April 28, 2008

Web Reconnaissance for 04/28/2008

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)
N.Va. Hit With Cost Of School Migration - Hundreds of foreign-born families have pulled their children from Prince William County public schools and enrolled them in nearby Fairfax County, Arlington County and Alexandria since the start of the school year, imposing a new financial burden on those inner suburbs in a time of lean budgets. (READ MORE)

Reverend's Words Stir Debate on His Creed - Bobby Henry was angry when he first saw the now-famous snippets of sermons by the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. playing over and over on television. He considered the uproar over Sen. Barack Obama's former pastor an attack on a man of faith and the black church. (READ MORE)

The Fed's Bender - So Federal Reserve officials are whispering to reporters that they will consider a "pause" after another interest-rate cut this week. Perhaps we should be more respectful, but this sounds like the alcoholic who tells his wife he'll quit drinking next weekend, after one more bender. What Chairman Ben Bernanke needs isn't a gradual withdrawal from easy money but membership in Central Bankers Anonymous. (READ MORE)

Timber! - That didn't take long. Less than a year ago, Montana Democrat Max Baucus, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and his Republican partner Chuck Grassley were promoting a punitive tax hike on hedge funds and private-equity shops. Now it appears that Mr. Baucus, at least, is having second thoughts. Or maybe it's just that a Montana ox is being gored. (READ MORE)

U.S. hones intelligence skills - Just 13 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border, Fort Huachuca is noted today for training some of the U.S. military's most-talented intelligence operatives and interrogation personnel. (READ MORE)

Wright denies political ambition - Defending the black religious tradition in America as misunderstood, Sen. Barack Obama's controversial former pastor told supporters of the NAACP here last night that he is not a political figure or interested in preaching for political gain, despite media criticism he says is to the contrary. (READ MORE)

Torricelli campaign funds go into his nonprofit - Former Sen. Robert G. Torricelli, a top fundraiser for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, is sending hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from his 2002 Senate campaign to a private foundation registered in his name and based out of his New Jersey lobbying office. (READ MORE)

McCain backers combat age as issue in campaign - Even before Democrats have a candidate, the drumbeat of "too old to lead" is being felt from party leaders reminding voters that John McCain, if elected, would be the oldest person to take office, at 72. (READ MORE)

American, Iraqi troops kill 38 militants in Baghdad - BAGHDAD (AP) -- American and Iraqi troops killed 38 militants in the fiercest clashes with militants in weeks in Baghdad, including 22 who attacked a military checkpoint in a Shiite militia stronghold, the U.S. military said Monday. Suspected Shiite extremists, apparently taking advantage of a sandstorm that blanketed the capital, attacked several checkpoints and hammered the U.S.-protected Green Zone in the fiercest salvo in weeks on Sunday. The sandstorm had grounded the American aircraft that normally prowl for launching teams. (READ MORE)

On the Web:
Gail Heriot: The ABA's 'Diversity' Diktat - If you have ever wondered why colleges and universities seem to march in lockstep on controversial issues like affirmative action, here is one reason: Overly politicized accrediting agencies often demand it. Given that federal funding hinges on accreditation, schools are not in a position to argue. That is precisely why the U.S. Department of Education, which gives accreditors their authority, must sometimes take corrective action. George Mason University's law school in northern Virginia is an example of why corrective action is needed now. (READ MORE)

Steven F. Hayward: The Real Cost of Tackling Climate Change - The usual chorus of environmentalists and editorial writers has chimed in to attack President Bush's recent speech on climate change. In his address of April 23, he put forth a goal of stopping the growth of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2025. "Way too little and way too late," runs the refrain, followed by the claim that nothing less than an 80% reduction in emissions by the year 2050 will suffice – what I call the "80 by 50" target. Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have endorsed it. John McCain is not far behind, calling for a 65% reduction. (READ MORE)

Joseph Estein: Lady Macbeth vs. Billy Budd - Whether the outcome of last Tuesday's Pennsylvania primary is good or bad for the Democratic Party isn't of great interest to me. My stake in the continuing contest is entirely personal, and has to do with my mental hygiene, which it is ruining. I'm thoroughly hooked by the campaign, turned into a one-subject news junkie. I have only to see the names "Obama" or "Clinton" atop an editorial or news article, or hear the phrase "Campaign 2008" on television, and I am gone, as lost as an adolescent boy reading his first pornographic novel. (READ MORE)

Rupert Darwell: An Ally and His Ordeals - Tony Blair's decade as the British prime minister was marked by paradox and by less success than those who first voted for him – in his landslide 1997 victory – had hoped for. He won that general election, after a long Conservative ascendancy, by promising a New Labour "third way" on domestic policy. The best parts turned out to bear a surprising resemblance to the previous Conservative government's and even then was fitfully pursued. He pushed hard for Britain's full participation in the European Union but failed to get Britain into the euro and ended up at roughly the same relation with Europe as John Major, his Conservative predecessor, asserting a series of opt-outs from the Union's core demands. (READ MORE)

Star Parker: McCain 1 or Bush 3? - It's no surprise, while the Democrats do battle, that John McCain is using the down time to go on an "I'm not George W. Bush" tour around the country. We've got a very unpopular Republican president and this translates into heavy baggage for Sen. McCain to unload. The latest Gallup poll reports President Bush's disapproval rating, 69 percent, as the highest presidential disapproval the organization has ever recorded. Even the beleaguered Nixon peaked at 66 percent disapproval in August of 1974 before he resigned. But I'm straining to see or hear the new market differentiated Republican product as McCain makes his "forgotten places" tour around the country. (READ MORE)

Mike S. Adams: Time to Compromise on Gun Control - There is little doubt that this will be the most controversial column I’ve written to date. But sometimes when working in a university environment one is exposed to ideas that one simply cannot repudiate. And this requires a modification of views – even if those views are deeply held - or very fun, or both. Such an occasion happened last week on Empty Holster Day – an event sponsored by the College Republicans at UNC-Wilmington. It began as an event designed to convince campus leftists that our laws should be modified to allow those above 21 years of age (with valid concealed carry permits) to carry on campus. But the event actually backfired, so to speak. (READ MORE)

Dinesh D'Souza: What Muslims Really Think - While on the debating circuit pounding atheists--a pastime I am really getting to enjoy--I have just started reading Dalia Mogahed and John Esposito's Who Speaks for Islam: What a Billion Muslims Really Think. It's one of the first books to put some real data behind a much-disputed question. For several years now liberal and conservative pundits have been pontificating about the Muslim world, usually without a shred of data. I was amused last year to cross swords with some of my fellow conservatives like Scott Johnson and Victor Davis Hanson. These ideologues seem of the opinion that the average Muslim is a crazed polygamist who is ready to blow himself up. (READ MORE)

Paul Greenberg: After Pennsylvania, On With the Demolition Derby - Now it's on Indiana. And North Carolina. And Oregon. And... all the way to Denver late in August? The votes are in from the Keystone State: Hillary Clinton, the once - and future? - Inevitable Nominee now has scored a solid but scarcely decisive victory over another formerly Inevitable Nominee. So the race to mutual exhaustion goes on. By winning convincingly in Pennsylvania, Senator/Mrs./Comeback Kid Clinton has not won the nomination but the chance to keep on fighting, fighting, fighting for it. Once again she's stopped the Charisma Kid in his well-oiled tracks - but without taking a clear lead herself. (READ MORE)

Burt Prelutsky: Placing Liberals Under a Microscope - What makes liberals so endlessly fascinating isn’t just that they manage with a consistency that verges on the miraculous to be wrong on every important issue, but the latitude they extend to their political leaders to lie, cheat and steal. For instance, has any liberal ever questioned Al Gore’s apocryphal pronouncements about climate change in light of the fact that the man continues to live in a mansion and gad about in private jets? Now, thanks to Mr. Gore, we are having those new, terribly ugly light bulbs shoved down our throats. And if you think dealing with nuclear waste is a headache, just wait until you try to dispose of light bulbs jam-packed with mercury! (READ MORE)

Armstrong Williams: Washington Needs A New Theme in Health Care Debate - As the financial burden of health care continues to rise in this country, universal coverage consumes Washington’s health policy conversation. However, discussions on the measures that promote personal responsibility and prevent diseases from their onset are rarely held. If Congress is so determined to make health care affordable, the focus needs a shift to avoid these expenses in the first place. After all, 75 percent of health care costs are prescribed to preventable diseases and problems such as obesity and diabetes, according to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But wait, if eating right, exercising, and regular screenings contribute to long-term health and cost savings, then why are these practices largely avoided by the American masses? (READ MORE)

Lawhawk: Gitmo Driving Detainees Insane - Drudge is going to be running this shortly....Gitmo is driving detainees insane. That's right folks. The jihadis who are hellbent on killing infidels and who are driven to do so out of an ideological and religious obligation, are going insane under the conditions of detainment at Gitmo say their lawyers. Of course, what exactly are the conditions that these detainees were living and operating under when captured in Iraq or Afghanistan? Living in caves? So, getting 3 squares, cots, prayer access, and medical care constitutes a mental health crisis. Gotcha. This is lawfare, pure and simple. (READ MORE)

A Newt One: War News: Muqtada al-Sadr and al-Qaeda? - Really. Who would have thought such a thing as that? The Democrats, when the label "Liberal" became anathema - no pun intended - they had to change it to "Progressive" to at least pretend that they were trying to "progress". Progress towards what is still an unspoken reality of socialist ideals. So the terrorist group Al Qaeda In Iraq changed their name to the Islamic Army of Iraq. Just like the Liberal Democrats, Al Qaeda had to change their name to give at least the impression of a credible entity. Those of us that pay attention to details know that when a group has to change their "label" or nomenclature, something is wrong with that group...they are hiding what they really are because they have zero credibility. Liberal/Progressive, AlQaeda/Islamic Army of Iraq...two peas in a pod with the same rhetoric - America sucks. (READ MORE)

Richard Landes: War is not the Answer? Depends on the Question - While on the Cape last week, I saw a number of signs that read “War is not the Answer.” I had only recently brought up this bumper sticker with my students in order to illustrate the problems of liberal cognitive egocentrism: No culture has ever proposed such an idea, with the exception of some messianic groups. Those that have (and survive), live in exile (Jews after Bar Kochba, Tibetans). Indeed, it’s hard not to savor the irony of these well-intentioned folks, living peacefully on the land of the Wampanoags whose plague-decimated numbers were finally reduced to some 400, and completely subjugated by “King Phillip’s War.” A visit to the sponsoring site of this pacifist sign reveals that it is, indeed, a messianic pacifist group, the Quakers, who arose out of the messianic crucible of the 17th century English Civil War. They address the obvious question: “If war is not the answer, what is? (READ MORE)

Ace of Spades: Troop-Supportin' Lefty Blogger: "Fuck The Troops-- So 4,000 Rubes Are Dead, Cry Me A Tigris" - A higher form of patriotism. Caution on link: I'm told that there's a virus at the website. I think the tipster means the virus is at the lefty's website, and not Pat Dollard's site, which is where my link actually goes. If you want to be very cautious, don't click at all. If you want to be somewhat cautious, click through to Pat Dollard's but don't chase the next link to the lefty who wrote this. Yup... The virus is one the lefty's site, if you attempt to click on his donation buttons. (READ MORE)

The Captain's Journal: Moderation on Basra and Sadr City - The Captain’s Journal has complained about analysis of the Basra and Sadr City fighting that tends toward the extremes. Effusive analysis and reporting about the recent events is neither productive nor compelling. A recent example of sardonic analysis comes from Dr. iRack at Abu Muqawama (Editorial note: Matthew Yglesias who writes for The Atlantic addresses previous Basra opinion from Dr. iRack, and in the same post, the commenters curse The Captain’s Journal. This brings a smile to our face. Riddle us this. What could be better than to draw the ire of either Yglesias or his boy-fan readers?). (READ MORE)

Roderick Jones: Britain's first Jihadi 'Lone Wolf' bomber? - Big time terrorism plots are always big news whereas more subtle and interesting trends are often recorded as footnotes. One such footnote occurred over Christmas 2007 in the British city of Birmingham. A 38-year-old man, Hassan Muhammed Sabri Al Tabbakh of Syrian origin was arrested by local police on terrorism charges. He is accused of stockpiling chemicals and information on how to construct a bomb. He appears to have acted alone and this continues to be a conspiracy of one. Further, details may be forthcoming during the trial (now scheduled for May 16 at Birmingham Crown Court) but this little noted case has a number of features, which are -- noteworthy. (READ MORE)

Bill West: Palestinian Islamic “Internal Struggle” Claims Responsibility for Murdering Two Israeli Guards - The AP has reported three terrorist organizations...well, in the official PC lexicon of the Bush Administration, extremist groups...have claimed responsibility for the Friday shooting attack at a factory in Nitzanei Shalom, Israel that left two security guards dead. Among those claiming responsibility was the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). But wait...”Jihad” is now a forbidden word in the Federal counter-terrorism vocabulary because our fearless Federal Leaders have bought into the Politically Correct “larger” meaning of the word. Jihad, of course, can mean something beyond “holy war” and the violence attached to such an interpretation. (READ MORE)

The Belmont Club: Second sight - Fred Kagan tries to answer the question of "How We'll Know Whether We've Won in Iraq" and argues that the achievable endpoint we should be working for is a stable, representative and pro-Western state on the Euphrates, an ally in the fight against terrorism. Kagan argues that to a significant degree, we are already halfway there. Kagan makes the argument that without the blinders of Washington politics we would be amazed by what has been achieved. "...there is no state in the world that is more committed than Iraq to defeating al Qaeda. None has mobilized more troops to fight al Qaeda or suffered more civilian casualties at the hands of al Qaeda…” (READ MORE)

The Daily Ramble: Rights (repost) - As I sit here thinking (yes I know, what am I doing thinking being a 'close-minded wingnut') about life and people's rights in general, I keep going back to something that I've yet to figure out. Why do you never see women's rights groups protest the treatment of women in the middle east? Why is there never a gay march to protest the way Islam treats gay people? And why do moonbats generally just not give a damn about people's rights in the middle east at all? These are serious questions. You can't read the paper or watch the news without seeing someone protesting the treatment of someone in this country (or any other non-muslim country) and yet not a whimper about the plight of people in Islamic countries. (READ MORE)

Dr. Sanity: CREEPING SHARIA & CREEPING LEFTISM - As we silence artists, writers and critics of Islam; give Islamic customs special preference in our public schools, gyms and even our public bathrooms, we are only paving the way for our own cultural destruction. We are not tolerating their cultural practices, we are suborning our own so as not to give them offense. And, much of this behavior comes about because of an unconscious fear of their violence and threat of violence. Thus we surrender Western civilization, not with a bang, but a whimper. Organizations like CAIR are nothing more than an advance recon units for Al Qaeda-style jihad, disguised as self-righteous and terribly oppressed muslim moderates crying that Islamophobia is the root cause of their unhappiness. They have taken the pulse of the enemy infidel, and know that it is weak--particularly on the left. (READ MORE)

Don Surber: Obama nation - Kos: “When Obama suggests going to Tehran to meet with Ahmedinejad, he’s saying the functional equivalent of ‘I should go on Fox News’.” Democratic Sen. Barack Obama’s appearance on “Fox News Sunday” for an interview by Chris Wallace has his buddies in the blogosphere stirred. Eugene at Kos: “When Obama suggests going to Tehran to meet with Ahmedinejad, he’s saying the functional equivalent of ‘I should go on Fox News.’ His appearance on Fox News is directly and completely consistent with everything about his political attitudes and values. So are we going to celebrate it when he promises it in foreign policy but denounce it when he does it here at home?” (READ MORE)

GayPatriotWest: Why I like George W. Bush (and some people hate him) - Just before the 2000 election, a friend asked how I could support George W. Bush for president when he was “just like the guys who picked on you in high school.” She was right–to a point. Like them, he came from an uppercrust eastern establishment family, never having to struggle as an adolescent to fit in, always having opportunities opening up for him thanks, in large part, to his family connections and his Anglo-Saxon pedigree. I went to a private “college preparatory” school in the Midwest where my classmates, at one time or another, included a scion of the Taft family and one who claimed descent from the Adamses. Among these offspring of the “finest” Cincinnati families, I was an outsider. (READ MORE)

Gunslinger's Journal: Moral Relativism vs Moral Context - I really like Dennis Prager. Usually. He is, as he is fond of calling himself, an articulate advocate for Conservatism and Believers. I like Dennis Prager. But sometimes he can be so smugly self-congratulatory and self-righteous, I just want to dive through the radio and throttle him. And he was just that the other day. And since I found myself shouting at the radio...I figured it might be good material for a post. As Dennis himself, likes to say: First the facts, then my opinion. Prager had a show the other day about "Crossing Over", meaning, essentially Rush Limbaugh's "Operation Chaos", which, if you live on another planet, encourages Republicans to re-register as Democrats in order to vote for Hillary Clinton in Democratic primaries, in order to prolong this bloody Clinton/Obama fight for the nomination. (READ MORE)

Ed Morrissey: US making PR gains in Muslim world — but apparently not in US media - Would progress in public opinion against al-Qaeda in Muslim nations constitute important news? One might think so, considering the lengthy and difficult war we fight against the radical Islamist terrorists of the AQ network, especially in recruitment. The Washington Post took four days to report this progress, however, and stuck it on page A13, where Walter Pincus briefs us on some real progress (emphasis mine): “The top White House terrorism expert thinks some gains are being made in the worldwide public relations battle against al-Qaeda, as the administration and its overseas allies press efforts to show that Osama bin Laden’s network.” (READ MORE)

Allahpundit: Arianna: Sure, I’m a hypocrite on global warming - A snippet from Stossel’s 20/20 sitdown. Obviously there’s more to her answer; too bad he edited it out. I’m guessing it was the standard “better to agitate and be a hypocrite than do nothing” defense (perhaps with a little “it’s a drop in the bucket compared to industrial emissions” thrown in), but does the hypocrisy not trouble her even a little bit? After four years of shrieking “chickenhawk!” at war supporters over Iraq — but never, ever over Afghanistan, natch — you’d think the left’s leading lights would take the concept of leading by example more seriously. This is the environmentalist equivalent of liberals demanding higher taxes while forever politely declining to pay more than their fair share voluntarily. (READ MORE)

Jules Crittenden: Wright = Jesus - According to him, that is. Embattled rev was subjected to “public crucifixion” by comments taken out of context. Houston Chron re a Sunday sermon. Meanwhile, ABC’s Jake Tapper watches the whole NAACP Fight for Freedom Fund speech so we don’t have to.* “Goddamn AmeriKKKa,” etc. is not divisive, it’s descriptive. It’s AmeriKKKa that’s divisive. At least, that’s what I’m getting from that. Also helpful to understanding the Rev. Wright’s context are his thoughts on various anthropological, sociological and neurological matters: “‘The black religious tradition is different, he said in comments that seemed to address the controversy about his sermons. ‘We do it a different way.’” (READ MORE)

Mark Steyn: GOD AND GUNS - Our lesson today comes from the songwriter Frank Loesser: "Praise The Lord And Pass The Ammunition." Or as Barack Obama and his San Francisco pals would put it: God and guns. Loesser got the phrase from Howell Forgy, a naval chaplain at Pearl Harbor, who walked the decks of the New Orleans under Japanese bombardment exhorting his comrades. When the line came to Loesser's ears, he turned it into a big hit song of the Second World War: Praise the Lord and swing into position - Can't afford to sit around a-wishin'...which some folks sang as "Can't afford to be a politician." Indeed. Senator Obama's remarks about poor dumb bitter rural losers "clinging to" guns and God certainly testify to the instinctive snobbery of a big segment of the political class. (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.

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