February 21, 2008

Web Reconnaissance for 02/21/2008

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)
A Moral Test for the FDA - Some 40,000 women died from breast cancer in 2007. Almost unbelievably, the federal government may block one of the disease's more promising therapies for no other reason than the Food and Drug Administration's obsolete, even antimodern, regulations and approval models. Since the lives of terminally ill patients are in the balance, this is fundamentally a moral test -- and one, true to type, that the FDA may well flunk. (READ MORE)

Obama's Teamster 'Diplomacy'- Barack Obama has pledged to "renew American diplomacy." Except, apparently, when it might interfere with an endorsement from the Teamsters. President James Hoffa bestowed the powerful union's blessing on Mr. Obama yesterday, not so coincidentally only days after the Senator declared his opposition to the pending U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement. (READ MORE)

A Shot in the Light - As early as today, the U.S. Navy will aim a ship-based SM-3 missile at a decaying satellite that is falling to Earth. The missile's make, the general location of the launch vehicle and the target are all known -- because the U.S. government has publicly stated these facts. Still, the Chinese and Russian governments are raising a fuss. (READ MORE)

Clinton Attacks Obama's Record - Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton yesterday went after Sen. Barack Obama as inexperienced on matters of national security and as a politician with no record of accomplishment. (READ MORE)

Texas Cities Oppose Border Fence - Chad Foster, mayor of this Texas border city whose motto is "Where Yee-Hah meets Ole," isn't itching for a fight with the federal government over the construction of a 15-foot border fence along the Rio Grande. But if one comes, he's ready. (READ MORE)

Missile KO's Failing Satellite - A missile fired from a U.S. Navy warship hit a defunct spy satellite in space to try to prevent its toxic-fuel tank from crashing to Earth, the Pentagon said yesterday. (READ MORE)

3Com Nixes Deal with Chinese - A Chinese telecommunications firm and 3Com Corp., a U.S. defense technology company, yesterday called off a proposed merger because they could not quell national security concerns in the United States. (READ MORE)

Kosovo Statehood Inspires Palestinians - A top Palestinian leader said yesterday that the territories now under Israeli control should follow Kosovo's lead with a unilateral declaration of statehood if U.S.-backed peace talks with Israel fail. (READ MORE)

Mortgage Crisis Profits Law Firms - The nation's mortgage crisis is one of the best things that ever happened to law firms. Many of them are lawyering up as the flood of foreclosures rises to record levels. (READ MORE)

On the Web:
Karl Rove: Obama's New Vulnerability - In campaigns, there are sometimes moments when candidates shift ground, causing the race to change dramatically. Tuesday night was one of those moments. Hammered for the 10th contest in a row, Hillary Clinton toughened her attacks on Barack Obama, saying he was unready to be commander in chief and unable to back his inspiring words with a record of action and leadership. John McCain also took on Mr. Obama, with the Arizona senator declaring he would oppose "eloquent but empty calls for change that promises no more than a holiday from history and a return to the false promises and failed policies of a tired philosophy that trusts in government more than people." (READ MORE)

Judith Miller: Journalism on Trial - There are many ways to intimidate or silence journalists. One depressing tactic in this country is to jail them for refusing to divulge the names of confidential sources who have provided sensitive information for articles, or to turn over telephone logs, emails, memos or notebooks identifying those informants to whom reporters have pledged confidentiality. (I'm familiar with this approach, having spent 85 days in jail two summers ago for protecting such a source until he waived the pledge I'd given him.) There may now be an alternative: bankrupting reporters who refuse to comply with subpoenas and court orders. (READ MORE)

Amir Taheri: Islam at the Ballot Box - Pakistan's election has been portrayed by the Western media as a defeat for President Pervez Musharraf. The real losers were the Islamist parties. The latest analysis of the results shows that the parties linked, or at least sympathetic, to the Taliban and al Qaeda saw their share of the votes slashed to about 3% from almost 11% in the last general election a few years ago. The largest coalition of the Islamist parties, the United Assembly for Action (MMA), lost control of the Northwest Frontier Province -- the only one of Pakistan's four provinces it governed. (READ MORE)

Daniel Henninger: Obama and Race - The Democratic Party is undergoing the greatest seismic shift since Bill Clinton came out of Arkansas in 1992, and the press chooses to sacrifice trees this week to consider whether Barack Obama "plagiarized" some lines from Deval Patrick, governor of Massachusetts. There is an important story here. It has nothing to do with plagiarism. In January, I happened across a piece by the Associated Press describing the close professional relationship between Obama and Patrick, who shared the same political consultant, David Axelrod. Indeed, back in April 2007, the Boston Globe's Scott Helman wrote a thorough and nuanced article on all this, noting that the two have known each other for a decade and trade ideas all the time. (READ MORE)

Ann Coulter: How to Keep Reagan Out of Office - Inasmuch as the current presidential election has come down to a choice among hemlock, self-immolation or the traditional gun in the mouth, now is the time for patriotic Americans to review what went wrong and to start planning for 2012. How did we end up with the mainstream media picking the Republican candidate for president? It isn't the early primaries, it isn't that we allow Democrats to vote in many of our primaries, and it isn't that the voters are stupid. All of that was true or partially true in 1980 -- and we still got Ronald Reagan. (READ MORE)

Ken Blackwell: Obama's Silver Tongue is Forked - Senator Barack Obama recently gave us a disturbing foretaste of the contradictory doublespeak we could expect under an Obama presidency. Last week, a deeply disturbed young man went on a criminal rampage at Northern Illinois University, murdering several innocent people before taking his own life. Mr. Obama spoke out last Friday on the tragic event, and exposed the crucial disconnect between his rhetoric and his politics. Speaking of his determination to do “whatever it takes” to end gun violence, Mr. Obama nonetheless acknowledged that the Second Amendment secures a right to individual citizens to keep and bear arms. (READ MORE)

Victor Davis Hanson: Ivy League Populism - The rhetoric of Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton about the sad state of America is reminiscent of the suspect populism of John Edwards, the millionaire lawyer who recently dropped out of the Democratic presidential race. Barack Obama may have gone to exclusive private schools. He and his wife may both be lawyers who between them have earned four expensive Ivy League degrees. They may make about a million dollars a year, live in an expensive home and send their kids to prep school. But they are still apparently first-hand witnesses to how the American dream has gone sour. (READ MORE)

Mike S. Adams: The Malice Cowboy Cheerleaders - Hello Dr. Ellerby: I am writing today with a request. Several years ago, you were a leader in an organized feminist effort to stop the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders from visiting the campus of UNC-Wilmington. As I understand it, campus feminists were offended by the initial invitation of the busty Cowgirls because they felt that these underdressed ladies projected a chauvinistic view of what a woman should look like. During the Cowgirl controversy, some feminists even expressed the view that exposing college women to scantily clad, thin, and busty women would cause a campus-wide epidemic of eating disorders. (READ MORE)

Suzanne Fields: Tempest in a Pastepot: Are We Listening to What Candidates Say? - Words! Words! Words! I'm so sick of words! I get words all day through; First from him, now from you! Is that all you blighters can do? If Hillary Clinton gets a starring role this year at the Gridiron dinner -- the satirical revue by and for politicians, correspondents, columnists and assorted bigwigs in Washington -- she should touch up the words of Eliza Doolittle in "My Fair Lady." The ghosts of Lerner and Lowe might scold her for plagiarism, but Hillary could use humor to needle herself for her part in the silliest campaign contretemps of the season (so far). (READ MORE)

George Will: The Democrats' Four-Letter F-Word - WASHINGTON -- Judging from complaints by her minions, Hillary Clinton considers it unfair that Barack Obama has been wafted close to the pinnacle of politics by an updraft from the continentwide swoon of millions of Democrats and much of the media brought on by his Delphic utterances such as "We are the change." But disquisitions on fairness are unpersuasive coming from someone from Illinois or Arkansas whose marriage enabled her to treat New York as her home, and the Senate as an entry-level electoral office (only 12 of today's senators have been elected to no other office) and a steppingstone to the presidency. (READ MORE)

Larry Elder: Democrats Outraged by MSNBC! - Outrage! MSNBC's David Shuster, sitting in for Tucker Carlson, criticized the use by Sen. Clinton of her daughter, Chelsea. Shuster said, "Doesn't it seem like Chelsea is being pimped out in some weird sort of way?" Well!!! Clinton's communications director, Howard Wolfson, threatened to pull out from a planned debate. MSNBC quickly offered an on-air apology, and suspended Shuster for his bizarre comment. Wolfson called Shuster's remark one of a "pattern" on that network. (READ MORE)

Salena Zito: "Race... Will Have To Be Resolved," Civil Rights Leader Says - Black people who say Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama "is not black enough" likely are talking about his race-neutral campaign and not skin color, veteran civil rights leader Ron Daniels said Tuesday. "That question arises because of the unresolved question as to whether Obama is, in terms of the content of his platform, willing to address black issues," Daniels said during a forum at Community College of Allegheny County. "He is excellent on issues that black people consider a priority, like heath, education, the war and the economy." (READ MORE)

The Captains' Journal: The Marines, Afghanistan and Strategic Malaise - ” … every Marine a hunter” Preliminary Reading: Resurgence of Taliban and al Qaeda Contact. Contact with the enemy. Counterinsurgency includes security for the population, construction of infrastructure, amelioration of community problems, and good governance. It cannot ultimately be won without these (and other) elements. But it also cannot be won without contact with and defeat of the enemy. The Marines have participated in untold meals with families, construction of sewage and water systems, and other things that brought them into contact with the population in Anbar. But contact with the enemy has been a staple of Marine operations…(READ MORE)

Blue Star Chronicles: Michelle Obama Gives Non Explanation of Her Comments on Pride in America - Michelle Obama offered the following as a non-explanation of her remarks about not being proud of her country …. “Asked by WJAR-TV if she would like to clarify her comment, Obama replied that she has been struck by the number of people going to rallies and watching debates, as well as record voter turnouts. ‘What I was clearly talking about was that I’m proud in how Americans are engaging in the political process,’ she said. ‘For the first time in my lifetime, I’m seeing people rolling up their sleeves in a way that I haven’t seen and really trying to figure this out - and that’s the source of pride that I was talking about,’ she added.” OOooohhh. Okay. She misspoke. She meant she’s never been proud of the POLITICAL PROCESS in this country. Wow. How silly of everyone to think she meant what she said and said what she meant. (READ MORE)

Blue Crab Boulevard: McCain Camp Declares War - Senior members of the John McCain campaign have openly declared that they are going to war with the New York Times over the paper's smear story about McCain. “The McCain campaign is using a two-pronged attack to push back against the story. First, they’ll argue it was a thinly sourced piece of innuendo journalism. But McCain aides will also strike at the source, using the Times’ liberal reputation as a means of self-defense to draw sympathy from the GOP’s conservative base.” (READ MORE)

Ace: Not Voting? "To our principled folks who refuse to vote for McCain - Okay, that's cool. I strenuously and passionately disagree with you, but that's cool. But please allow me to underscore the fact that all of the above will actually be attempted under an Obama administration. I don't say that to fear-monger... this is what the new generation of lefty is. The new lefty is a full-blown socialist in the European mold, with eyes on the Latin American mold." Something else to bear in mind. Reagan made conservativism cool. Allow me to suggest that this was not entirely simply due to the power of his ideas -- but in no small part to his remarkable powers of communication and warmth of personality and 18/00 Charisma. (READ MORE)

Ed Morrissey: Sadr To Extend Cease-Fire? - The six-month cease-fire ordered by Moqtada al-Sadr for his Mahdi Army soons expires, and many wondered what Sadr might do. Reuters reports that Sadr has decided to keep his militants sidelined for at least another few months. Sealed envelopes have gone to key Shi'ite mosques, with instructions to open them only in time for Friday prayers (via Hot Air): “Powerful Iraqi Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr is expected to extend a six-month ceasefire by his Mehdi Army militia, two senior officials in his movement confirmed for the first time on Thursday.” (READ MORE)

Crazy Politico: A Great Question - In my last post concerning Nancy Pelosi's decision not to bring FISA modernization to a vote, one of the commenters asked "What in the hell is wrong with these people?" The answer is both annoying, and shows the depths of despair of the Democratic Party over the last year. First, the contention by some on the left that this is the Democrats standing up to George Bush is a crock. Were the Democrats standing up to Bush the bill that was tabled by Pelosi would never have made it to her. Instead, Senate Democrats and Republican's worked together on a bill that would allow intel agencies to continue their work, telecom's to be protected for cooperating, and require FISA review of all surveillence within 72 hours of starting such "eavesdropping". (READ MORE)

The Daily Ramble: The Audacity Of Pride - Recently, much has been made about pride - or the lack of it or the acute aquisition of it in a certain lady who wants to be first by next January. Born between the Fall of the Wall and the Fall of the Towers - pride was something only reserved for self - never shared or recog'd for others. History was something to daydream through in class or ancient smelly books with funky photos to avoid. History was boring. Pilgrims. Yankees. Rebels. Wheee. So what? Then one late summer day, sitting on the floor in front of the TV, breakfasting on Cap'n Crunch Berries history came alive and became very personal. So did pride. (READ MORE)

Don Surber: Surge-ery - Another Democratic opponent of the Surge comes around — as the polls show more public approval of the Surge. A year ago, Democratic Congressman Bob Etheridge of North Carolina received lefty love for denouncing the Surge. He’s a Blue Dog Dem whose district includes Fort Bragg, home of the 82nd Airborne. “More of the same,” Etheridge said then. He visited Iraq on Wednesday for the first time since 2006. He gushed to reporters back home about it, via a teleconference. “I think from what I’ve seen here, it is working. It is making a difference,” Etheridge said. Good for him. But maybe he is reading the polls. (READ MORE)

Bill Roggio: Taliban field commander killed in Helmand province - Afghan and NATO special operations forces have killed a senior Taliban commander during a joint raid in Helmand province, according to the Afghan Ministry of Defense. Mullah Abdul Bari, along with 29 Taliban fighters, were killed in a "five-hour coordinated attack on four targets" in the region between the Musa Qala and Kajaki districts of Helmand province, News.com.au reported. Bari was reported to have been injured during the fighting but died of his wounds in a hospital, the Afghan Ministry of Defense stated. (READ MORE)

Bill Roggio: Report: Sadr to extend cease-fire - Muqtada al Sadr, the leader of the Sadrist movement and the commander of the Mahdi Army, has ordered the extension of the cease-fire, anonymous senior officials in his movement have told Reuters. The cease-fire, which was put in place after a major clash in Najaf in August 2007, will be extended by six months. "Sadr had issued a declaration to preachers to be read during midday prayers on Friday at mosques affiliated with the cleric," Reuters reported. (READ MORE)

Amy Proctor: Terrorists "Satisfied" with Actress' Anti-War Comments - Dissent is patriotic, isn’t it? Sure, liberals use it as a baseball bat to trash the United States all the time. And it’s so catchy. So are “don’t question my patriotism” and “we support the troops”. It’s even more patriotic to trash the good old U.S. of A. overseas. Some even travel the world in hopes of achieving this euphoric state of patriotism by dissenting, dissenting, dissenting in Arab countries. Take Sharon Stone for example. No really, take her. This “Basic Instinct” brainiac came to the Dubai International Film Festival in the United Arab Emirates “seeking answers for herself because, she said, the U.S. media has failed to provide Americans with the truth.” (READ MORE)

Jules Crittenden: It’s The Predatory Perversion, Stupid - Another Massachusetts judge with a soft spot for dangerous criminals. We’ve got a lot of them. Judges with soft spots and dangerous criminals. This one … the dangerous Level Three sexual offender criminal … having been freed by a judge, had a ski mask, duct tape and gloves in his rape kit when he followed a woman into the ladies room, blocked the door and stuck his head under her booth, the cops say. He told cops all he wanted was a good look at her. He ran when she screamed. (READ MORE)

Congressman John Campbell: Embracing Fiscal Responsibility - Last week, the House Republican Steering Committee decided against naming Jeff Flake (R-AZ) to the Appropriation committee. I am very disappointed to see this decision. If we are ever going to control spending in Washington, we will need to change the culture of the Appropriations Committee. Members who request to be on the Appropriations Committee usually do so because they want to spend money and that breeds a culture of spending and spenders. For example, I never wanted to be on that committee because I don't want to spend money. Neither does Jeff Flake. (READ MORE)

neo-neocon: Primaries and disenfranchisement, Democrat and Republican - Despite the force of the Obama “Yes, we can” train (no mere “I think I can, I think I can” choo-choo for him!), it looks as though he may not get enough votes in the primaries to win the Democratic Presidential nomination outright. The so-called “superdelegates” may come into play, which would be anathema to those who think the selection of a nominee ought to reflect the pure popular will of the people. Brokered conventions, with Party regulars calling the shots and choosing in a sort of noblesse oblige taking of power from the people, aren’t what the Democrats had in mind when they reformed the primary system in reaction to the 1968 nomination of LBJ’s Vice President Hubert Humphrey rather than antiwar favorite Eugene McCarthy. (READ MORE)

John Hinderaker: The Times Upholds Its Standards - The New York Times smears John McCain in tomorrow's paper, accusing him of ethics violations and insinuating that he had an affair with a lobbyist. What is most striking, though, if you actually read the story, is how thin it is. It's mostly about the Keating Five scandal, which dates to the late 1980s. The "news" that gives the story a hook has to do with McCain's friendship with a pretty blonde lobbyist that apparently ended in 2000. As for the purported affair, the Times offers zero evidence. This line sums up, I think, the absurdity of the paper's attempt to cobble together an anti-McCain story out of these widely-separated elements: "It had been just a decade since an official favor for a friend with regulatory problems had nearly ended Mr. McCain's political career by ensnaring him in the Keating Five scandal." (READ MORE)

McQ: The results of tax the rich? Ask CA - They may be rich, but they’re not dumb: "When California faced a Mount Everest-sized $14 billion deficit in 2003, one of the major causes for the red ink was the stampede of millionaire households from the state," says a report called "Rich States, Poor States" by economists Arthur Laffer and Stephen Moore. "Out of the 25,000 or so seven-figure-income families, more than 5,000 left in the early 2000s, and the loss of their tax payments accounted for about half the budget hole." They’re not the only ones leaving either. The report, published by the American Legislative Exchange Council points out that not all jobs are leaving the US, but many, if not most lost jobs simply move to other states. (READ MORE)

ShrinkWrapped: The Reductio ad Absurdem of Liberal Pacifism - There is a wonderfully misguided article in this morning's Jerusalem Post which beautifully captures the liberal cum pacifist world view. In this view there is an argument to be made for attacking one's enemies during a shooting war, but during what the columnist, Larry Derfner, refers to as a period of "peace and quiet" on the northern border, targeting someone even as evil and dangerous as Imad Mugniyeh, is a provocation: “Rattling the Cage: When in doubt, bomb - When I heard the news that Hizbullah's number one terrorist had been blown up in Damascus, I thought: This wasn't Israel's doing. We've had a year-and-a-half of cease-fire with Hizbullah, nobody wants to ruin that. We still haven't gotten over the last war in Lebanon, nobody's going to risk starting another one now, not when there's been 18 months of peace and quiet on the northern border.” (READ MORE)

Ron Winter: New York Times Vs. John McCain - Libel, Yellow Journalism, or an Intended Campaign Boost? - The New York Times went on the attack against John McCain today, accusing him in a cheap, tawdry, gutless sort of way, of having an extramarital affair with a female lobbyist a decade ago, and influencing a government agency on her behalf. Some reports say the Times has been sitting on the story for eight years, ever since McCain was running against George Bush for the Republican nomination. But why? I read the story. There is nothing in it that couldn't be obtained from an active imagination, distaste for Republicans, and one or two telephone calls. In fact most of it is rehashed political history, that has been published many times and many places before. There appears to be only one aim this story: (READ MORE)

Jay Tea: Rules, Schmules - One of the things that most irritate me about politics (especially Democratic politics) is their innate need to rewrite the rules of whatever contest they're in to their advantage. Right now, we have Hillary Clinton and her campaign and assorted lickspittles pushing to seat the Michigan and Florida delegates at the Democratic National Convention. Now, there is a good argument to be made about whether or not those states should have been excluded. But the proper time to make that argument was when the rules were first announced, or even at any point before the actual voting took place. (READ MORE)

Have an interesting post or know of a "must read?" Then send a trackback here and let us all know about it. Or you can send me an email with a link to the post and I'll update the Recon.

No comments: