February 6, 2008

Web Reconnaissance for 02/06/2008

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)
Moderates Fuel Big McCain Wins - Sen. John McCain won a series of big-state victories and took a commanding lead in delegates in yesterday's Super Tuesday contests, but his weakness among conservatives was exposed by a string of victories for Mike Huckabee in the South and Mitt Romney out West. (READ MORE)

Clinton, Obama Carve up Country - Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton split up the electoral map on Super Tuesday with Mr. Obama making inroads with male voters and in the predominantly white Midwestern and Mountain states. (READ MORE)

44 Dead in Night of Tornadoes - The death toll from a line deadly tornadoes that tore through the nation's midsection rose to 44 early today, as authorities prepared to go door-to door to search for more victims. (READ MORE)

Al Qaeda Seen Planning Attack on U.S. - Senior al Qaeda leaders have diverted operatives from Iraq across the globe and are increasing preparations to strike the United States, senior intelligence officials told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence yesterday. They said the terrorists had plans to attack the White House as recently as 2006. (READ MORE)

Economy's Decline a Top Issue - The economy's precipitous decline was the most important issue among Democrats who voted in the presidential primaries and caucuses yesterday, while Republicans had a rosier view of its health, according to voter exit surveys nationwide. (READ MORE)

Dow Dives 370 Points on Service-Sector Slump - The Dow Jones Industrial Average yesterday plummeted 370 points on evidence that the nation's vast service sector — the 90 percent of the nation's economy that ordinarily produces steady growth — fell into recession territory last month. (READ MORE)

Clinton and Obama Trade Victories - Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton won victories over Sen. Barack Obama in California, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York last night, giving her presidential campaign a crucial boost. But Obama countered by winning of a string of states, including the general election battleground of Missouri... (READ MORE)

Odierno Is Tapped For Army Promotion - Army Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, who is finishing a tour as the No. 2 U.S. commander in Iraq, has been nominated to take over as the Army's vice chief of staff, a position that would have Odierno running the service's day-to-day operations. (READ MORE)

Chechen Warns of Islamic Extremism - A Chechen human rights researcher is warning that militant Islamic ideology is gaining currency in the Russian separatist region of Chechnya and broadening its appeal elsewhere in the tense North Caucasus. (READ MORE)

Pakistan Is Threatened, Intelligence Chief Says - Radical elements are now a threat to the survival of Pakistan, prompting Pakistani military leaders to recognize that more aggressive efforts are needed to get the elements under control, Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell said yesterday in testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. (READ MORE)

The Real FDA Scandal - So Members of Congress and the press are working up another panic about the state of the Food and Drug Administration. The place is a mess all right, but as usual the most alarming news is receiving almost no attention. (READ MORE)

Tall Torture Tales - Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri planned the October 2000 bombing of the USS Cole. Abu Zubaydah was the mastermind of the foiled millennium terrorist attacks, which had Los Angeles airport as one of its targets. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed directed the September 11 attacks, and has claimed to have personally beheaded Wall Street Journal reporter Danny Pearl. (READ MORE)

Tuesday Night Lights - So much for the best laid plans of Terry McAuliffe. The former Democratic Party chairman helped to design the first national Presidential primary in the expectation that its sheer expanse would sink any challenger to Hillary Clinton. Instead, the most important result from Super Tuesday is that Barack Obama showed how broad his appeal to Democratic voters really is. (READ MORE)

The 'Stimulus' Markets - President Bush and Congress are marching arm in arm to pass their economic "stimulus," but it's clear that at least one group of observers isn't impressed: investors. They blew right through all the Beltway happy talk yesterday, selling off the major stock indexes by some 3% or so on an ugly day. (READ MORE)

From the Front:
Northern Disclosure: Magical Tree's - I am the proud result of several different school systems. I have attended and been moderately successful in Private Schools in Canada as well as Public Schools and I have also graduated from a public school in the US. For this reason I am happy to report that I can count! Yes I can count starting at zero something of no numeric value and then understand that 1 is the next singular whole number. From this point I can continue, I have been taught to keep track of my numeric values using my digits ussually on my hands some times I have to transition to my toes when the numbers get REALLY large but I do not fear or tremble when I hit double digits. The confidence that more than one school system has bestowed me helps carry me through my days tasks and occurances. (READ MORE)

Yellowhammering Afghanistan: Saving for the future - Thank you for saving our lives." I didn't go into today's Ghazni provincial security meeting expecting to hear that from a group of Afghan high school kids. The praise was not aimed at me or my fellow Coalition soldiers, but rather at the Afghan National Police and the Afghan National Army. Students from the Ghazni province hoping to go to college travel to the provincial capital this time of year to take what amounts to an entrance exam. Close to 600 of Ghazni's best and brightest are here eager for their chance to further their education. (READ MORE)

Battlefield Tourist: Harvesting Opium: Afghanistan 2004 - Citize TV continues to post, for the first time to the world wide web, my reports originally filed from Afghanistan in 2004. This segment comes from Chapter 3 of “An Experiment in Democracy” entitled, “The Surge Force”, which highlights the 22nd MEU on their historic 2004 deployment to Uruzgan Province. This particular segment deals with opium harvesters that are caught up in a Marine dragnet during “Operation El Dorado”, as Marines look for the killers of a fellow Leatherneck. (READ MORE)

Desert Dude: 5 February - Woke up this morning around 0330…I went to bed early last night so I guess I got enough sleep and it was time to wake up…had a mission today, so around 5-ish I went out and checked out the truck and got it warmed up and ready to go…I was the driver for this mission…early in the dark hours it was raining—as it had been all night, but there were also, short times of snow mixed in the rain…of course, the snow melted as soon as it hit the ground so it wasn’t really much…and it would only come down for a few minutes at a time…but, it was cold and wet and nasty and cloudy… (READ MORE)

On the Web:
David Ranson: The Candidates and Trade - Ronald Reagan once joked that "government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it!" His quip cuts to the heart of the free-trade debate. Which of the presidential contenders are in favor of facilitating economic movement? Trade is a good litmus test of statesmanship, since many polls show that voters believe trade with other countries hurts our economy. (READ MORE)

Edward J. Larson: The Politics of History - Last month, I received a handwritten letter from George W. Bush. He had read my book "A Magnificent Catastrophe," on the race that put Thomas Jefferson in the White House. "I think you did a magnificent job capturing the 1800 election," Mr. Bush wrote. "I appreciate your contribution to history." It turns out that Mr. Bush isn't only a student of history, he also sympathizes with Jefferson, a president the Democratic Party traditionally counts as one of its own. (READ MORE)

Arthur Herman: The Lies of Tet - On January 30, 1968, more than a quarter million North Vietnamese soldiers and 100,000 Viet Cong irregulars launched a massive attack on South Vietnam. But the public didn't hear about who had won this most decisive battle of the Vietnam War, the so-called Tet offensive, until much too late. Media misreporting of Tet passed into our collective memory. That picture gave antiwar activism an unwarranted credibility that persists today in Congress, and in the media reaction to the war in Iraq. (READ MORE)

Holman W. Jenkins, Jr.: Deal(s) of the Century - Follow the money, somebody once said, and in Microsoft's case that's not hard. A mighty Mississippi of cash flows into the Redmond software house, and its name is "Office." If you were looking for the reason for the Yahoo bid, this is a good place to begin. For starters, why on earth would Microsoft want to go up against Google's strength in advertising, which would be the purpose of a Yahoo acquisition? One motive leaps out: Because Google already is extending its philosophy of advertising-supported Web services to take direct aim at Microsoft Office. (READ MORE)

Michael Medved: A Personality Primary - With John McCain drawing inexorably closer to locking up the Republican nomination for President of the United States, his ability to unite the party will depend on the proper classification of the struggle he hopes to win. The morning after Super-Duper Tuesday, the crucial question for McCain strategists and Republicans in general is whether the long battle with Mitt, Huck, Rudy, Fred and the others amounted to an “Issues Primary” or whether it constituted a “Personality Primary.” (READ MORE)

Tony Blankley: The Strange GOP Nominating Victory - Assuming John McCain gets the GOP nomination, it will show how whimsical history can be. It would be the first time in living memory that a Republican presidential nomination went to a candidate who was not merely opposed by a majority of the party but was actively despised by about half its rank-and-file voters across the country -- and by many, if not most, of its congressional officeholders. After all, the McCain electoral surge was barely able to deliver a plurality of one-third of the Republican vote in a three-, four- or five-way split field. He has won fair and square, but he has driven the nomination process askew. (READ MORE)

Dick Morris and Eileen McGann: Obama Headlines Will Fuel His Drive To The Top - The USA Today headline on Monday said it all: "Obama Erases Clinton Lead." The press on the day before Super Tuesday has been the best that Obama could hope for. In a race dominated by perception, you could not buy more favorable publicity than the published reports of his closing the gap with Hillary. He will also benefit from the companion articles in most papers showing that McCain enjoys a comfortable lead over Romney. With Independents able to vote in either party primary in half of the Super Tuesday states, this information may induce many anti-Hillary voters to back Obama rather than McCain as the most likely way to beat her. (READ MORE)

Michelle Malkin: Berkeley Vs. America, Again - The troop-bashers in Berkeley are at it once more. But this time, the rest of America lashed back. Message to the Left Coast: It's not the 1960s anymore. On Jan. 29, the Berkeley city council passed several measures targeting the lone Marine recruitment office in town. The anti-war harridans at Code Pink have been picketing the center for months. Last fall, they defaced the building by slapping a sign that read "assasination" (sic) in the military office window. Instead of rising to defend the recruiters' property rights, the city council and mayor voted to sabotage them further. (READ MORE)

Jacob Sullum: The Whys of Spies - Last August, panicked at the prospect of an imminent terrorist attack that could be averted only by granting the executive branch new surveillance powers, Congress passed the Protect America Act. With the law scheduled to expire this month, the Bush administration is trying to scare Congress into making the powers permanent. The alleged crisis is an artificial one created by a president who waited until last summer to seek congressional approval for the illegal surveillance his administration conducted after 9/11. Bush took his time, and so should Congress. (READ MORE)

John Stossel: USA Makes Adoption Harder - Do you want to rescue an abandoned child and give him a loving home? Don't even try, says the U.S. State Department. That's not exactly what the bureaucrats said, but it's close. The State Department says the Guatemalan adoption system "unduly enriches" so-called baby brokers and that "Guatemala has not established the required central authority to oversee intercountry adoption." "Central authority"? This from our government? They sound like Soviet apparatchiks. (READ MORE)

Walter E. Williams: Silly Talk - It's not easy being me. I'm disturbed by statements that many Americans accept or don't question that are ludicrous, if not crazy. The terms "change," "agents of change" and "change agents" are being bandied by presidential hopefuls, their supporters and media commentators. I'd like to ask Americans listening to these people whether they are for or against change. For one to be for or against change, in any generic sense, qualifies as stupid, but maybe public stupidity is the stock and trade of politicians. (READ MORE)

Jonah Goldberg: Western Civilization and Other Fairy Tales - My daughter really, really, really (throw in a few more reallys for accuracy) wants to go to Disney World. Scouting reports from several of her preschool colleagues indicate that there is a large amount of princess activity down there. And not just princesses - real princesses. She's seen fake Cinderellas and Ariels - the royal equivalents of shopping mall Santas - but now she's focused on engaging the real thing, and she's been told that Disney World is where they hang their tiaras. So one day, probably very soon, we'll be heading to Florida to meet the "real" princesses who, despite presumably lavish wealth, charge parents $200 a day or more to take our children to meet them. (READ MORE)

Paul Weyrich: The President's Budget Woes - Last Thursday I noted in this column that President George W. Bush had finally “acknowledge[d] the corruption and fiscal irresponsibility of the earmark process” when he signed an executive order “directing Federal agencies to ignore any future earmarks included in report language, although not in the actual text of appropriations legislation, which is generally how earmarks receive their designation.” It seemed as though President Bush finally had realized the value of fiscal restraint. (READ MORE)

Amanda Carpenter: Reid Plans to Stall Budget Process Until Bush Leaves Office - While most national media is focused on today’s Super Tuesday action, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is raging against the Bush administration back in Washington. “The Bush Administration is Orwellian. Orwellian,” Reid ranted Tuesday morning on the Senate floor. “The American people know how disingenuous [this administration] has been,” he said. “What has taken place here in the Senate floor today [is] keeping with this – the Bush Situation…. Mr. President, what we have heard today here on the Senate floor is as Orwellian as anything could be. … So, Mr. President, the Orwellian Bush Administration has now slopped over into the Senate, and now the Republican Leader is now becoming Orwellian himself.” (READ MORE)

A Newt One: The Ludicrous Fallacy of the "Ugly American" - Of the many things I have been called by unhinged, hysterical leftwingers, few names cause me to chuckle more than "The Ugly American". The title (like everything else liberals believe) has no basis in any historical reality. The name was gleaned from a 1958 novel by Eugene Burdick and William Lederer. The book was intended to show that America was losing the war against communism because of our loud, boorish arrogance and inability to understand other cultures. Like all the other dogmas of liberalism, it is based purely in fantasy- fantasy that history would expose. That The Ugly American was a novel should end the discussion. (READ MORE)

The Anchoress: Ahem - Don’t. Doubt. Me. - Heh. If Rush can say it, I can too, and it will sound prettier. John Stephenson at STACLU has an open thread going and they’re watching the returns and speculating: could it be? Brokered convention? The WaPo blog asked a similar question this morning. Ahem. I predicted the very real possibility of a brokered convention right after Florida, and was laughed at. I suggested this was going to happen when Rush Limbaugh and the far right went nuts medieval on McCain after Florida. (READ MORE)

Drew M.@ Ace of Spades: Waterboarding: Much Ado About Not Much - CIA Director Michael Hayden confirmed today what ABC news reported months ago…The US waterboarded a grand total of…3 people. “Those subjected to waterboarding were suspected Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and senior al Qaeda leaders Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, Hayden said at the hearing on threats to the United States.” Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is of course the man behind the 9/11 attacks. Abu Zubaydah was a top operations officer for al Qaeda. Abd Al-Rahim al-Nashiri was head of al Qaeda operations in the Persian Gulf region and was behind the attack on the USS Cole. In short, they weren’t just ‘some guys’ picked up in Afghanistan or somewhere. (READ MORE)

The Belmont Club: And Then There Were Five - Al Bawaba claims that a total of five undersea cables have been disrupted. "However, the International Cable Protection Committee, an association of 86 submarine cable operators dedicated to safeguarding undersea cables, has declined to speculate on the cause of the breaches, adding investigations were underway." A total of five cables being operated by two submarine cable operators have been damaged with a fault in each. These are SeaMeWe-4 (South East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe-4) near Penang, Malaysia, the FLAG Europe-Asia near Alexandria, FLAG near the Dubai coast, FALCON near Bandar Abbas in Iran and SeaMeWe-4, also near Alexandria. (READ MORE)

Dafydd: Al-Qaeda "Movin' On Out?" - According to prepared testimony delivered by Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence -- chaired, oxymoronically enough, by Sen. John D. Rockefeller IVth (D-WV, 60%) -- al-Qaeda has largely been thwarted in their attempts to launch attacks in Iraq; so they are focusing on conducting future operations from the "lawless" regions of Pakistan along the Afghanistan border. But they are still aggressively pursuing a strategy of carrying out major attack on the West, and have indeed tried several already (which we and our allies shut down): (READ MORE)

Deebow @ Blackfive: US Marines winning battle in Berkeley without firing a shot... - It seems that a couple of libtards get my point... “A week after blasting the Marines as ‘unwelcome intruders’ in Berkeley, two City Council members want the city to back off the declaration that ignited the wrath of the nation's right wing and inspired a Republican senator to try to sever Berkeley's federal funding. Council members Betty Olds and Laurie Capitelli on Monday proposed that Berkeley rescind its letter to the U.S. Marine Corps that stated that the downtown Berkeley recruiting center ‘is not welcome in our city,’ and publicly declare that Berkeley is against the war but supports the troops.” And my point? For those of you joining us late, I will say it once again; actions have consequences. (READ MORE)

Blackfive: Staff Sergeant Robert Miller - Someone You Should Have Known - U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert James Miller was killed by Taliban insurgents Jan. 25, while protecting his Operational Detachment Alpha teammates during combat operations near the village of Barikowt, Nari District, Konar Province, Afghanistan. “BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan (Courtesy of CJSOTF-A Public Affairs, Jan. 29, 2008) – Hundreds of U.S. Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coalition partners lined Bagram Airfield’s main roadway and tarmac Jan. 27, to pay their last respects to a fallen comrade. U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert James Miller, of Company A, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Special Force Group (Airborne), was killed Jan. 25, by Taliban fighters while protecting his Operational Detachment Alpha teammates during combat operations near the village of Barikowt, Nari District, Konar Province, Afghanistan.” (READ MORE)

Ed Morrissey: Super Tuesday Results: Democrats - The Democratic primary race took an interesting twist last night. Hillary Clinton went into the massive Super Tuesday contest with twice as many wins as Barack Obama and a significant lead in pledged delegates, both normal and superdelegates. She came out of Super Tuesday in almost a dead heat among normal delegates, and losing more contests than she won -- but still technically leading the race. The Politico claims that the big-state wins gave Hillary an edge, but it ignores the structure of Democratic primaries: (READ MORE)

Broken Masterpieces: The Conservative Elites Are Out Of Touch - It's been very frustrating to listen to and ready so many of the prominent conservatives talk about how horrible McCain is and how wonderful Romney is and how Romney is the only one who can win. Here's the problem folks, most of those folks have lost touch with real people. They talk to mostly true believers via their professions and don't work with "normal" folks. If they worked in a diverse workplace or be in the mix with something like Little League, Pop Warner or other youth sports or activities they'd understand that many folks really don't like THEM. "Normal" folks, in general, want something different than a perfect and slick looking white guy. (READ MORE)

Jeffrey Imm: Jihadists, Islamists, and "Extremists" - what's in a name? - Another U.S. threat assessment has been issued that refuses to identify the enemy threatening us, and instead defines the enemy only as "extremists". Today's annual threat assessment from the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) fails to use the terms "Jihad", "Jihadist", "Islamism", or "Islamist" in identifying the enemy. The question must be asked how the U.S. can meaningfully assess threats, if it can't even identify the enemy. The term "radical Islamic" (used twice) and "militant Islamic" (used once) is the only term close to "Islamist", and such terms as "radical" and "militant" have very different meanings to different people. Predominantly, when describing the enemy, the DNI annual assessment today uses the term "extremist(s)" (used 18 times) or "extremism" (used twice). In effect, the DNI views that America is fighting a war against "extremism". (READ MORE)

Don Surber: Does Democratic discord help or hurt Republicans? - On the one hand, the squabble splits Democrats. On the other hand, it allows Democrats to dominate the news until September. Let me explain. Super Tuesday was supposed to kill off all of her competition and begin Miss Inevitability’s final march to coronation as the Democratic Party’s nominee. But instead of singing “God Save The Queen,” half the Democratic choir continues to sing “God Save The King.” Obama’s campaign said it ended Tuesday with a 43-delegate lead: 677-634, the Nation reported. Granted the Nation is the mouthpiece for the Vast Left Wing Conspiracy that opposes Hillary, but the numbers are in the ballpark. (READ MORE)

The Foxhole: Fired FBI translator alleges former State Department official sold nuke secrets to Turkey, Pakistan - My gawd, if this is true, we’re in deep shit: “A WHISTLEBLOWER has made a series of extraordinary claims about how corrupt government officials allowed Pakistan and other states to steal nuclear weapons secrets. Sibel Edmonds, a 37-year-old former Turkish language translator for the FBI, listened into hundreds of sensitive intercepted conversations while based at the agency’s Washington field office. She approached The Sunday Times last month after reading about an Al-Qaeda terrorist who had revealed his role in training some of the 9/11 hijackers while he was in Turkey.” (READ MORE)

Dymphna: Saudi Arabia’s Religious Police Pounce in Starbucks - A business woman and her financial analyst colleague were having coffee in the “family section” of a Starbucks coffeehouse in Riyadh when they were approached by two men. “Family sections are the only places where men and women can sit together in establishments in Saudi Arabia. Officially, these sections are for families only, but in practical terms these sections - usually in international chains like Starbucks - become the only places where unrelated men and women can be comfortable that they won’t be harassed by commission members.” “What,” you ask, “are ‘commission members’?” I’ll tell you. These are Saudi Arabia’s very own Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice. Think of it as an Arab version of the KGB, except that its raison d’être is random harassment of its citizens for purported violations of propriety. (READ MORE)

Knee Deep in the Hooah!: Say what you mean and mean what you say! - “We do not have to visit a madhouse to find disordered minds; our planet is the mental institution of the universe.” ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe It has been a while since I have gone through a small collection of my favorite quotes, and the one above has been at the top of that list for sometime now. Most of the quotes that I love I have collected over the years. They reside in print form in a box somewhere. They have been stored for a long time now. I used to adorn my office with a new one every week, and usually they were a personal reflection of something I was dealing with on a professional level. I even came up with a few myself. My favorite original quote that I printed out and hung on my office wall begrudgingly read: “Bureaucracy is little more than job security for the unimaginative. ~~Claire” (READ MORE)

Barry Rubin: Uniquely Bizarre - The Arab-Israeli conflict definitely holds the record for the most bizarrely treated issue in modern history. It is easy to forget just how strange this situation is and the extent to which it is understood and handled so totally different from other, more rationally, perceived problems. Let's take a very simple example and examine the surrealistic, bizarre way in which normally sensible people and institutions respond. On February 4, 2008, two terrorists attacked the quiet town of Dimona in southern Israel. One blew himself up near a toy store in a marketplace, killing an elderly woman and wounding forty people. The other was injured in the first blast and, before he could detonate his own bomb, was killed by a policeman. (READ MORE)

Bill Ardolino: Inside Iraqi politics – Part 1. Examining the Iraqi executive branch - Security gains in Iraq have maintained momentum for four months and the focus has turned to spurring and gauging the country’s political progress. The ultimate goal of the troop surge executed by the military was for improved security to provide “breathing room” for such progress, which can be simplified to three fronts: “ground-up” political progress, executive political progress by the federal government, and federal legislative progress. (READ MORE)

DJ Elliott: Iraqi Security Forces Order of Battle: February 2008 Update - The February 2008 updates to the Iraqi Security Forces Order of Battle are now available at the ISF OOB homepage. The significant changes to the Order of Battle that occurred in January are summarized below. Anbar is the next scheduled Iraqi province to transfer to provincial Iraqi control (PIC). Anbar is planned to go PIC in March 2008, with the official ceremony to be held in April. Prior to this, an Anbar Operational Command is expected to be formed in order to coordinate security throughout the province. On January 21st, the DhiQar Operational Command was ordered stood up in DhiQar province and, on January 22nd, the Ninawa Operational Command also became active in Ninawa province. These "Operational Commands" are the interim stage to forming the future corps and army group headquarters. (READ MORE)

Little Green Footballs: IPT: Government Reminds Court of CAIR/MAS Ties to Terrorists - Here’s an interesting report at the Investigative Project on some pushback against the Council on American Islamic Relations and the Muslim American Society: Government Reminds Court of CAIR/MAS Ties to Terrorists. “The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is demanding that the Air Force Academy alter a panel of speakers slated for a terrorist symposium this week, saying it’s an unbalanced presentation dominated by anti-Muslim speakers. But recently, and for at least the third time, federal prosecutors have called out CAIR as part of a covert Muslim Brotherhood effort in the United States.” (READ MORE)

Harvey Sicherman: Civilians: shields and targets - The Winograd Report has confirmed what I heard on a trip to Israel in August 2006, namely, that an inexperienced Israeli cabinet sought the rewards of a combined arms (air-ground) operation at the risk of an air raid. When this proved inadequate to the rhetoric of victory, the same group bungled the transition to an inferior infantry action and then ran out of time. In the end Israel got only the benefits of the air raid. And the politicians (perhaps) learned the timeless lesson that excessive rhetoric supported by underwhelming force is a sure formula for disaster. Jerusalem may not be the only place in need of that lesson. (READ MORE)

Neo Neocon: The big issue is still Iraq - Anyone who reads this blog knows I consider the Iraq war one of the biggest issues of the day. Yes, it’s faded in the news, mostly because it’s going relatively well now. But Vietnam was also going relatively well in the Abrams/Vietnamization “second act” of the war, too—that is, until Congress made sure the South Vietnamese lacked the funds to carry on. If anyone doubts that both Hillary and Obama are determined to repeat the history of our sad end in Vietnam, please read this. And don’t say it’s just rhetoric; words signify intent, even in politicians. (READ MORE)

Political Pistachio: Super Tuesday and the Three Legged Stool - There is an interesting thing about three legged stools that even grade-school children have figured out. Without one of the three legs to support the stool, it falls over. And often, to help support those legs, there are spokes or a band that run around the legs, and a seat at the top which is there to support, in relative comfort, a seated individual. Our government works in a similar manner. The President of the United States, the United States Senate, and the United States House of Representatives serve as the three legs, the Judicial Branch serves as the band of spokes, and seated on the top is "We The People." (READ MORE)

Pursuing Holiness: Ezra Levant, Mark Steyn and Secondary Crime Scenes - A major goal for me as a parent has been to teach my daughter what she needs to know to be safe. Pepper spray, a knife, a taser… these things are good. And although she’s not legally allowed to own or carry a handgun, she’s certainly proficient with them. But better than any defensive weapon she might carry is knowledge and a plan. There are two things I know to be true: 1. When you think you’re in danger, you almost certainly are in danger. Your fear is your subconscious response to things you have observed. Those “instincts” you keep trying to suppress because they might cause you to be rude, or because they seem socially unacceptable or politically incorrect may save your life if you just listen to them. (READ MORE)

Paul Mirengoff: For the Democrats, hazards and opportunities - Super Tuesday has made John McCain the presumptive Republican nominee. Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney did well enough to maintain a justification for staying the race. Unlike John Edwards, Rudy Giuliani, and Fred Thompson, Mitt and Huck have won in half a dozen states or more, and command plurality support within a significant wing of their party (evangelicals for Huckabee and non-evangelical conservatives for Romney). But McCain has a fairly clear path to the nomination. On the Democratic side, super Tuesday was as close as could be. Patrick Ruffini estimates that Clinton and Obama were within 25,000 votes and 4 delegates of each other on the night. (READ MORE)

Scott Johnson: Believe it or not - The Mineapolis Star Tribune is sponsoring a big-bucks lecture at Orchestra Hall by Valerie Plame Wilson tonight. Judging by the price of a ticket, the Star Tribune must be paying an astonomical fee for her services. Promoting the lecture in its pages yesterday, the Star Tribune published Kim Ode's puff piece on Plame. A passage with a list that includes George Tenet, Karl Rove, John Ashcroft, and Valerie Plame caught my attention. It struck me that one name probably doesn't belong on that list. The passage that caught my attention in Ode's story made out an alleged threat to Plame's security created by Plame's purported exposure and the CIA's purported callousness toward the safety of Plame and her family: (READ MORE)

Right Truth: Dear Rush - Dear Rush Limbaugh, Hubby and I have been faithfully listening to your podcasts over the last few months. We thank you for your strong stance against Juan [John] McCain and we agree with your reasons why McCain seems to be so popular. I would like to add, or build, upon two things. I believe there are two major reasons why McCain seems to be the choice for so many who in the past have been considered true Conservatives. One is that Americans are fed up with the divisiveness in the US, in Congress and Washington in general. The great divide between the Democrats and Republicans has always been there, but the Iraq war made things worse. Americans would like to see fellow citizens 'get along', make peace, work together. All that sounds sooooo nice. And who would not want family members to all get along. The truth is, in order for Americans to 'get along', somebody must sacrifice their true beliefs. (READ MORE)

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