February 7, 2008

Web Reconnaissance for 02/07/2008

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)
The Wages of HillaryCare - Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama agree on most policy issues, but that makes their rare differences all the more revealing. To wit, their running scrap over Mrs. Clinton's "individual mandate" for health care, which Mr. Obama has now had the nerve to expose for its inevitable government coercion. (READ MORE)

208 Vacancies - Though it's sometimes hard to tell, the Bush Administration has another year left and a government to run in the interim. Is it too much to ask the Senate to do its job of advice and consent, and allow up-or-down votes on the more than 180 vacancies in the executive branch that remain in a state of suspended nomination? (READ MORE)

Purblind Auction - The Federal Communications Commission is bragging about its latest wireless auction, with total bids of more than $19 billion after two weeks. But dig beneath those numbers and the picture is less rosy. This wireless "spectrum" is on the market because of the transition to digital television broadcast. (READ MORE)

Va. Is Next Battleground In Democrats' Long Fight - Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama, digging in for a delegate-by-delegate fight for the Democratic presidential nomination, returned to Washington yesterday with plans to make Tuesday's Virginia primary a major battleground. (READ MORE)

Senate's Stimulus Measure Blocked - A $158 billion economic stimulus plan drafted by Senate Democrats that included relief for low-income seniors, disabled veterans and the unemployed was blocked by a Republican filibuster last night when the Senate fell a single vote short of the 60 needed to consider the measure. (READ MORE)

Al-Qaeda in Iraq Teaching Children to Kill, U.S. Says - BAGHDAD, Feb. 6 -- The Sunni insurgent group al-Qaeda in Iraq is training boys as young as 10 to kidnap and kill, U.S. and Iraqi officials asserted Wednesday, showing propaganda videos seized from suspected insurgent hideouts that depict masked boys wielding guns and kicking down doors. (READ MORE)

White House Defends CIA's Use Of Waterboarding in Interrogations - The White House yesterday directly joined a debate over the use of simulated drownings to force disclosures by CIA detainees, saying the interrogation technique known as waterboarding was legal and that President Bush could authorize the tactic in the future. (READ MORE)

Worries Surround Pakistani Elections - ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Feb. 6 -- Despite the candidates' colorful posters papering road signs and storefronts, the political atmosphere two weeks before Pakistan's parliamentary elections is as bleak and foreboding as the gray winter sky shrouding much of the country. (READ MORE)

Slight Lead for Hillary Susceptible - Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's tenuous lead in the contest for the Democratic presidential nomination is based on superdelegates who, depending on the race's momentum, could swing allegiance to rival candidate Sen. Barack Obama. (READ MORE)

McCain Needs to Woo the Right - Sen. John McCain couldn't win a majority of conservative voters in Arizona on Super Tuesday, exposing the deep rift that he faces today when he speaks to the major annual gathering of conservative activists here in the District. (READ MORE)

Women's Support Not a Sure Thing - While Hillary Clinton continues to do well and enjoys the support of big names such as Barbra Streisand as well as backing from the National Organization for Women's political action committee, other big names remain silent or have surprisingly endorsed Barack Obama, of Illinois.(READ MORE)

Chinese Hackers Crack Net Censorship - Chinese Internet censorship is little more than a joke to Li Shenwen, an unemployed computer game enthusiast, who says official blocks on controversial or political Web sites pose no obstacle to any experienced user who wants to get past them. (READ MORE)

'Times Are Tough' for Kaine This Year - The combination of a slowing economy, defeats in the 2008 General Assembly and a Dulles rail bombshell last month has resulted in a rocky start for Gov. Tim Kaine in his third year. (READ MORE)

At AOL, The End of An Era is Near - AOL yesterday took steps to shed the last vestiges of the dial-up Internet business that made its name in the 1990s -- which, for longtime AOL subscribers, could signal the end of an era. (READ MORE)

From the Front:
Sgt Hook: The Underwater Cable Guy - Apparently a couple of undersea fiber optic cables have been cut requiring the underwater cable guy’s expertise to restore our “connecton” with the outside world. In other words, we are experiencing technical difficulties, please stand by. While I’m here you should know that your Soldiers are doing fabulously. The fight continues to be a hard one, but our men and women are showing no signs of shying away from the challenge. Good things are happening everywhere. (READ MORE)

Yellowhammering Afghanistan: Double-digit midgets - When you're a deployed soldier in a war zone, the calendar doesn't often look like your friend. Days, weeks, months all seem daunting - each block on the calendar a barrier in the way of the end of the tour. But today the calendar, while not completely friendly doesn't feel so much like a foe. We are, what we refer to in the deployment world, "double-digit midgets." We are inside of 100 days left on our tour. We either have 99 or 98 days left, depending on whether or not you count the extra day this year in February due to leap year. (READ MORE)

IraqPundit: New and Improved Al-Qaeda in Iraq - The nation's newspaper, USA Today, has a story today that doesn't make sense. The reporter tells us that al-Qaeda in Iraq is changing its ways to win over the hearts and minds of the people of Mosul. He quotes a couple of U.S. soldiers, who tell him that AQI has learned from its lessons. You know, all those bombings alienated the Iraqi people. Now, AQI is supposedly warning shopkeepers ahead of attacks. Check this out: (READ MORE)

Kaboom: A Soldier's War Journal: Wisdom from the Homefront - A lot of strange items make their way to the sands of Iraq by way of that traditional communication stalwart, the U.S. Postal Service. It isn’t rare to open up a care package of food items that includes a photograph of a rather buxom – and obviously available – three-time divorcee not so subtly looking for military health care coverage. Nor is it unheard of to unwrap a large box addressed to our unit, with a corporate return address carefully stamped in the upper left corner, only to find a collection of tightly-wrapped golf shirts emblazoned with the corporate logo in question. I’ve never claimed that this is Gallipoli or the la Drang Valley, but I still don’t think we’ll be able to slip away to Baghdad Lakes Country Club for 18 holes in between patrols. (READ MORE)

Lt. Nixon Rants: Al-Arabiya Sez Al-Qaeda Totally Blows - Information was released today regarding an Al-Qaeda in Iraq training center for children. The discovery was found during a raid in Diyala and it showed young masked children training to conduct kidnapping and assault operations on civilians. I think it goes without say what a shit idea Al-Qaeda's caliphate would be, and here's an article at USA Today which will fill you in on the details (video footage is also here). Unless you're a writer at Lew Rockwell, who questions Al-Qaeda's existence, I think we all agree that these guys are totally fucked in the head. (READ MORE)

Fearless 1st Marines’ blog: 1/1 PSD covers battle space, observes progress throughout region - HABBANIYAH, IRAQ (Jan. 27, 2008) – If there is one unit in 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 1, that observes their unit’s 200 square kilometer area of operation (AO) on a daily basis, it is the battalion commander’s personal security detachment (PSD). PSD provides transportation and security for the commander as he travels throughout the AO and to other key areas in the battle space, said Sgt. Jason S. Hubbard, PSD platoon commander. (READ MORE)

Bill and Bob's Excellent Afghan Adventure: Smokey Jackalacker And The Hyena Of Doom - There is an old saying that the only difference between an Army story and a fairy tale is that a fairy tale starts with "Once upon a time," and an Army story starts with "No shit, this really happened…" So here's an Army story… no shit, this really happened… It was a dark and stormy night in the little village in Afghanistan. There was no moon, and the overcast prevented the stars from peeking through. We sat in the very dark on the roof of the district center where we were encamped, watching. (READ MORE)

Doc in the Box: Unloaded my 9 - 4 times. For all of my readers who think that I’m a battle hardened war hero who has seen many battles on his 4 trips to Iraq. Let me take a moment to change your minds. While I have dealt with my share of blood and death and horror, the three trips prior to this, my weapon as never went off in the war zone. I’ve drawn a time or 3 but not a single round has ever left the chamber and for the most part, I’m totally happy with that. I’ve never had to take a life, in fact I’ve probably saved the lives of people who would have happily have shot me in the head and cheered about it afterwards. It didn’t matter to me, I was there to make sure that they made it to the next level of care after whether they wanted to or not. (READ MORE)

Acute politics: Welcome Back - “Welcome to Baghdad, ladies and gentlemen”, the pilot said. The attendant opened the hatch, and the scent of burning garbage reached through and tickled my nose. I was back in Iraq. I flew up on a Gryphon Airways plane, direct from the Kuwait City airport. That meant a few hours of waiting at the airport after leaving my hotel, rather than a day or two waiting at the main air force base for a military flight. I also got to fly on a normal passenger plane, instead of stuffed into the back of a hot, cramped C-130. I’ll take that trade any day. I spent the next 4 hours waiting again- this time for the RINO, which is a big armored black bus. It looks like a prison wagon, and I can’t imagine it would fare much better in case of an IED. (READ MORE)

On the Web:
Michelle Malkin: Quo vadis, conservatives? - "Quo vadis," conservatives? It's the ancient, apocryphal question the apostle Peter asked Jesus while fleeing persecution in Rome. Where are you going? Where do we go from here? The contest for the GOP presidential nomination is over. The conservative movement is not. Sen. John McCain's campaign resurrection and Super Tuesday victory leave a diverse group on the Right—from the libertarian Club for Growth to First Amendment defenders to immigration enforcement proponents—dispirited. But the failure to nominate a true Republican unifier does not spell ideological defeat. (READ MORE)

George Will: Super Tuesday Primaries and a Presumptive Nominee - LOS ANGELES -- Forewarned, Democrats now are forearmed -- not that they will necessarily make sensible use of the gift. Tuesday's voting armed Democratic voters with the name of the candidate that their nominee will face in the fall. Will their purblind party now nominate the most polarizing person in contemporary politics, knowing that Republicans will nominate the person who tries to compensate for his weakness among conservatives with his strength among independent voters who are crucial to winning the White House? Perhaps. The Republican Party's not-so-secret weapon always is the Democratic Party, with its entertaining thirst for living dangerously. (READ MORE)

La Shawn Barber: Digging Up Democratic Skeletons - [V]irtually every significant racist in American political history was a Democrat. – Bruce Bartlett - - Democrats, seen as the civil rights party, supported slavery, opposed civil rights legislation, instituted the "Black Codes," and created the Jim Crow system. The Republican Party, in contrast, was founded in opposition to slavery, and supported post-Civil War and Civil Rights Movement-era legislation. "All of the racism that we associate with [the southern] region of the country originated with and was enforced by elected Democrats," writes Bruce Bartlett, a former domestic policy advisor to President Ronald Reagan and a Treasury official under President George H.W. Bush.(READ MORE)

Michael Steele: Now Is the Time to Act - In each Republican presidential debate over the past months, somehow the conversation found itself focused on Ronald Reagan. Maybe it was the candidates themselves claiming the mantle of "Reagan conservative," or perhaps it was the moderators demanding who Mr. Reagan himself would have supported. The idea of "being like Reagan" has taken hold of both candidates and pundits and the result has been something less than inspiring. Mr. Reagan's successes were in large part due to his ability to focus on those things that unite us. Rather than trying to divide the American people along philosophical or political lines, he made a connection with average citizens through themes that inspired us and policies that restored our national pride as well as the security and prosperity of a nation. (READ MORE)

Victor Davis Hanson: Weird Times, Weirder Election - In this weird presidential campaign, almost everything has turned out opposite from what pollsters and pundits predicted. Even Super Tuesday proved not-so-super, and things are still not quite settled in either party race. The election was supposed to be about a shaky Iraq. But after the successful surge and the recent economic downturn in the U.S., candidates now talk more about mortgages and illegal immigration than chaos in Baghdad. John McCain was said to be finished by July. Then he was back again as a contender by January and is a supposed sure thing in February. (READ MORE)

Donald Lambro: Tax-and-Spend Democrats Just Don't Get It - WASHINGTON -- Hillary Clinton has vowed throughout her presidential campaign to raise taxes on the richest Americans, but now the New York senator says she will postpone the tax hikes until the economy recovers. Clinton's temporary retreat from her long-sought plan to raise taxes on the wealthiest taxpayers is surprising in and of itself. That she is basing her decision on the belief that higher income tax rates would further undermine a weakening economy is an unexpected bow to pro-growth, supply-side economics and the underlying rationale for President Bush's across-the-board tax cuts. (READ MORE)

Cal Thomas: The War(s): Who Pays? - Since 2001 when "the war on terror" began, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) reports $649.9 billion has been appropriated for Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan). In the budget President Bush just submitted to Congress, there is a request for an additional $108.1 billion for 2008 and $70 billion for 2009. The cost of these wars has been largely borne by the American taxpayer, while the benefits of success in Iraq and Afghanistan will reach far beyond the borders of those countries to the world. If Islamic extremist can be quelled in Afghanistan and Iraq, people the world over will literally breathe freer. Since so many will benefit, isn't it fair to ask them to help subsidize the effort? (READ MORE)

Ashley Herzog: Hillary: The Post-Feminist? - By all measures, Hillary Clinton has an excellent chance of becoming America’s first woman president. After defeating a slew of male candidates in the Democratic Primary, she’s now edging out Barack Obama, whom she leads in most polls. Predictably, the feminist establishment—taking a break from scouring Super Bowl commercials for something to be offended about—is positively giddy about Mrs. Clinton’s candidacy. “I'd go anywhere, any time, to shout from the rooftops that Hillary Clinton is the right choice,” Kim Gandy, president of the National Organization for Women, wrote on Monday. Gandy assured her feminist friends that Hillary is “one of them.” (READ MORE)

Thomas Sowell: Economics, Anyone? - The other day, a reader e-mailed me to ask for an explanation of the gold standard. He had heard it advocated in one of the political speeches. Any responsible answer to his question would have taken more time than I could spare, but I looked through several introductory economics textbooks -- including my own, "Basic Economics" -- to try to find something that I could recommend that he read. Unfortunately, none of them covered the gold standard in any great detail. Since then, however, I have gotten around to reading a recently published book titled "The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics," edited by David R. Henderson (READ MORE)

Richard H. Collins: Let Hillary ‘Swiftboat’ Hillary - Instead of an exciting “national primary” that would bring clarity and momentum to a thus far muddy and unpredictable race for the Democratic nomination, Super Tuesday brought a rather anti-climatic draw. Barack Obama failed to achieve the clear upset but he did fight Hillary Clinton to a draw on the night she had hoped would wrap up the nomination. In the ever-changing expectations game, Obama did very well based on where he was just a few weeks ago, but not as well as he may had hoped based on the over-heated expectations of the days leading up to Super Tuesday. It seems that just when the media decides he may be poised for the historic upset those very same unrealistic expectations doom him to an underwhelming showing. (READ MORE)

Michael Barone: Open-Field Politics - Thirty-five days ago, as the voting in the Iowa caucuses was about to begin, those of us in the political commentary business thought the candidates of both parties would have been determined by yesterday, the day after Super Tuesday. Not so. John McCain is well ahead in the delegate count thanks to the Republican preference for winner-take-all contests -- and to his own good luck in narrowly winning rather than narrowly losing Missouri's 58 winner-take-all delegates. (READ MORE)

William R. Easterly: Why Bill Gates Hates My Book - This newspaper reported recently that Bill Gates hates my ideas. I have no hurt feelings, at least nothing that months of intensive psychotherapy can't cure. Mr. Gates, after all, has allied himself with the foreign aid establishment. This establishment is notoriously sensitive to criticism from people like me, who find no evidence that the aid industry's grand schemes are actually lifting anyone out of poverty. Mr. Gates has now put forward his own scheme -- "creative capitalism" -- in a speech at the recent World Economic Forum in Davos. (READ MORE)

Nadia Schadlow: From the Jaws of Victory - The U.S. just dodged a bullet in Iraq. Recently it was reported that Pentagon leaders were considering Gen. David Petraeus, commander of the Multi-National Force Iraq since February 2007, for a prestigious redeployment to Europe. It is good news for Americans and Iraqis alike that Gen. Petraeus decided to stay in Baghdad through the fall. What's depressing is that top political and military leaders in Washington asked him to consider the move in the first place. The proposal to shift Gen. Petraeus out of Iraq reflects the unwillingness of the military as a whole to make the larger cultural changes required to succeed in tough counterinsurgency missions. (READ MORE)

Alfred S. Regnery: How McCain Can Convince the Right - John McCain is not the first Republican nominee to give conservatives fits. In 1952, Dwight Eisenhower promised Robert Taft's supporters that he was just as conservative as Mr. Republican, as Taft was known. By the time Ike finished his two terms, conservatives were so disappointed they vowed never again to support a moderate based on vague pledges of conservative fealty. Few stuck to that promise, and ultimately many threw their support to Richard Nixon, Jerry Ford, Bob Dole and both Bushes. Most feel badly burned as a result. (READ MORE)

Daniel Henninger: McCain or the Wilderness - Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham aren't the only conservatives in agony over John McCain. The base is bummed. At the Portofino Hotel in Orlando, Fla., where Rudy Giuliani went down with a graceful valedictory concession, an energetic Rudy guy in dark glasses and slicked black hair -- hours before ebulliently cheering up anyone who would talk to him -- ran up to a reporter waiting for a car. "My wife just heard. Rudy's gonna endorse McCain! S---!!!!" Conservatives can't catch a break. Taxes, judges, the culture -- somewhere a conservative is always getting shafted. (READ MORE)

Lawhawk: Pathetic Apathy - I know that headlines around the country were busy talking about how heavy the turnout was and that people were really excited about the elections. Indeed, something about the numbers simply doesn't add up. It's nothing but spin. “Taken as a percentage of all eligible voters, including the unaffiliated, the 35 percent who participated Tuesday was the most since 1940 when 41 percent voted in a state primary.” (READ MORE)

Richard Landes: Egypt Lays Bare the Reasoning behind Palestinian Suffering - In another remarkable article by Khaled abu Toameh, perhaps the best Arab journalist now practicing by Western standards, we find Hosni Mubarak, furious at the idea that his country might do a good deed by providing for their Palestinian brethren. The matter-of-fact way in which Mubarak asserts the logic — Israel must suffer no matter what the costs to the Palestinians — reveals just how implacable the hatreds. Mubarak is nowhere near the basic bar for even negotiating peace — love your own more than you hate your foes. Fine insight into the sources of Palestinian suffering. (READ MORE)

Dafydd: McCain Wimps Out - Except That He Really Didn't - I suspect the newsmeisters will have you believe that John McCain made a terrible miscalculation by not showing up to vote one way or the other on the Senate Democrats' "compromise" stimulus package; after all, that's the Hillary Clinton spin, and by now, we all know the provenance of the benightly news: “Republican presidential candidate John McCain skipped a difficult Senate vote Wednesday on whether to make 20 million seniors and 250,000 disabled veterans eligible for rebate checks as part of a proposed economic stimulus package. The Arizona senator's decision to miss the vote appeared to come at the last minute, after his plane had landed at Dulles International Airport outside Washington just before the proceedings opened on the Senate floor.” (READ MORE)

Big Dog: Do the Race Baiters Want Obama to Win? - Al Sharpton, the anti Semite, race baiter has certainly endorsed Barack Obama (at least by his actions) and Obama was proud to stand with the man despite his history of racial divisiveness, riots leading to murder and lies. Additionally, Jesse Jackson is supporting Obama. Though Jackson waited, I saw a picture of him with an Obama sign and after Bill Clinton’s jab at him in South Carolina, support for Obama was inevitable. The question is, do they really want him to win? (READ MORE)

The Belmont Club: Stereo vision - The dismissal of Major Stephen Coughlin from his position as a specialist on Islamic law and Islamist extremism to the Joint Staff became a hot topic on the blogosphere. His dismissal was blamed on his criticism of the official strategy that Islam was the 'religion of peace' and seen by some as censorship. Coughlin has since been reinstated, a positive development, not because it necessarily endorses Major Coughlin views but because it makes the issues he raises officially thinkable. To see why let's go back to Coughlin's unclassified thesis at National Defense Intelligence College, which says "it is the conclusion of this thesis that Islamic law forms the doctrinal basis for the jihadi threat that can only be understood through an unconstrained review of the Islamic law of jihad." (READ MORE)

Blonde Sagacity: Backpedaling in Berkeley? - ...And I credit this latest bit of semi-backpedaling double speak to the Right-o-sphere. It was pretty cool to see MSM headlines that read: "Conservative Blogosphere in an Uproar": "Under the weight of a national uproar, two Berkeley City Council members want to rescind an official statement that the U.S. Marines and their recruiting station are "uninvited and unwelcome intruders." Betty Olds and Laurie Capitelli, however, did not move to rescind three other items the council passed last week: giving the protest group Code Pink a free weekly parking space and sound permit; calling on residents to impede the work of any military recruiting station in the city; and asking the city attorney to investigate whether the Marines violate city laws banning discrimination based on sexual orientation. (READ MORE)

Ed Morrissey: Delegate Math Looks Bad For Democrats - The delegate assignments have mostly shaken out from the Super Tuesday contests, and the situation looks even more grim than yesterday for the Democrats. Barack Obama now has a narrow five-delegate lead among non-superdelegates, 635-630, at roughly the halfway point. The remaining state delegates will now have to break markedly in favor of one candidate over the other in order to avoid making the superdelegates select the party nominee: (READ MORE)

Dhimmi This: More on the Current Status of the Haditha Investigation - More thoughts on the incident at Haditha and the rush to judgment by the media to cast guilt upon innocent Marines. Thad Coakley a former Marine Corps judge advocate and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, including a tour with an infantry battalion in the Hit-Haditha Corridor of al-Anbar Province during which he was awarded the Combat Action Ribbon, has written "Another perspective on Haditha" at the North County Times. (Hattip to FBL) “Without knowing all that is to be presented by both the prosecution and the defense at the trials, a few conclusions and lessons are apparent from Haditha's aftermath:” (READ MORE)

Don Surber: Michigan rummy - Disenfranchising Florida and Michigan may cost the Democrats dearly. The deal was Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada (hi Harry Reid), South Carolina, then Super Tuesday. Florida and Michigan jumped the gun (how dare state legislatures ignore the ruling DNC and RNC) and both national parties peeled back delegates. Democrats fined Florida and Michigan a total of 366 delegates. This would be OK because Hillary would roll over Barack on Super Tuesday and … that didn’t happen. (READ MORE)

Bill Roggio: Pakistan's Interior Minister orders negotiations with Baitullah Mehsud - The Pakistani government and the Taliban appear close to signing the next round of "peace" accords to end the fighting in the tribal areas and the settled districts of the Northwest Frontier Province. Pakistan's Interior Minister stated a deal can be made with Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud, while Baitullah announces a cease-fire in northwestern Pakistan. Interior Minister Hamid Nawaz has ordered the formation of a peace jirga, or committee, in order to conduct official talks with the Taliban and Baitullah. “The government, in collaboration with a jirga consisting of influential and local people from the Fata and the Frontier regions, would soon take measures for sustainable peace in the tribal areas," said Nawaz. (READ MORE)

The Midnight Sun: Surge Working - Hamas Confirms – “JPost - Thousands of Arab men have flocked into the Gaza Strip from Egypt in the past two weeks, offering to join in the fight against Israel, sources close to Hamas said Wednesday. The sources said some of the men had recently fled from Iraq, where they had been carrying out attacks against US troops.” Yes, they fled from Iraq because their attacks against the Great Satan have been a roaring success!! Needless to say, Democrats in America and leftists elsewhere insist America must withdraw and walk away, wouldn’t be because they’re desperate to save their terrorist allies now would it? (READ MORE)

Meryl Yourish: The Hamas war with Israel: First, kill the children - The rocket fire from Gaza, which is now being claimed proudly by the democratically-elected government of the Palestinians, has wounded more children in Israel, and nearly killed some on their way to school. Because that’s the tactic that the terrorists are most fond of these days: Firing rockets when they know Israeli children are walking to and from school, in the hopes of getting some. They did. “Eleven Qassam rockets were fired at the western Negev Thursday morning. Three rockets landed in Sderot, causing several people to suffer shock and damaging a shed close to a residential house, as well as some vehicles.” (READ MORE)

Ron Winter: McCain -12, Winner; Romney -11, Loser; Huckabee -6, Winner; Hillary, Loses for Winning; Obama, Wins for Losing! Got It? - I am not kidding, that is exactly how the national media is portraying the results of Super Tuesday. If you can figure it all out, and do it with a straight face, and mean every word you say, you are a total sociopath and there is a place for you in the world of political intrigue. The best part of Super Tuesday from this standpoint was that the Fox television channel was running American Idol and House back-to-back just as the polls were closing from the east to west, so I had something else to do instead of watching political commentators trying to appear non-aligned. What a joke. (READ MORE)

Urban Grounds: Bryant R. Purvis — One of the Jena 6 Thugs Arrested Again for Another Assault on Another Student - You haven’t forgotten those poor, innocent, aggrieved children who were so unfairly mistreated and dubbed the “Jena 6“, have you? Well, one of those poor victimized kids is back in the news again? What injustice was done to 19-year old Bryant R. Purvis this time? Apparently some other kid tried to assault Purvis’ fist using his face. The horror. “DENTON, Texas — A “Jena Six” defendant has been released on bail today after his arrest on an assault charge after a fight with a fellow student at his new suburban Dallas high school.” (READ MORE)

The Tygrrr Express: Tragedy and Confusion Wednesday - Before getting into the results from Super Tuesday, I hope my readers can handle once again being completely underwhelmed. Rather than pretend I understand what the results mean, and would rather let others sort it out. Politically, the day after Super Tuesday was a Wednesday of confusion. For many in the South, it was a day of tragedy. The impressive victories notched by Mike Huckabee were overshadowed by tornadoes that left 22 dead in Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee. We spend so much time worrying about nuts and bolts and delegates and electoral votes that we run the risk of losing sight of what elections are all about…human beings… (READ MORE)

Melanie Phillips: Lost in the Maze - Last night’s Moral Maze, on which I am a panellist, discussed the Home Office guidelines which advise officials not to call Islamists Islamists or Islamic terrorists Islamic terrorists but to use instead euphemisms based on the premise that the jihad against the west is not a war of religion but merely ‘violent extremism’ and that the jihadis are not jihadis but ‘criminals’. So gripped is the Home Office by the belief that speaking the truth to Muslims will ‘alienate’ them that its Orwellian attempt to manipulate the language descends into pure farce when it suggests that even the word ‘Islamophobia’ should be avoided since this can be misunderstood as a slur on Islam and perceived as singling out Muslims (even though it indicates we are positively addressing their concerns). Alas— with the sole exception of witness Anthony Browne from Policy Exchange, my own view on all this was drowned out. (READ MORE)

TigerHawk: Cold January - Whatever your personal weather, around the planet January 2008 was the second coldest in 15 years. The linked post, complete with graphs and everything, does not suggest that this says anything in particular about the climate or the long-term direction of local temperatures. To me, the most interesting thing about this story is the complete absence of discussion in the mainstream media, which manages to induce a scientist or politician to blame anthropogenic global warming for any bit of idiosyncratic weather. See, if you can stand it, the latest comedy gold from John Kerry. (READ MORE)

ShrinkWrapped: Liberal Strategy: Speak Softly and Carry a Featherduster - Yesterday I suggested that the liberal aversion to casualties, based on anxiety and guilt over harming innocent victims (an ever expanding group composed of all those who are disadvantaged in life or have historic claims to past disadvantages), effectively removes the threat of force as an instrument of strategic policy. There is an additional liberal inhibition to the use of force which also arises from the ideology that informs modern liberal thinking. This has everything to do with the enhanced narcissism which is an incubator of liberal ideology tendencies. (READ MORE)

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