lame way to catch the honest-to-God bad guys. Of more interest to observers of intelligence activities is the issue of quality vs. quantity and the slow creep towards doom that these efforts foretell. The fact that we are essentially attempting to gill-net bad guys is a fairly strong indicator that the intelligence community has yet to come up with an effective strategy against information-age threats. (READ MORE)

Don Surber: Are you ill-experienced? - Another debate, another regret by Hill and Silky Pony over their votes. Barack Obama has a point. And it came through in the MSNBC debate last night. First, kudos to MSNBC excluding Dennis Kucinich. Americans are well aware of his ideas. We rejected them in the 1940s. He’s had a year to woo the voters. Second, kudos to MSNBC for allowing Americans to see the vapidity of the regretful pair of politicians, who claim more experience than Obama. Once again, Hillary Clinton and John Edwards apologized for past votes. First it was Iraq. Then it was No Child Left Behind. Now they regret voting to change the bankruptcy law in 2001. (READ MORE)

Democracy Project: Publishers Rally For Freedom Of Speech - Last Sunday was a “Rally for Freedom of Speech,” to support a strengthened law in New York State, as in many other states, to protect writers from international libel tourism. For more background, you may access prior posts here. Rachel Ehrenfeld leads the charge, and others are coming aboard. The Association of American Publishers, for example, says: (READ MORE)

David Schenker: A Message for Departing Ambassador Feltman - Yesterday’s car bomb attack on a US embassy convoy in Beirut comes just days before US Ambassador Jeffrey Feltman returns to Washington. The bomb, which killed three Lebanese civilians and injured dozens—purportedly at least one of whom was a host country national employee of the embassy—appears to have been intended for the Ambassador. According to press reports, the carbomb hit the wrong group of cars: Ambassador Feltman was traveling in another convoy and escaped injury. Given the operational capabilities and extensive intelligence networks of the groups that most likely perpetrated this outrage (i.e., Hizballah, Syria, Fatah al Islam) it’s difficult to imagine that this was a failed operation. (READ MORE)

Ed Morrissey: Bless The Poor And The Stupid? - Most people would respond to the birth of a child with a hearty Mazel Tov! or a cigar. The Associated Press, here through the Los Angeles Times, decides to wear sackcloth and ashes. A baby boomlet in the United States -- which merely returned us briefly to viability -- gets blamed on a lack of abortions, poverty, and stupidity: “The nearly 4.3 million births in 2006 were mostly due to a bigger population, especially a growing number of Latinos. That group accounted for nearly one-quarter of all U.S. births. But non-Latino white women and other racial and ethnic groups were having more babies too.” (READ MORE)

The Captain's Jornal: Iraq: For Ten Years - I have previously predicted that Iraq would not only be a protectorate of the U.S. for another decade, but pseudo-permanent bases would eventually be constructed and garrisoned in Iraq - most likely in Northern Iraq - at some point, sooner rather than later. Coupled with this, I have argued, would be a stand-down in constabulary operations, along with a focus on kinetic operations resulting from intelligence-driven raids. I had also predicted that the chest butts and posturing by Iraq about U.S. forces standing down in a year was all show, and that sooner rather than later a longer term deal would be struck between the U.S. and Iraq to ensure the national security of Iraq. Lo and behold, the Iraqi Defense Minister sees the need for U.S. help in Iraq until 2018. (READ MORE)

Dave Ross: Why Can't We All Just Not Get Along? - One of the more grating claims that Hillary Clinton makes about the changes she is salivating to accomplish in Washington is how “we are going to do this together.” I don’t know whom she means when she talks about “we,” but she certainly can’t mean, “me.” Of course, I’m just one person, but there’s got to be plenty more where I came from. We just don’t show up in the focus groups and Oprahesque crying sessions where Hillary likes to pretend that she’s listening to “the people.” Why? Mainly because we’re not invited. I’m sure that Hillary (or Obama for that matter) doesn’t want to hear from someone who thinks that socialism has been tried and found wanting all over the world, and that we really don’t need government to be our “Papa,” or “Mama.” (READ MORE)

The Belmont Club: Fire at Will - And not just at Will, on Barack too. The American Thinker makes a long, comprehensive and direct attack on Barack Obama. No punches pulled. Every aspect of his foreign policy scathingly deconstructed. The first two paragraphs set the tone -- and it's all downhill from there. “The ascent of Barack Obama from state senator in Illinois to a leading contender for the Presidential nomination in the span of just a few years is remarkable. Especially in light of a noticeably unremarkable record -- a near-blank slate of few accomplishments and numerous missed votes.”(READ MORE)

Baldilocks: Civil Unions of Church and State - I had to go out—via the bus—after posting that last one, but before I did, I heard this from Mike Huckabee: “[W]hat we need to do is to amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards rather than try to change God's standards.” Is there something about the Constitution that isn’t up to God’s standards and/or does it contain a mandate to change God’s standards? (READ MORE)

Ace of Spades HQ: Bush Exempts US Navy from Environmental Law - Heh. This in response to a pesky federal judge's ruling that the use of sonar violated the Coastal Zone Management Act, and would have required the Navy to observe a 12 mile "no sonar zone" along the California coastline. They also would have been required to post lookouts to watch for whales, and shut down sonar when they're spotted within 2,200 yards (presumably outside the "no sonar at all within 12 miles of the coast" rule). But Bush being the tyrant that he is prone to be swatted aside the judge's ruling by Executive Fiat™. (READ MORE)

Lawhawk: Top Cyber-Jihadi Is Son of Moroccan Diplomat - A computer nerd from Shepherd's Bush, West London, became al Qaeda's top internet agent, it can be revealed today. Younes Tsouli, 23, an IT student at a London college, used his top-floor flat in W12 to help Islamist extremists wage a propaganda war against the West. Under the name Irhabi 007 — combining the James Bond reference with the Arabic for terrorist — he worked with al Qaeda leaders in Iraq and came up with a way to convert often gruesome videos into a form that could be put onto the Web. (READ MORE)

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