March 7, 2008

Web Reconnaissance for 03/07/2008

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

In the News: (Registration may be required to read some stories)
Bill Clinton's $700,000 stock windfall - The spring before his wife began her White House campaign, former President Bill Clinton earned $700,000 for his foundation by selling stock that he had been given from an Internet search company that was co-founded by a convicted felon and backed by the Chinese government, public records show. (READ MORE)

McCain leads in crossover votes - Contrary to conventional wisdom, numbers emerging from polls and primary results show that Sen. John McCain — who has alienated conservatives as he courts independents and moderate Democrats — holds an advantage over Sen. Barack Obama in the race for crossover votes. (READ MORE)

Obama claims funding record - Sen. Barack Obama says he raised a record $55 million last month, trouncing Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's own fundraising haul in an announcement that deflected attention away from a potential Clinton comeback in the Democratic presidential race. (READ MORE)

DEA aids arms arrest - The infiltration of a suspected criminal enterprise by two Drug Enforcement Administration undercover informants led to yesterday's arrest in Thailand of an international arms dealer dubbed the "Merchant of Death," who was charged with supplying weapons to Colombia's Marxist rebels. (READ MORE)

Gunman kills eight students in Jerusalem - Israeli-Palestinian peace talks faced a massive setback, as Israel struggled to digest yesterday's slaughter of eight Jewish yeshiva seminary students by a Palestinian gunman and Palestinian celebrations of the attack that followed throughout the Gaza Strip. (READ MORE)

Vatican official steps down in battle over security of pope - The Vatican official with primary responsibility for the safety of Pope Benedict XVI when he visits the United States next month has resigned in a turf battle between the Swiss Guard and a rival Italian security force over who gets to guard the pope. (READ MORE)

Senate Votes For Safer Products - The Senate yesterday approved the most far-reaching changes to the nation's product safety system in a generation, responding to recalls of millions of lead-laced toys that rattled consumers last year. (READ MORE)

Michigan and Florida Have Democrats in a State - As Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama competed through more than 40 contests over the past two months, Michigan and Florida remained on the sidelines, barred from participating in the Democratic presidential nomination process because they violated party rules. Now, with neither candidate... (READ MORE)

Anti-Terrorism Efforts Hailed - Islamic extremists have been targeting Europe instead of the United States because the Bush administration has made a domestic attack much more difficult through improvements in U.S. traveler screening and border security, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said yesterday. (READ MORE)

Colombian Rebels' Ties to Chávez Come Into Focus - BOGOTA, Colombia, March 6 -- A trove of correspondence recovered during a raid on a guerrilla camp is providing a rare window into how Colombia's largest rebel group has drawn closer to Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez in an effort to acquire money, arms and the political recognition the organiza... (READ MORE)

On the Web:
Mike Gallagher: 'Barack Hussein Obama' - This week, a lot of people I admire and respect have scolded me for my frequent on-air use of Barack Hussein Obama’s full name. These good folks all have solid reasons, I suppose, for disagreeing with the recitation of the man’s name. Karl Rove, for example, told me that to say his middle name “isn’t helping John McCain, it’s hurting him.” I was surprised at that suggestion since I’m not am employee of the Republican National Committee or someone on the McCain for President payroll, I’m a radio talk host who happens to be a Republican. But I remembered that Rove is a brilliant political kingmaker who often comes to successful conclusions by studying focus groups and polling data. (READ MORE)

John Hawkins: The Top Nine "Changes" Barack Obama Would Make as President - "All change is not growth; as all movement is not forward." -- Ellen Glasgow As people who have followed Barack Obama closely over the last few months have long since realized, there has been very little substance to the man's campaign besides his determination to lose -- oops, I mean "end" -- the war in Iraq. If you boil Obama's appeal down to its essential core, most of his supporters seem to like him because he's a relatively young, charismatic, black man who talks a lot about "change," "unity," and the "audacity of hope." But, what does that tell you about how Obama would behave if he gets into office? Very, very little. (READ MORE)

Burt Prelutsky: A 12 Step Program for Recovering Liberals - Most 12-step programs start out by requiring that people have to understand that they’re powerless over their addiction and that only by turning their lives over to a Power greater than themselves can they be restored to sanity. Far be it from me to suggest that I am that Power, but clearly someone has to step in and try to rescue these poor liberal souls. Even the most harebrained among them deserves that much. First, though, they have to acknowledge that Ted Kennedy, Nancy Pelosi, John Murtha, Dick Durbin, Charles Rangel, Harry Reid and Charles Schumer, are not moderates, but, rather, leftists with a Socialist agenda. (READ MORE)

Rich Tucker: Stop Talking and Start Doing - On the campaign trail the buzzword is “change,” and the two remaining Democratic candidates are all for it. A particular “change” each one promises is to improve America’s standing in the world. Sens. Clinton and Obama vow to deliver that change by ripping up long-standing trade agreements such as NAFTA (signed by Democratic President Bill Clinton). Of course, it’s difficult to see how shredding an agreement that has helped the United States, Canada and Mexico all improve their economies is going to raise world opinion of us. And in fact one of Obama’s advisors actually gave the game away. After a meeting in Chicago last month, a Canadian official wrote that his advisor had hinted Obama’s position “should be viewed as more about political positioning than a clear articulation of policy plans.” (READ MORE)

Lorie Byrd: Why the President is Dancing - Am I the only one who’s noticed that George Bush is doing an awful lot of dancing lately? Not a lot by Julianne Hough standards, but a lot for a President who said before dancing at his first inaugural ball of the night in 2005 that “it may be the first time in four years.” But there he was, the President who doesn’t like to dance, doing a little soft shoe while waiting for John McCain at the White House this week. A couple of weeks before that, he was shown in video all over the world dancing with President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf in Liberia. With $105 a barrel oil prices and the dollar at a record low, there are plenty of reasons to be concerned about the economy. There are still troops in Iraq, and too many crazy people still determined to kill as many Americans as possible. (READ MORE)

Mike S. Adams: Ann Coulter's Conservative Sell-Out - I never thought I would say this but I’m afraid my Ann Coulter Action Figure is going out with today’s garbage. She’s said a lot of stupid things in the last few years. But her recent statements about Hillary Clinton have shown that she isn’t a true conservative. In my opinion, she’s sold out. I was first irritated with Ann when she suggested we should invade Muslim nations, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity. I stopped short of supporting the decision to fire her from The National Review. But I did cringe at the thought of anti-Christians using her statements to hurt our religion. You know the people I’m talking about. They’re the ones who try to use the Crusades to suggest that Christianity is “just the same” as radical Islam. (READ MORE)

Kathleen Parker: Crime and Punishment for Reading - WASHINGTON -- If an author can't make the Oprah cut, the next best thing may be getting censured by a university. Ever heard of Todd Tucker? Didn't think so. Obviously, some have because he has books and readers. But he's not Michael Crichton or John Grisham. Yet. Tucker's name recently surfaced beyond Amazon's pages when one of his books sparked an investigation at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) because a janitor was reading it. So you're thinking, this book must have been pretty bad. Something like "Poached Puppies and Other Pet Recipes" or "What's So Wrong With Necrophilia?" (READ MORE)

David Limbaugh: Democrats' Dicey Presidential Policies - The Democratic Party cashiered Howard Dean and replaced him, fairly early in the process, with the deeply flawed John Kerry when it became apparent that Dean was unelectable. But what if party honchos, much later in the game, conclude Obama is unelectable? Look out. Right now, it's premature to conclude that Obama's momentum has been permanently quashed. He won 12 states in a row before losing three out of four Tuesday night. But for a candidate whose main attraction has been his superhuman aura to lose those major contests should be cause for concern. In terms of delegate count, Obama still holds a commanding lead. (READ MORE)

Mona Charen: How Does Obama Feel About America? - Barack Obama's words are often attractive but oddly concealing. His speeches are all balm and mood. It's all very well to seek, as Obama claims, to transcend old categories, to reject the "old politics." But then what? This graceful rhetorician leaves you wondering: Who is he really? What does he want for himself and for his country? In search of answers that go deeper than the Congressional Record, I read his first book, "Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance." Once you get past the happy surprise of finding a politician who can actually write, the book contains some disquieting elements. (READ MORE)

Patrick J. Buchanan: How Liberals Play Race Politics - "All is race," wrote Benjamin Disraeli, "there is no other truth." What Disraeli meant by race is what Winston Churchill meant when he spoke of "our island race" -- a tribe, an ethnic group, a people unique and separate from all others. Disraeli saw the Irish in Britain as a breed apart, an alien race: "This wild, reckless, indolent, uncertain and superstitious race have no sympathy with the English character. Their ideal of human felicity is an alternation of clannish broils and coarse idolatry (i.e., Catholicism). Their history describes an unbroken circuitry of bigotry and blood." And whose bigotry was on display here? (READ MORE)

Richard H. Collins: The Case Against Sen. Hillary Clinton, If You Didn't Already Know - Many Republicans were cheered by Hillary Clinton’s victories this past Tuesday. Rush Limbaugh had even recommended that Republicans cross parties and vote for her. And this may have played a critical role in Hillary’s campaign saving victories. Even though these developments have made for strange bedfellow, this should not distract from the liberal policies Hillary’s campaign is based on. She may be preferable to Obama but she is dangerous for America. Hillary is a committed leftist who believes in the almost unlimited power of government to solve complex economic and social problems. We should not forget that this “government knows best” approach would have disastrous consequences for our economy and way of life. (READ MORE)

Cliff May: Listen Up: Should the Telecoms be Punished for Helping Protect You from Terrorists? - Are you outraged? You’re supposed to be. According to Peter Eliasberg, a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11/01 attacks, “everybody in the country” may have had their phone calls “combed through” for terrorist connections and, if that happened, he told the Washington Post, “lots of people will be outraged.” Would you be among them? Or would you, like me, be relieved to know that on at least this occasion, the government did its job? During the 1990s, thousands of terrorists were trained in Afghanistan, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran and elsewhere. The government did next to nothing about that. Terrorists groups and the regimes backing them were seldom infiltrated. Neither terrorists nor their masters were effectively monitored. (READ MORE)

Benn Steil: California's Sovereign Wealth Fund - Deputy Treasury Secretary Robert Kimmitt recently spelled out a few policy principles for sovereign wealth funds (SWFs), the most important of which was this: "Invest commercially, not politically." Mr. Kimmitt's concern is that "governments could conceivably employ large pools of capital in noncommercially driven ways that are politically sensitive." Anyone interested in evidence of such behavior needn't look beyond America's borders. If California were a national economy, it would be the eighth largest in the world. (READ MORE)

Martin Feldstein: How to Stop the Mortgage Crisis - The potential collapse of house prices, accompanied by widespread mortgage defaults, is a major threat to the American economy. A voluntary loan-substitution program could reduce the number of defaults and dampen the decline in house prices -- without violating contracts, bailing out lenders or borrowers, or increasing government spending. The unprecedented combination of rapid house-price increases, high loan-to-value (LTV) ratios, and securitized mortgages has made the current housing-related risk greater than anything we have seen since the 1930s. (READ MORE)

George McGovern: Freedom Means Responsibility - Nearly 16 years ago in these very pages, I wrote that "'one-size-fits all' rules for business ignore the reality of the market place." Today I'm watching some broad rules evolve on individual decisions that are even worse. Under the guise of protecting us from ourselves, the right and the left are becoming ever more aggressive in regulating behavior. Much paternalist scrutiny has recently centered on personal economics, including calls to regulate subprime mortgages. (READ MORE)

Martin Peretz: Obama Abroad - On Aug. 1, 2007 Barack Obama uttered a sentence that has brought him much grief: "If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and [Pakistani] President Musharraf won't act, we will." At the time, virtually all of his Democratic opponents lambasted him for being reckless. As late as their debate in Ohio last week, Hillary Clinton charged that "he basically threatened to bomb Pakistan." Yet neither in this speech (a densely detailed address at the Woodrow Wilson Center) nor in any other has the candidate mentioned "bombing" Pakistan. It is possible that the antiterrorist operation he envisaged might include an attack from the air. But that is not what he said. (READ MORE)

Peggy Noonan: Over the Top - From the first voting in Iowa on Jan. 3 she had to prove that Clintons Are Magic. She wound up losing 11 in a row. Meaning Clintons aren't magic. He had to take her out in New Hampshire, on Super Tuesday or Junior Tuesday. He didn't. Meaning Obama isn't magic. Two nonmagical beings are left. What the Democrats lost this week was the chance to paint the '08 campaign as a brilliant Napoleonic twinning of strategy and tactics that left history awed. What they have instead is a ticket to Verdun. (READ MORE)

Lawhawk: Kurt Westergaard Doubles Down - Westergaard is one of the cartoonists whose images were useful fodder for Islamists who whipped their parishioners into a frenzy of rage and hatred and violence. The Muslims who rioted around the world complained about the bad portrayal of Muslims and that of Mohammad all while committing all manner of violence (torching embassies and businesses, and murdering more than 50 people). He's doubling down. As someone who is the focus of multiple death threats and fatwas and a recent assassination plot that brought out media in Denmark to republish the same cartoons in response, he's not backing down from the jihadis: (READ MORE)

Ace: Fat American Dies of Decadant Lifestyle and Supersonic Shrapnel, But Mostly Supersonic Shrapnel - Although, I guess, if Adam Gadahn had laid off the fucking donuts, maybe he could have dodged a bit of that shrapnel. That is at least what another source claims. It's just another source and this remains unconfirmed, but no one, except Al Qaeda, is gainsaying it yet. “Twelve militants were killed in a single missile attack on a residential compound in Khushali Wazir in the Mirali tehsil during the night of January 28. A loud explosion rocked the area at 11:22 p.m. According to well-informed NEFA sources in Pakistan, among those reportedly killed in the attack were senior al-Qa’ida commander Abu Laith al-Libi, his former deputy Abu Suhail, Hamza al-Somali (of Australian or US nationality), and Azzam al-Amriki (an a.k.a. of American al-Qa’ida member Adam Gadahn) [Gadahn’s death has yet to be officially confirmed].” (READ MORE)

The Captains' Journal: Iranian Hegemony in Iraq - General Petraeus warned us. In testimony before Congress in September of 2007, he said “You cannot win in Iraq solely in Iraq.” He also said that “It is increasingly apparent to both coalition and Iraqi leaders that Iran, through the use of the Quds force, seeks to turn the Iraqi special groups into a Hezbollah-like force to serve its interests and fight a proxy war against the Iraqi state and coalition forces in Iraq.” Fast forward to the recent trip by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Iraq. Alireza Jafarzadeh gives us some sense of what this was like for Iraq: “Behind the orchestrated pomp and pageantry during the visit to Baghdad last weekend by the Iranian ayatollahs’ president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, it was hard to miss the revulsion of Iraqis of all stripes. Adjectives like ‘historic’ could not disguise the frustrating reality for Ahmadinejad and the ayatollahs:” (READ MORE)

The Belmont Club: "I lied" - Gordon Brown successfully prevented a British referendum on its relationship with the European Union despite an earlier undertaking by Tony Blair to do so. The Times reports that Brown insisted that the Treaty of Lisbon, which is substantially the same as the rejected EU constitution is technically not the same thing: “The result means that Parliament will decide whether to ratify the treaty, signed by EU leaders last December. ... Mr Brown insisted that Labour’s manifesto pledge to hold a referendum applied to Europe’s previous proposed constitution, not to the Lisbon treaty, and accused Mr Cameron of appeasing sceptics within the Conservative Party.” (READ MORE)

Chickenhawk Express: Murtha Gets a Pass - For Now - Why those in power keep protecting this old gasbag I'll never know... “A judge has ruled that attorneys for a Marine lieutenant colonel cannot interview Democratic Congressman John Murtha over comments he made about an attack that left 24 Iraqis dead in Haditha. Attorneys for Lt. Col. Jeffrey R. Chessani wanted to depose Murtha about his claims that the Marines killed ‘in cold blood.’” Needless to say, Chessani's lawyers were not pleased and issued this statement... “‘This entire prosecution is politically motivated and stinks to high heaven. Denying us the right to take Murtha’s deposition so that we could show undue command influence, as well as denial of our request for production of documents in the possession of Lt. Col. Chessani’s superiors makes it impossible for us to render this loyal Marine officer the effective assistance of counsel he deserves — they are attempting to throw him under the bus. In many ways this is a trial like the one in Alice in Wonderland—the verdict first and then the trial.’” (READ MORE)

Don Surber: Recreating ‘68 - Be careful what you wish for. I wrote about this last August. Some people want to turn the Denver DNC into Chicago ‘68. This was before the whole Obama-Clinton feud. The Weekly Standard has a post on it. I guess you can’t keep a bad idea down. Here’s my old post: Ever notice how suicidal the left-o-sphere is? No sooner did Nancy Pelosi become speaker than Cindy Sheehan was running against her. Now there is a group that wants to turn the Democratic National Convention next year into Chicago 1968. Great strategy: Let’s turn Hillary into Hubert Humphrey. (READ MORE)

Baron Bodissey: The International Veiling of Statues - I have written previously about the “veiled statues” actions in Europe. The movement started with an event in Germany last September, and expanded to include other German-speaking countries with an action in November. This morning residents in Germany, Finland, and Russia woke up to find veiled statues in their cities. The event is timed to coincide with International Women’s Day, with the aim of reminding people in Europe of the widespread oppression of women under Islam in countries all over the world. Europe News and Tundra Tabloids are also reporting on this latest counterjihad action. (READ MORE)

Ed Morrissey: NY Bombing: Why letters to NY Congressional contingent? Update: “We did it!” - The bombing of a military recruitment center keeps getting stranger and stranger. The eight Congressional Representatives from New York City all received a copy of a picture of the targeted office, showing deliberate premeditated intent to hit the recruiting center. They also received a letter, but it contained no threat: “Eight House Democrats were mailed a letter and photo of a Times Square recruiting station in Manhattan before it was bombed this morning, according to House insiders. The letter did not contain any specific threats against the lawmakers or the site, but the U.S. Capitol Police and the FBI are now investigating the matter.” (READ MORE)

Allahpundit: Far left ready to blow the lid off the Democratic convention, maybe literally - Hysterical wingnut overreaction to the “Re-create ‘68!” jackassery that’s percolating in some leftist circles? Indeed, if you count HuffPo among the hysterical wingnuts. Hope and Change from the mailbag of lefty author Rick Perlstein: “Rick, if the Machine tries to give the Clintons the victory at the convention, I swear to God, Chicago’s going to look like a Sadie Hawkins dance. People my age are going to be throwing stones. We all have transportation — cell phones — disposable income — the Internet — free time — and Seattle as our example. Part of me is scared of a riot. Part of me isn’t. The nomination belongs to Obama. Do you think we’re going to let the Democratic Leadership Council take it? ‘God gave Noah the rainbow sign. No more water, fire next time.’” (READ MORE)

Flopping Aces: Dead Terrorist & Hugo Chavez Ally an Obama Fan? - Obama’s message of change and hope cheers terrorists! By now, you may be aware that Colombia, Ecudaor and Venezueala are on the brink of war after Colombia tracked down and killed the leader of FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) a Communist/terrorist group responsible for kidnapping, murder, terrorism and drug trafficking inside Colombia and linked to support from neighboring Ecuador and Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. Worse yet, Gateway Pundit has evidence that showed FARC was working on creating a dirty bomb with recently acquired uranium. Worst of all, Raul Reyes, the FARC terrorist leader killed by Colombia in the attack had a letter on his computer suggesting that Barrack Obama would be elected U.S. President and he would would look more favorably on the communist terrorists and less favorably on the democratically elected Colombian government which has been a strong ally of the United States in this troubled region. (READ MORE)

Eugene Volokh: Single-Sex Exercise - I blogged yesterday about why I think women-only exercise hours at a Harvard pool don't violate Massachusetts law. I'm inclined to also think that they don't violate Title IX, because they don't deal with discrimination in educational activities. It's not clear whether an accompanying requirement that the attendants working at the pool during those hours be women would violate employment discrimination law; that turns on whether sex is a bona fide occupational qualification in that kind of situation, a matter that is not certain. But I want to briefly touch on the broader policy questions: Should it be illegal for various organizations -- whether health clubs generally or exercise facilities at universities -- to provide single-sex exercise facilities? I'm inclined to say the answer is no. (READ MORE)

Peace Like A River: NATO blinks - NATO Foreign Ministers met in Brussels Thursday to discuss possible membership for Croatia, Albania and Macedonia, as well as Ukraine and Georgia. Also, this meeting was to set the stage and prepare the agenda for the large NATO summit in Bucharest (official site) coming up in April. (Here is a short video (.wmv) about yesterday’s event provided by NATO.) However, the bear looming over this proceeding is, of course, Russia. The three Balkan states are enough of a handful, given the hue and cry over Kosovo declaring independence, and Russia’s ties to Serbia. But, that pales in comparison to Russia’s clenched teeth opposition to Ukraine and Georgia becoming a part of NATO. Those two countries are right on Russia’s front porch, and Russia does not want NATO creeping that close to its border. Accordingly, the NATO ministers tiptoed lightly around the matter. (READ MORE)

Meryl Yourish: Fatah terrorists murder rabbinic students in Jerusalem - Murderers from Fatah’s terrorist “wing,” the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, killed 8 rabbinical students. Update 6:10 p.m.: It’s not clear who was responsible for the attack yet. “Two terrorists infiltrated a rabbinical seminary at the entrance of Jerusalem and opened fire after nightfall Thursday, police said. The ZAKA emergency response service has confirmed at least eight people have been killed in addition to one of the terrorists. Ambulances raced to the scene from around the city and paramedics confirmed numerous additional casualties. The gunmen entered a dining hall where about 80 people were gathered, witnesses said, and opened fire.” Gazans are besides themselves with joy celebrating the murder of Jews. (READ MORE)

Word From Warriors: One Family's Journey, One Soldier's Courage - I haven't heard from one of my folks in the Sandbox in about a month and so I did the thing I hate to do most of all in milsupport, I click over to a casualty list and make sure they aren't on it. Ugh. Anyway as I was looking I came across this young man, this Stryker soldier, US Army SPC Kevin Mowl. I don't know why, but I googled his name and came upon his family's website which chronicled the last seven months Kevin's life at National Naval Medical Center at Bethesda. I am including a couple of journal entries posted on their site. One concerns how he came to be hurt and another from a cousin who talked about life with this young man. There are many other important entries. All of the entries brought home clearly the strength and the character of Kevin and the strength and resolve of his family. (READ MORE)

Ron Winter: Pinkos In Berkeley, Bombs in Times Square; Are Attacks on Congress or a Presidential Candidate Next? - America awoke today to the news that anarchists had bombed a military recruiting station in Times Square. The attack occurred in the early morning hours, no one was on duty at the time, and there was no word of casualties. Nonetheless this attack has all the appearances of a dramatic escalation of the anti-American tactics sweeping through the pro-terrorist ranks in wake of the overwhelming military and political successes in Iraq and Afghanistan. We have to question whether this is just the first step in copy cat violence that mimics the anti-war tactics of the Vietnam era. There is no question that the pro-terrorist forces are losing their argument. (READ MORE)

Cassandra: How Dumb Can WaPo Readers Get? - Well, to all appearances the bar is set pretty low. Over the past few days erudite readers of my hometown paper have fallen all over themselves protesting the fact that Charlotte Allen was "allowed" to insult their intelligence with this travesty of a column in Sunday's Outlook section. They may have a point. Surely it didn't take a rocket scientist to predict that readers who consider this an appropriate response to an opinion piece might be a bit defensive on the subject of IQ: “Hey, did you hear about that time some dumb, past-her-prime, femme-hating lady penned the worst single opinion piece in the history of the Washington Post? Yeah, we thought you had. I've already had a couple of riveting things to say about it elsewhere. And, recommended: Jezebelles Moe and Megan give it the point-by-point takedown it deserves.” (READ MORE)

Steve Schippert: Al-Qaeda's Media War: The Big Bang Theory - It’s not a theory. It’s a practice. In presidential campaigns, ‘making the news’ is often regarded as free campaign ad space or a reach multiplier. For al-Qaeda, the dynamic is the same and is a primary driving factor in its quest for the spectacular. The spectacular gets camera time. In fact, many of al-Qaeda’s attacks in Iraq are tactically useless, providing no gains on the ground. They are, however, strategic in nature. Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno lays this dynamic out well here today, as he described the continued decline of al-Qaeda in Iraq. (READ MORE)

Stop the ACLU: Our Weakened Sense of Right and Wrong - There is a growing number of Americans who have the conception that too many judges are weak on crime, that their judgments all too often mollycoddle criminals. It’s hard to quibble with such a conception, unfortunately. But we cannot merely cast blame on our judges and move on as if there is no other area of concern. While perhaps heightened, judges often are a reflection of our greater society and what they are reflecting is a sever degradation of our moral center. A recent story about a small case in Winona, Texas, embodies all that seems broken not only with our judicial system, but with our education system, our immigration laws as well as the attitudes that so many of our youth employ towards their elders in society as a whole — It reflects the permissiveness in all. (READ MORE)

ShrinkWrapped: Whose Reality is it? - The post-modern premise is based on the idea that "reality is a construct." To the left this means that reality is a cultural construct whose dimensions are imposed by the powerful upon the disenfranchised. It is a theory based on a modicum of factual data. That is, our brains and minds do indeed interpret sensory and other data to build an internal model of reality and no two people experience the world in precisely the same way; this basic reality is then torqued, by way of a philosophical short-circuit that misrepresents and misunderstands the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle to conclude that reality itself must of necessity be a construct. (READ MORE)

Dan Riehl: How We Got To Adam Gadahn? - I decided to do a little deep reading around an initial link from Hot Air here. Check this out, as putting together three disparate reports, it at least suggests why and how several top AQ operators, including Adam Gadahn and Abu Laith al-Libi, may have been sold out. It's speculative but it certainly adds up. Keep in mind, top AQ guys are always moving, meaning any intel for a successful strike has to be fresh. “Twelve militants were killed in a single missile attack on a residential compound in Khushali Wazir in the Mirali tehsil during the night of January 28. A loud explosion rocked the area at 11:22 p.m.” First an independent news report that also mentions a school hostage taking which would have been on the morning of January 28 in Northern Waziristan. Keep in mind, all the events below happen on the same day within a few miles of one another. Similar to Anbar, did elements of Al Qaeda go too far, in this case with a school hostage taking? (READ MORE)

McQ: Discriminating in a non-discriminating way - I have to admit I’m confused by all of this: “Six times a week, Harvard kicks all the guys out of the Quadrangle Recreational Athletic Center at the request of the Harvard Islamic Society. This is to accommodate those female Muslim students whose faith won’t let them work out in front of men. In the old days, Harvard would have laughed if some Catholic or evangelical mother urged ‘girls-only’ campus workouts in the name of modesty. Today, Harvard happily implements Sharia swim times in the name of Mohammed. At Harvard, that’s called progress.” (READ MORE)

neo-neocon: Michele Obama: portrait in audacity - Candidates’ spouses (we can’t just say “wives” anymore, can we?) are less important than the candidates themselves. But they still have an effect on elections. Most spouses still try to go the old route of staying bland enough to cause no offense; it’s wisest to follow the medical maxim “First, do no harm.” Laura Bush has been somewhat in this mold. But she had a sincere serenity, charm, and dignity that shone through. Teresa Heinz Kerry, only the other hand, seemed jumpy and edgy, scattered and a bit angry. Not a good thing, although I doubt it ended up mattering all that much in the final tally. (READ MORE)

The Marching Camp: Inspiration - Writing is, for me, something that comes and goes. I feel inspired, or I don't. And then if I am inspired, and I have time, I write. I have not had these two coincide for some time now. But did I get a wakeup call today or what? The "Anti-war" (anti-)American Left, in a wonderful display of "supporting the troops", decided to engage in an act of armed insurrection in New York City. In the name of "peace," someone has decided to step up from moonbat protesting and petty harassment to the Real Deal. Some people have compared being a Leftist to having a mental disorder. I say the real issue with the American Left is that they are dumb. (READ MORE)

Michelle Malkin: A rally in Times Square…while anarchists cheer the bombing - My friends with the Gathering of Eagles send word that they have secured permits for a rally to support military recruiters in Times Square this Saturday. James Bancroft e-mails: “The Gathering of Eagles, a patriotic organization dedicated to the public support of all Military persons, active duty or veteran, announces a patriotic rally in front of the Times Square Recruiting Station in New York City, NY on March 8 from 1PM to 4PM. The Police have allowed us a rally at the Times Square Recruiting Station Island, 43rd Street and Broadway, to hold a patriotic rally as a show of encouragement for our troops and our recruiters in New York City.” (READ MORE)

Democracy Project: HELP Protect the Rep of Our Troops & America - There is important material below. PLEASE read and help protect the reputations of our troops who have or are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, and of America. -- YOUR help in this is urgently needed, to counteract the slanders, to write to your local newspapers, to build as many Internet links as possible, so that reporters who may do research will find the contrary view to the slanderers. Next Thursday, March 13th, to March 16th, the latest incarnation, called "Winter Soldier II", of the propaganda hearings of 1971 that for a generation fouled the reputations and honor of Vietnam veterans will be held in the D.C. area by the Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW). (READ MORE)

A Newt One: Speak Out to Those Who Attack Military Recruiting Offices! - As we all know by now, a moron tossed an IED at the United States Armed Forces Recruiting Station in Times Square in NYC early this morning. Ryan Gill from Move America Forward has asked us all to go to FOX News' Colby Files blog, read the post and leave a comment or two. She likes to read the comments she gets on the air and takes issues very seriously. Please visit her blog, and read the post. Then, answer her question and make a comment: NOTE: comments are moderated... “What message do you have for anyone who attacks a military recruiting office in a violent way? Post it here.” This is the comment and observation I made... (READ MORE)

Deebow @ Blackfive: Haditha and the continued desecration of the good name of a great man - It has been awhile since I have had much of an update on this situation. But I wanted to let everyone know, we may need to get some more help for Lt. Colonel Chessani. If you are not familiar with the story, then go here and here for a quick intel dump so you know. But it seems that the Lt. Col, who is on trial for his life and career, for not investigating something that never happened, should tell you something about what is going on in a larger sense in our fight against the Islamofascists. And it should also tell you why Congressman Murtha should be doing the perp walk to his trial for this, if there was any real justice in this case. (READ MORE)

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