July 8, 2008

Web Reconnaissance for 07/08/2008

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)
U.S. Seeks Data Exchange - The United States is negotiating deals with European countries to exchange fingerprint and DNA data in criminal and terrorist cases… (READ MORE)

Candidates Diverge on How to Save Social Security - Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain are both proposing dramatic changes to Social Security… (READ MORE)

Maliki Suggests U.S. Troop Timetable - BAGHDAD, July 7 -- Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has for the first time suggested establishing a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq ... (READ MORE)

Chávez, Seeking Colombia Role, Distances Himself From Rebels - BOGOTA, Colombia, July 7 -- At a May presidential summit in Brazil, President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela sought out his Colombian counterpart and regional rival, Álvaro Uribe… (READ MORE)

Before Games, China Puts Conflict on Hold - BEIJING -- A dusty black van sits on the street outside the State Bureau for Letters and Visits. The driver puffs on a cigarette, his knit shirt pulled up to expose his belly to the breeze... (READ MORE)

$600 Million Baby - As the Senate prepares to vote on its mortgage bailout this week, one part of Banking Chairman Chris Dodd's bill deserves more scrutiny. It's a section called "affordable housing allocations,"... (READ MORE)

Covering the Olympics - In 2001, China's Communist leaders promised the International Olympic Committee that it would allow free media access to both the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the country as a whole .So far signs aren't good that Beijing will honor its word… (READ MORE)

The Onion Ringer - Congress is back in session and oil prices are still through the roof, so pointless or destructive energy legislation is all but guaranteed. Most likely is stiffer regulation of the futures market... (READ MORE)

On the Web:
Cal Thomas: Surrender! - So this is how it ends: not with a bang, but a whimper. The most senior judge in England has declared that Islamic legal principles in Sharia law may be used within Muslim communities in Britain to settle marital arguments and regulate finance. Lord Chief Justice Lord Phillips said, "Those entering into a contractual agreement can agree that the agreement shall be governed by a law other than English law." In his speech at an East London mosque, Lord Phillips said Muslims in Britain could use Islamic legal principles as long as punishments - and divorce rulings - comply with English law. Sharia law does not comply with English law. It is a law unto itself. And so the English who gave us the Magna Carta in 1215, William Blackstone and the foundation of American law are slowly succumbing to the dictates of intolerant Islam and sowing seeds of their own destruction. (READ MORE)

Thomas Sowell: Conservatives for Obama? - A number of friends of mine have commented on an odd phenomenon that they have observed-- conservative Republicans they know who are saying that they are going to vote for Barack Obama. It seemed at first to be an isolated fluke, perhaps signifying only that my friends know some strange conservatives. But apparently columnist Robert Novak has encountered the same phenomenon and has coined the term "Obamacons" to describe the conservatives for Senator Obama. Now the San Francisco Chronicle has run a feature article, titled "Some Influential Conservatives Spurn GOP and Endorse Obama." In it they quote various conservatives on why they are ready to take a chance on Barack Obama, rather than on John McCain. What is going on? (READ MORE)

Dennis Prager: Why a Black Artist Replaced the National Anthem - Last week in Denver, almost all the values of the post-1960s left were exhibited in one act. It happened on the Denver mayor's most important day -- the one in which he was to deliver his annual State of the City Address. The day was to begin with the singing of the National Anthem by the black jazz singer Rene Marie. But Ms. Marie had, by her own admission, long had other plans. Instead of the National Anthem, she sang "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing," a song written in 1899 and often referred to today as the Black National Anthem. What Marie did embodied a plethora of leftist ideals and characteristics: Ethical relativism, multiculturalism, the supremacy of feelings, the belief that artists are above normal ethical standards and group victimization. (READ MORE)

Bill Murchison: Obama Ticks Off The Times - "New and Not Improved," avers everyone's favorite left-wing establishment newspaper, the New York Times, in an editorial page headline. The reference isn't to John McCain. It's to Barack Obama, whom the Times' editorial writers and columnists have been suiting up for sainthood. What's this, then? "[T]here seems to be a new Barack Obama on the hustings," the Times notes dejectedly. First the guy "broke his promise" to stay within public financing limits during the campaign. Then he "abandoned his vow to filibuster an electronic wiretapping bill if it includes an immunity clause for telecommunications," engaging in a "classic, cynical Washington deal ... " Then he "tells evangelical Christians that he wants to expand President Bush's policy of funneling public money for social spending to religious-based organizations," in contravention of the First Amendment. (READ MORE)

Dick Morris and Eileen McGann: Obama Strikes First - The campaign of 2008 started on July 1 when Obama launched his first national advertising buy of the season. How McCain responds and whether or not he does, will have a big impact in determining whether Obama can solidify or expand his current lead in the polls. As always, the media fails to cover the significant events of the campaign — but this is one of the most critical. The Obama ad, which introduces him as someone who worked his way through college, fights for American jobs, and battles for health care also seeks to move him to the center by taking credit for welfare reform in Illinois which, the ad proclaims, reduced the rolls by 80%. But there's one problem - Obama opposed the 1996 welfare reform act at the time. The Illinois law for which he takes credit, was merely the local implementing law the state was required to pass, and it did, almost unanimously. Obama's implication — that he backed "moving people from welfare to work" — is just not true. (READ MORE)

Chuck Norris: America's Founding Creationists - Flying under the legislative radar this past week was potential McCain vice presidential running mate and governor of Louisiana Bobby Jindal's signing into law of Senate Bill 733, which allows "local school systems to approve the use of supplemental instructional materials for teaching science classes." What opponents are up in arms about is that, with SB 733, teachers could supplement evolutionary teachings with materials on creationism or "intelligent design." Having just celebrated America's independence a few days ago, neither Gov. Jindal nor any politician should hesitate to legislate pro-Creator educational platforms or fear anti-theistic swells that try to shut God out of America's classrooms. Our Founders didn't. And neither should we. What many might not realize is that our Founders were familiar with naturalistic and evolutionary views of the sciences. (READ MORE)

David Strom: What Liberals Dream Of - Conservatives are in a funk—one that threatens to turn into a full-blown retreat from the battlefield of ideas. Everywhere I turn I encounter conservatives ready to give up for the next few years. After all, many of us rightly feel a bit betrayed by our elected officials given how badly they performed over the past few years. And many conservatives are hoping that two or four years of liberals actually running things will wake America to the dangers they face. It’s hard to blame people who feel that way, but they couldn’t be more wrong. Even a mere two or four years of liberal ascendency in Washington policymaking could do immeasurable damage to our economy and our freedoms—damage that could take years or decades to repair, if ever. Once a liberal policy is in place it is almost impossible to reverse it. (READ MORE)

Rich Lowry: Dupes for Obama - A signature moment of Barack Obama's primary campaign came last November in Des Moines, Iowa. He gave a speech at the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner that electrified the crowd and gave his campaign a kick that helped win the Iowa caucuses -- a victory without which he wouldn't be the Democratic nominee. Obama declared that "the same old Washington textbook campaigns just won't do." Deploring "triangulating and poll-driven positions," he said that "telling the American people what we think they want to hear instead of telling the American people what they need to hear just won't do." The Democratic Party had been at its best, he told the crowd, when "we led, not by polls, but by principles; not by calculation, but by conviction." "I run for the presidency of the United States of America because that's the party America needs us to be right now," (READ MORE)

Amanda Carpenter: Invesco Field to House 'America's Convention' - The Democratic National Committee is cheering their decision to “throw open the doors” of their nominating convention and permit more than 75,000 people to attend Barack Obama’s acceptance speech. “Senator Obama does not look at this as his convention, it is America’s convention,” DNC Chairman Howard Dean told reporters in a conference call early Monday afternoon. Obama’s acceptance speech was originally scheduled to occur at Denver’s Pepsi Center which could seat roughly 19,000 people. Over the 4th of July weekend the Obama campaign decision began to consider changing the venue to Denver’s Invesco Field in order to allow more people to witness what is being billed as yet another historic speech by Obama. Members of the media were quick to compare the Invesco Field location to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, where John F. Kenney delivered his 1960 acceptance speech. (READ MORE)

Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.: Islamists' Catch-22 - Try a little thought experiment. What would have happened in this country during the Cold War if the Soviet Union successfully neutralized anti-communists opposed to the Kremlin’s plans for world domination? Of course, Moscow strove to discredit those in America and elsewhere who opposed its totalitarian agenda – especially after Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s excesses made it fashionable to vilify patriots by accusing them of believing communists were “under every bed.” But what if the USSR and its ideological soul-mates in places like China, North Korea, Cuba, Eastern Europe and parts of Africa had been able to criminalize efforts to oppose their quest for the triumph of world communism? What if it had been an internationally prosecutable offense even to talk about the dangers inherent in communist rule and the need to resist it? (READ MORE)

David Limbaugh: Behind Enemy Lines - While everyone is focusing on Barack Obama's shifting positions on issues such as campaign finance, NAFTA, telecom immunity and Iraq, we're missing his incursion into enemy territory to capture those reviled, though politically coveted values voters. His recent proposal to adopt a modified version of President Bush's faith-based initiative is just another piece of his strategic plan to seduce evangelical voters to his cause. Obama is aiming for a threefer: wooing values voters, reconciling with small-town Americans, and neutralizing the taint of Jeremiah Wright and turning the religious issue into a net plus for his campaign. Hey, no one says this guy is politically naive. You see, most liberals aren't really concerned about the intermixture of church and state unless it involves the Christian church, and only then if it involves the promotion of biblically based ideas and values. (READ MORE)

Bret Stephens: Obama's Nixon Reprise - Richard Nixon came to office with a rumored secret plan to end the war in Vietnam. Maybe Barack Obama's plan to end the war in Iraq is going to wind up being a secret, too. The presumptive Democratic nominee set off media firecrackers last week by hinting at further refinements to his strategy for withdrawal. Previous strategies include his January 2007 call for a complete withdrawal by March 2008, followed by his March 2008 call for a complete withdrawal by July 2010, or 16 months after he takes office. Now Mr. Obama tells us that the 16-month timeline is contingent on (1) "[making] sure that our troops are safe and that Iraq is stable" (my emphasis), and (2) the opinion of "the commanders on the ground." Also in question is the size of the "residual force" that the Illinois senator envisions for Iraq after the bulk of U.S. forces is withdrawn. (READ MORE)

William McGurn: The U.S. Keeps Its Global Commitments - If you've ever been through a G-8 Summit, right about now you're probably feeling like Bill Murray in "Groundhog Day." That's the one where he plays a man forced to live the same day over and over. In much the same way, G-8 meetings follow a familiar script year after year. They begin with leaders issuing lofty statements on a checklist of "global challenges." They continue with TV footage of riot police struggling with the global protester brigade. And they finish with news stories quoting unnamed diplomats sighing that American obstinacy has just lost the world its last chance for some great advance on some issue vital for humanity. The good news is that this week's summit in Japan may be the one in which we finally awake from the G-8 version of "Groundhog Day." And when we do, we will find that the president has now succeeded in baking into the G-8 process a time-honored Texas principle. It's called "put up or shut up." (READ MORE)

Paul Ingrassia: That '70s Show: Detroit - There's a story about a man who encountered financial setbacks and went to see his priest. The priest advised him to seek guidance in scripture, and a year later the man was rolling in money. The priest asked what specific words from the Bible gave him guidance, and the man replied: "Chapter 11." Nobody seems to be laughing at bankruptcy jokes in Detroit right now, especially after Merrill Lynch used the "B word" publicly last week to describe what might happen to General Motors. Nor was it particularly reassuring when a GM official replied that the company has enough cash to last at least through the end of the year. It was like a doctor trying to assuage a sick man's family by saying he's sure to last until the end of the week. Is the demise of GM, along with Ford and Chrysler, inevitable? (READ MORE)

Adam Lerrick: The Rich World and the Food Crisis - Leaders of the G-8 nations are gathered this week in Toyako, Japan, to root out the culprits in a food crisis that has moved hundreds of millions from subsistence to starvation. They need look no further than an old group photo. The G-8 countries' interventions have distorted global agricultural markets to the paralysis point. Politicians legislate price supports to enrich farm voters. Lobbies extort tariffs to block cheap food imports and subsidies to underwrite food exports at prices that destroy competitors in poor countries. Conservationists have agitated to set aside productive land and pay farmers not to grow. And now green energy advocates push ethanol quotas and tax credits that divert food into fuel. Don't blame speculators for the food crisis: It was already here when they arrived. Rather thank them for a wake-up call. (READ MORE)

Rod Hunter: The Market Is Responding to the Oil Shock - The leaders of the G-8 and of major developing countries will discuss how to respond to energy security and climate change tomorrow. Their first instinct will likely be to propose new regulations. Yet market forces may already be solving these problems, as high oil prices drive a shift away from the polluting, petroleum-fueled internal combustion engine to cleaner forms of transportation. That's a change worth cheering, even if oil prices are painful in the meantime. Oil is the United States' principal transportation fuel, and the source of a third of the country's greenhouse gas emissions. Other major countries are similarly dependent on oil for transportation. As prices have risen, worries about energy security and long-term climate effects have reached a fever pitch. History teaches that innovation directed by markets can solve problems such as these. (READ MORE)

The Anchoress: Oy Vey, the 2008 election! - I’ve had the strangest string of emails over the past few days, some from strangers (both left and right) and others from old email correspondents who are looking for someone to share a thought with. What’s odd about them is that nearly all of them are indicating to me that they feel something is “off” about this election. They all sense something coming down the pike. One person wrote to agree with an old prediction of mine that McCain, despite all indications to the contrary, may not be the GOP nominee, come November. That’s just a feeling I’ve had all along, that - perhaps for health reasons - McCain might end up backing out. This writer also admitted “…it could just be wishful thinking on my part, since he seems to be running Bob Dole’s old campaign.” (READ MORE)

Richard Landes: Schoolboys disciplined for ‘refusing to pray to Allah’ - Dhimmiwatch has posted an astonishing tale from England (hattip Solomonia). Part of what to keep in mind here as you read this article, is that no religion is more overtly hostile and disrespectful towards Britain and its cultural inheritance than Islam, from the daily aggressions to suicide terrorism. The problmes of encroaching Islam in England are pervasive, as discussed in this piece by Damian Thompson. According to Melanie Phillips, England has been chosen as the weakest target for Islamist take-over in Europe, although the alliance with left-wing radicals may actually bump Scotland to the top of the list. Hopefully, even if they haven’t underestimated the folly of England’s leaders, they have underestimated the backbone of the English people. This can still be won without much violence. Right now, the Islamists are laughing at how easy this is. (READ MORE)

Dafydd: Service Record a Huge Plus - for Democratic Candidates - Newly minted Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA, 85%) has urged that John S. McCain should "calm down" on emphasizing his military experience and stop taking advantage of his valor and character as the Republican nominee for (among other tasks) Commander in Chief of all American armed forces: “‘I think what we really need to work on over the next four, five months, and it goes back to the speech that Sen. Obama gave [Monday] and this little fight that I've been watching and that is, we need to make sure that we take politics out of service,’ Webb said. ‘People don't serve their country for political issues.’ He continued: ‘And John McCain's my long-time friend, if that is one area that I would ask him to calm down on, it`s that, don't be standing up and uttering your political views and implying that all the people in the military support them because they don't, any more than when the Democrats have political issues during the Vietnam War. Let's get the politics out of the military, take care of our military people, or have our political arguments in other areas.’” (READ MORE)

The Belmont Club: The Good Wars - Whether or not the “good old days” ever existed is a matter for debate. An Associated Press article summarizing declassified US Army documents describes the summary execution of thousands of Korean communists during the Korean War. “Extensive archival research by The Associated Press has found no indication Far East commander Gen. Douglas MacArthur took action to stem the summary mass killing, knowledge of which reached top levels of the Pentagon and State Department in Washington, where it was classified ‘secret’ and filed away. Now, a half-century later, the South Korean government’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission is investigating what happened in that summer of terror, a political bloodbath largely hidden from history, unlike the communist invaders’ executions of southern rightists, which were widely publicized and denounced at the time. …” (READ MORE)

Big Dog: Ignoring History Leads to Ignorance - George Santayana is credited with saying “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” This goes along the lines of the thinking that people learn from their mistakes. Unfortunately, there are segments of any society (and some individuals within) that would prefer to ignore the past, thus guaranteeing a repeat performance of history, bad and good. People like Bill Clinton write books that are supposed to be an accounting of thier lives and public years but those books leave out the bad things that happened and they gloss over or spin things that cannot be avoided. This is dangerous because people who read those accounts believe that is the way things happened and the accounting of history is changed. We see this every day with people repeating falsehoods in order to make them part of the collective psyche so they will be accepted as true. The repetition and gullibility of people is why a site like Snopes exist. (READ MORE)

American Ranger: The Tragedy of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) - I will always place the mission first. I will never accept defeat. I will never quit. I will never leave a fallen comrade. - Warrior Ethos - After I returned from Iraq in late 2004, I was patrolling the streets as a cop in Central Florida. One afternoon, along with other officers, I was dispatched to a shooting. As we arrived at the apartment complex, a man met us and said his room-mate had shot himself. Not exactly sure what awaited us, another officer and I entered the apartment – handguns at the ready – to search the rooms one-by-one. As we reached one bedroom door, there was a note taped above the door handle. With the other officer covering me, I pushed open the door. The young man was lying on his back in bed and blood was splattered across the wall behind his head. One hand was on his chest, but the other was out to his side. Next to that hand was a forty-five automatic handgun. (READ MORE)

The Barnyard: Documenting Obama's Flip Flops - Barack Obama in his dash to the center after running his primary to the left of Hillary has changed or moderated his views so many times in such a short period of time that I don't know if documenting them can be done. He is spinning so fast on issues like FISA, gun control, abortion, the death penalty, and even the war in Iraq that he makes John Kerry look like a statue by comparison. He is starting to remind this country boy of what we call grunts, young catfish that grunt when caught, in the way he flops around when removed from the water and tossed on the dock. Take Obama away from his teleprompter and adoring spasmodic crowds and he is just like that catfish out of water with a stream of umms and ahhs resembling the grunts of the baby catfish. I can't keep up with all his flopping around and would just as soon toss him back because he sure ain't a keeper. (READ MORE)

Democracy Project: Important ROE Case (UPDATE) - ROE, that’s rules of engagement. For those first thinking I was referring to Roe vs Wade, you’re forgiven, as both do involve life and death issues. There’s currently in progress an Article 32 hearing at Camp Pendleton of charges against a Marine for violating rules of engagement in killing two and wounding two others in Iraq. The outcome of this fact-finding hearing, which may or not recommend further action, otherwise may be important to the future training, competency, morale, and very lives of our troops whom we place in danger, and thus to the success of their missions. ROE are the military’s guidance to its members on what actions they may take during hostile activities. At the tactical level, they’re often secret so as not to provide evasive guidance to the enemy. (READ MORE)

The Huntress: Canada's Shame: Judge Robert L.Barnes - While Canadian troops serve in Afghanistan, putting their lives on the line fighting an enemy that hides behind innocent civilians, Judge Robert L.Barnes has allowed the dishonorable, cowardly and no doubt lying war deserter, Joshua Key ---who alleged that certain mishandling of civilians occurred--- to receive asylum in Canada. “Mr Barnes said it ‘cannot be seriously challenged’ that some of the conduct in which Key participated violated the Geneva Convention.” Josh Key alleges that during his home invasions in Iraq he witnessed episodic instances of violence and looting but also "intimidation" of households, "the absence of cultural sensitivity" in dealing with civilians, and "disrespect for human dignity. I find it very strange how Josh Key would have witnessed anything considering that Josh was a interpreter who interrogated captives. He never fired a weapon at anyone in Iraq. (READ MORE)

Don Surber: 1 shooting, 2 views - Gazette: More restrictions on legal gun owners. The Daily Mail: Enforce the laws on the books. Charleston, W.Va., has 2 newspapers. I write editorials for the afternoon newspaper, the Daily Mail. Over the weekend, Desmond Clark, 22, of Charleston was charged with shooting and killing the mother of his 2-year-old son. He was charged 17 times in the last 4 years for various crimes, many stemming from violence against this woman. After a while, police would call in the SWAT team whenever they arrested him. Given his domestic violence conviction, under federal law it was illegal for him to possess a gun. Today, the two newspapers editorialized about the case. (READ MORE)

JA: The Prohibited Words - In the beginning of 2008 the Copenhagen City Deputy Mayor for Integration Jakob Hougaard (Socialdemokratiet — moderate socialist) arranged a conference on integration in the capital of Denmark, Copenhagen. The psychologist Nicolai Sennels, who was then working at a correction facility for criminal youngsters, attended the conference. He was concerned by the difficulties he was faced with every day in his work with the young criminals — “one should not bypass the fact that most of the young criminals were of Muslim background,” and furthermore “one should not ignore the fact that the Quran and the Hadith encourage violence against non-Muslims,” Nicolai Sennels said at the conference. Nicolai Sennels (wrongly) thought that the idea behind the conference was to develop a new strategy for the integration effort in Copenhagen and that every opinion was being welcomed. (READ MORE)

Yankee Mom: Atlas Is Shrugging Again - I spent a lot of time with Veterans this past weekend. As we didn’t have any big plans for Independence Day here at home and our company had left (too soon!), I spent most of the afternoon of the 4th at the nearby VA Hospital. There was supposed to be an evening celebration for the patients that our chapter of Rolling Thunder was going to help out at, but for some reason, it was canceled. So I went up anyway to visit my guys that I’ve gotten to know these past few months. And I met some new folks. One in particular touched me deeply. They all touch me in one way or another but this man said something that brought a lump to my throat and stopped me in my tracks, which is not an easy thing to do. I was on the PTSD ward and found this Vietnam Vet (we’ll call him Joe) sitting in the lounge watching the Steve McQueen movie, “The Great Escape” (great movie!) and working on a leather bag. (READ MORE)

Ed Morrissey: Africa fails again on Mugabe - True to form, the collection of dysfunctional states on the African continent have turned toady for one of their own brutal dictators. South Africa’s Thabo Mbeki leads once again in running interference for Robert Mugabe, arguing against international sanctions for Zimbabwe while he remains in power. Mbeki and and Senegal’s Abdoulaye Wade warned the G-8 away from action: “Africa leaders have told the G8 group of nations meeting in Japan that they oppose sanctions being imposed on Zimbabwe following controversial polls. ‘I said that sanctions… wouldn’t change the regime,’ Senegal’s leader Abdoulaye Wade told AFP news agency. South Africa’s President Thabo Mbeki reportedly told G8 leaders that UN sanctions could lead to civil war.” (READ MORE)

Quid Nimis: Dogs for the Diverse - Michelle & BarryI thought the doggie bit on Laura Ingraham was mildly amusing this a.m., but it didn't stir me to actually weigh in on what breed the Obama's should get. When I gave it a moment's thought, I wanted to vote for "Chinese Crested" because it's an ugly, stupid, effete dog and seems an appropriate Liberal mascot. However, I doubted that it was even in the running. I was wrong. And and and... For the 2nd time EVER I visited the Daily Kos, just for fun and to see who was buying the brown trou's now that Barry thinks FISA is okee dokey. That part was dull, but I noticed that there was a snippet in the navigation area about getting Laura Ingraham- I wondered what that was all about. Under the title, "Help Us Stop Laura Ingrahm" some hysterical dope is mustering the troops to go to the AKC website and vote for the Soft-coated Wheaton Terrier because all of LI's fans, you know, the Repug's, are voting "Poodle." (READ MORE)

Political Pistachio: The Poison of Political Correctness - When Americans first noticed political correctness and its insertion into our society, it was the use of gender pronouns and hyphenated nationalities that caught their attention. Political Correctness has grown to become a system of alien beliefs, attitudes and values seeking to kill traditionalism in America, and impose a uniformity of thought and behavior. Political Correctness teaches that you must be careful what you say, and careful what you think and believe. The self-censorship that results from Political Correctness easily tramples freedom of speech, giving the state complete control of speech. Political Correctness has become entrenched in our educational system, the media, the workplace, and our government. It is changing America from within, as originally intended. (READ MORE)

Pirate's Cove: NY Times Creates Mayhem With Fox News - It may be juvenile, but, hey, it is the lexicon of the Interwebz, but ROTFLOL! The NY Times tries a hatchet piece of Fox News, showing exactly how the derangement on the Left is in full force as the piece starts out “Like most working journalists, whenever I type seven letters — Fox News — a series of alarms begins to whoop in my head: Danger. Warning. Much mayhem ahead. Once the public relations apparatus at Fox News is engaged, there will be the calls to my editors, keening (and sometimes threatening) e-mail messages, and my requests for interviews will quickly turn into depositions about my intent or who else I am talking to.” Unsaid is that, certainly, the keening (and threatening) is coming from those on the Left, who literally freak out about a network that the majority of them refuse to watch, possibly because it is unabashedly pro-American. (READ MORE)

Paul Mirengoff: The sorcerer's apprentices - Barack Obama’s campaign grows more “refined” by the day. On issue after high profile issue – Iraq, abortion, gun control, Reverend Wright – Obama changes positions the way most people change clothes. It’s gotten so bad that even E.J. Dionne has noticed. (Dionne’s column about Obama’s flip-flopping on Iraq is called “The Stand That Obama Can’t Fudge.” Dionne thus simultaneously recognizes and excuses Obama’s fudging on everything else). The more Obama fudges, the more he confirms his status as the true heir to Bill Clinton. As I wrote back in April: “Hillary is the nominal Clinton in this year's presidential race, but it's Obama who increasingly bears the resemblance to Bill…” (READ MORE)

McQ: Nancy Pelosi’s energy policy - I sometimes wonder (in fact I often wonder) about the real mental acuity of the Speaker of the House. She does not impress me as the brightest bulb in the pack: “The speaker blames what she labels the Bush-Cheney big oil agenda, using graphics to point out gasoline prices have more than doubled in the Bush administration. ‘This is a scam of the greatest magnitude,’ says Speaker Pelosi.” You have to remember that when Ms. Pelosi and the gang were running for reelection in 2006 they promised that if the people would give them a majority, they’d take care of gas prices. Standing in front of a gas station with posted prices in the $3 range, she and the others implied it was as simple as that. They had a "common sense plan", remember? Now, with gas prices over the $4 mark, about all the Democrats seem capable of doing is attempting to blame Bush. And don’t even talk about increasing domestic production: (READ MORE)

The Sandmonkey: Why Obama will fail! - First of all, before we get into this, let me say how happy I am with the selection of both Obama and McCain as the presumptive nominees of the republican and the democratic parties, and that's not just because I Predicted they would be it when Clinton was the lock-in nominee and McCain was lagging behind all of his compatriots. I am happy because both men are not the conventional nominees of their parties, and they are more interested in creating common ground with the other side's voter bloc than they are in pandering to their base. Ok, now that we got that out of the way, let's actually examine them a little bit. In my house , right now, I have the electoral programs for both Obama and McCain, and reading them has provided me with hours of constant amusement. McCain's program is under the impression that the world is great and everything is fine and dandy, and all we really have to do is to bomb a couple more areas in the world (a bomb here, a couple there) and all will be well with the world again. (READ MORE)

Right Wing Nut House: THE NEW YORK TIMES VS. COMMON DECENCY - A couple of weeks ago, the New York Times published an exciting story about how the CIA broke 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaik Mohammed. The hero of the story was a nondescript CIA interrogator who astonished his CIA colleagues by eliciting enormous amounts of valuable information from KSM, all by using psychological ploys and developing a rapport with the terrorist rather than the tactics used by the “knuckledraggers” as the interrogator’s colleagues called the CIA paramilitary types, who were using waterboarding and other methods of torture. As Allah points out, the story in the Times was not about the interrogator but rather the US government’s stumbling about in the post 9/11 intelligence climate searching for a counter terrorism strategy. Why then, did the Times reporter Scott Shane, his Washington Bureau Chief Dean Baquet, and executive editor Bill Keller decide to include the real last name of the interrogator when publishing the story? (READ MORE)

Jay Tea: Time Is On Our Side - Well, Iraq's Prime Minister Maliki is quoted as saying that he wants an agreement with the United States that includes a firm timetable for the withdrawal of our troops. President Bush, apparently, disagrees with that idea. So do I. The particulars are to be worked out -- presumably, in private. That's just fine with me. Because that is how things are done between allies. Maliki's position (which I am taking at face value -- and that might be a mistake, as the article is sourced to the Associated Press) is that once the agreement is finalized and certain milestones ttowards Iraq's security and independence are reached. That, to me, is the key part. I have always argued that the withdrawal of US combat forces should be based not on a calendar, but on landmarks. (READ MORE)

Information Dissemination: Political Grandstanding on the Military Coattails - We are observing a line of thought being forwarded in many places, and what makes it interesting is that nobody seems to notice or care to note it due to partisanship. We are not political observers, we aren't very good at being partisan nor do we care enough about politics to promote some individual ideological position that doesn't quite fit neatly with either side of politics in America today anyway. We do however attempt to stay informed and follow the trends, and when we see something that isn't quite right we intend to speak up during this campaign season. This is one of those times. The latest set of talking points started with the DoD press conference by Admiral Mullen on July 2nd. These comments, which aren't new for him nor the SECDEF, have become the political news. (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: