September 12, 2008

Web Reconnaissance for 09/12/2008

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)
U.S. Helps Lehman Go Up for Sale - The Federal Reserve and Treasury Department are actively helping Lehman Brothers put itself up for sale, and officials are hoping a deal will be in place this weekend before the Asian markets open on Monday, according to sources familiar with the matter. (READ MORE)

A Tangled Story of Addiction - When Cindy McCain is asked what issues she would champion as first lady, she often cites one of the most difficult periods of her life: her battle with -- and ultimate victory over -- prescription painkillers. Her struggle, she has said repeatedly, taught her valuable lessons about drug abuse that... (READ MORE)

A Long-Awaited Opening, Bringing Closure to Many - Surely no one who had seen the Pentagon burning seven years ago could have envisioned the scene that unfolded there yesterday. (READ MORE)

Rule Changes Would Give FBI Agents Extensive New Powers - The Justice Department will unveil changes to FBI ground rules today that would put much more power into the hands of line agents pursuing leads on national security, foreign intelligence and even ordinary criminal cases. (READ MORE)

India Set to Lose Voice of America - NEW DELHI -- At the height of the Cold War, as India leaned resolutely toward the Soviet Union, one direct line of communication remained open from Washington to India's teeming millions: Voice of America, the U.S. government's radio network. (READ MORE)

Venezuela Joins Bolivia in Expelling U.S. Ambassador - BOGOTA, Colombia, Sept. 11 -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez told a throng of supporters Thursday that he is giving U.S. Ambassador Patrick Duddy 72 hours to leave the oil-rich country. (READ MORE)

Palin touts readiness in 1st interview - Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said Thursday she is ready to be vice president and warned the U.S. needs to be vigilant in the face of Russian aggression, including being ready for war if it means defending NATO allies. (READ MORE)

Memorials honor Sept. 11 terror victims - On Sept. 11, 2001, Dana Falkenberg, just 3, went through security with her parents and big sister at Dulles International Airport on her way to Australia, where her mom, a professor at Georgetown University, had been named a visiting fellow to the National University in Canberra. (READ MORE)

Obama backs off 50-state strategy - Despite the talk about a changing electoral map and new strategies, Barack Obama is pulling back from his 50-state plan as John McCain has solidified Republican support, turning November's presidential election into a contest for the same handful of states that have swung the last two contests. (READ MORE)

Texas clears Gulf Coast area for Ike - HOUSTON Authorities in the Houston area and along the southeast Texas Gulf Coast ordered hundreds of thousands of people to evacuate Thursday as Ike bore down with hurricane-force winds that encompassed more than 200 miles and were expected to gain even more strength. (READ MORE)

Politics still reigns, despite Sept. 11 - NEW YORK The presidential nominees agreed Thursday to set politics aside in honor of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, but the heated campaign surfaced nonetheless. (READ MORE)

Pelosi: Oil bill will have ethics clause - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday knocked down speculation that an Interior Department sex and drug scandal would undermine a Democratic plan for new offshore oil drilling, saying the measure will include a "strong integrity piece" to shield the government from oil industry influence. (READ MORE)

On the Web:
Wesley Pruden: A bad week for a running mate - The rap on Joe Biden is that he's bright, well-meaning and amiable, and when he opens his mouth you never know what's likely to fly out. But sometimes he comes up with interesting ideas. Joe thinks that Barack Obama, clearly rattled by the Sarah surge, should find a skirt to get behind as the runners finally make the clubhouse turn and head down the homestretch. Whose skirt is wider that Hillary Clinton's? Changing running mates in mid-campaign, for no other reason than the first running mate was a big mistake, would invite disbelief and bipartisan hilarity. George McGovern kicked Tom Eagleton off the train in 1972, or under the bus or out of the plane - choose your on-the-road metaphor. The kindly and agreeable Mr. McGoo never recovered. He might have lost 49 states, anyway, but Democrats were shocked, shocked. One of our current running mates has had a similarly sad week, and it wasn't Sarah Palin. (READ MORE)

Charles Krauthammer: Obama's Race to Lose - And He Might - WASHINGTON -- The Democrats are in a panic. In a presidential race that is impossible to lose, they are behind. Obama devotees are frantically giving advice. Tom Friedman tells him to "start slamming down some phones." Camille Paglia suggests, "be boring!" Meanwhile, a posse of Democratic lawyers, mainstream reporters, lefty bloggers and various other Obamaphiles are scouring the vast tundra of Alaska for something, anything, to bring down Sarah Palin: her daughter's pregnancy, her ex-brother-in-law problem, her $60 per diem, and now her religion. (CNN reports -- news flash! -- that she apparently has never spoken in tongues.) Not since Henry II asked if no one would rid him of his turbulent priest, have so many so urgently volunteered for duty. But Palin is not just a problem for Obama. She is also a symptom of what ails him. Before Palin, Obama was the ultimate celebrity candidate. (READ MORE)

Mike Gallagher: Have You Forgotten? - I flew from New York City to Dallas, Texas this week on Sept. 11th. Come to think of it, this is about the third or fourth time I've flown on the anniversary of 9/11. And each time I've done so, the reaction to flying on a commercial airplane from my fellow passengers gets less and less. The first time I flew somewhere on a 9/11 anniversary it was Sept. 11, 2002. One year from the fateful day. And passengers were tense. Flight attendants were nervous. The airline personnel clearly acted differently than usual. But as the years go by, the apprehension has subsided; the angst greatly reduced. This week, it was just another day in the air. Everyone was carrying on as if nothing had happened on this historic date. Some passengers were typically obnoxious, arguing with ticket agents about some issue important to them. (READ MORE)

Michelle Malkin: The World Still Blames America - Al-Qaida's media relations department must be seething. Or rather, they must be seething beyond the usual Destroy America/Kill the Jews/Behead the Infidels/Convert-or-Die seething that is their second nature. After years of churning out throat-slitting propaganda videos, investing in the finest video editing software and studio sets, and establishing cozy relations with sympathetic international newspapers and global network news channels, the jihadists still don't get no respect from world opinion. They are the Rodney al-Dangerfields of global mass murderers. A poll released this week of more than 16,000 people in 17 nations revealed that "majorities in only nine countries believe al-Qaida was behind the attacks on New York and Washington that killed about 3,000 people in 2001." A mere 46 percent of individuals overall said they believed al-Qaida executed the attacks: (READ MORE)

Kathleen Parker: Giants Among the Lilliputians - CAMDEN, S.C. -- While the political class was focused on the meaning of pigs wearing lipstick, a few fortunate South Carolinians were riveted by the meaning of valor. The occasion was a celebration of four of the state's living recipients of the Medal of Honor -- Charles Murray Jr., (Army, WWII, 1944), John Baker (Army, Vietnam, 1966), James Livingston (USMC, Vietnam, 1968) and Michael Thornton (Navy, Vietnam, 1972). The four appeared in Camden (at an event my husband helped organize) to raise awareness and funding for the Congressional Medal of Honor Museum in Charleston, S.C., and for the Medal of Honor conventions to be held in Chicago in 2009 and Charleston in 2010. To hear their stories, as recounted by Vice Admiral Edwin R. "Rudy" Kohn, Camden resident and retired deputy commander of the Pacific Fleet, against the backdrop of today's political noise was to be reminded of how rare personal courage really is. And how silly we sometimes are. (READ MORE)

Matt Towery: Obama Losing Traction Among Younger Voters - The hidden story of the last week has been the shift in many states and nationwide among the youngest of voters, those ages 18-to-29, from a solid entrenchment in the Obama camp to a significant drift toward a newly revived John McCain effort, all courtesy of Gov. Sarah Palin. Our survey approach keeps young respondents from being interviewed by young interviewers, thus avoiding the inevitable pressure a youthful poll respondent might feel to "fit in" and claim to be a supporter of Obama. As a result, younger voters, while still favoring Obama, have moved to the McCain column in not insubstantial numbers. Exit polls showed that among this group of voters, John Kerry carried their vote by roughly a 55 percent to 45 percent margin. But that was close enough to allow Bush to win the 2004 election by a fairly comfortable margin. Does this phenomenon really surprise us? It shouldn't. (READ MORE)

Jonah Goldberg: Feminist Army Aims Its Cannons at Palin - Whether or not Sarah Palin helps John McCain win the election, her greatest work may already be behind her. She's exposed the feminist con job. Don't take my word for it. Feminists have been screaming like stuck pigs 24/7 since Palin was announced as McCain's running mate. (Are pig metaphors completely verboten now?) Feminist author Cintra Wilson writes in Salon (a house organ of the angry left) that the notion of Palin as vice president is "akin to ideological brain rape." Presumably just before the nurse upped the dosage on her medication, Wilson continued, "Sarah Palin and her virtual burqa have me and my friends retching into our handbags. She's such a power-mad, backwater beauty-pageant casualty, it's easy to write her off and make fun of her. But in reality I feel as horrified as a ghetto Jew watching the rise of National Socialism." And that's one of the nicer things she had to say. Really. (READ MORE)

Oliver North: Future Tense - WASHINGTON -- This week, Americans observed the seventh anniversary of the worst attack on U.S. soil in our nation's history, with memorial services for the 3,000 of our countrymen who perished Sept. 11, 2001. This week's commemorations also should remind us that the failure to act against a clear and present danger can have extremely dire consequences. That's what happened for eight years with Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida movement. Unfortunately, now it's happening again, with Tehran. In February 2006, I interviewed Dr. David Kay, an internationally respected arms expert, for a Fox News' "War Stories" documentary on the Manhattan Project. Kay headed the U.N. inspection team that uncovered Saddam Hussein's nuclear weapons program after the 1990-91 Gulf War. During the course of our discussion, I asked Kay whether we should be concerned about Iran's nuclear ambitions. His response was a warning: "We should be worried about it for two reasons. (READ MORE)

Douglas MacKinnon: Matt Damon -- The Ignorant Celebrity - Matt Damon, the private school educated, former rich kid turned actor, turned Harvard drop-out, turned major Hollywood liberal celebrity, turned intellectual snob, is (along with the rest of the far-left intelligentsia) looking down at his nose at the small town, public school educated Sarah Palin and the rest of the unwashed masses who might -- to the horror of the celebrity Obama supporters -- actually decide to support one of their own. In an Associated Press (also in the tank for Obama) television interview that was posted on the highly influential Drudge Report, Mr. Damon can be seen churlishly denigrating Governor Palin and her background. At the beginning of his rant, he inadvertently pleads guilty to ignorance by saying, “I don’t know anything about her.” Hey, why let the facts get in the way of good character assassination? Damon does not disappoint. (READ MORE)

Lisa A. Rickard: The $54 Million Pants Lawsuit That Never Goes Away - Like a bad cold you just can’t shake off, the infamous lost pants lawsuit is back. Yesterday, ABC News 7 here in Washington D.C. reported that former D.C. Administrative Law Judge Roy Pearson has been granted a chance to revive his $54 million lawsuit against a local drycleaner for misplacing his pair of slacks. The suit against Custom Cleaners, which generated international media attention, seemed finally put to rest last summer with a ruling against Pearson, clearing the reputations of Jin and Soo Chung, the owners of the small dry cleaning business. However, after the expensive two-year battle, the Chungs were forced to close two of their three shops as a result of this lawsuit. Yet, now we find that a three-judge appellate court panel has agreed to hear Pearson’s appeal, dragging the Chungs back into the courtroom. (READ MORE)

Diana West: A Day That Will Live In... Accomodating Islam - A high school sophomore asked me this week whether Sept. 11 would always be remembered. Would it always be, as she put it, "somber"? Lacking a crystal ball, I have no answer. And, frankly, looking back seven years to that cataclysmic jihadist atrocity, I realize I'm probably not the most dependable prognosticator because never would I have imagined back in 2001 how successful that heinous strike would be in utterly changing us and our world. Blame ignorance, blame cowardice: The strangest effect of 9/11 has been, on balance, an accelerated campaign of accommodation of Islam's law in the West, a campaign boosted across the globe by the jihadist attacks of 3/11 (Madrid 2004) and 7/7 (London 2005) and many, many others. Paradoxically, such fast-track accommodation has occurred even as any and all connection between jihadist acts and Islam -- specifically Islamic war doctrine: (READ MORE)

John McCaslin: Frozen in Time - On Wednesday morning, the eve of the seventh anniversary of the Sept.11 terrorist attacks, CIA Director Michael V. Hayden sent the following message to agency employees: "Tomorrow, we mark the seventh anniversary of one of our nation's most difficult days. To see America under attack, as it was then, is something none of us can ever forget. In an office here at CIA headquarters, in a unit crucial to the fight against terrorism, a prominent sign still reads: 'Today's date is September 12th, 2001.' "That stark, simple reminder speaks to the spirit of determination that defines our agency. There can be no finer way to honor the victims of 9/11 than to continue working with that full dedication to protect our country and uphold its values of freedom and decency in the world." (READ MORE)

A Soldier's Mind: Readjusting To Life Following Deployment - When Soldiers are deployed in a combat zone, they’re always on alert and ready for anything to happen in an instant. Depending on their job in theater, they may be involved with situations that are extremely stressful and that has them filled with adrenalin the majority of the time. When they return home, they’re often expected to just “flip a switch” and turn that off. For many, it’s not that easy to do. Once they’re home, they’re no longer carrying a weapon with them 24/7, they don’t have the risk of IEDs or mortars or RPGs. Everyone they meet isn’t a potential terrorist. Because of their experiences in the combat zone, sudden movements and loud noises startle them. As of October 2007, a total of 186 soldiers had died in accidents within a year after returning from combat. Of those 186 Soldiers, 168 of them died within the first 6 months after they returned. The statistics are staggering. (READ MORE)

America's North Shore Journal: Murder - the Crime Is Murder - Seven years have passed since the events of September 11, 2001. Lots of words have been used to describe those events but the one word, the most important word, that ought to be used is MURDER. A group of well-educated men plotted for years to commit murder. Some were wealthy, some were doctors, engineers, college professors. They had but two things in common, an overwhelming desire for power and the willingness to commit murder. Nothing that Americans did provoked these murders. The men who did them claimed that Islam told them to kill unbelievers. Their real motives were far baser. They hated the society that had given them all that they were. Their wealth, their education, their place in their societies all came as a free gift from the West, from America. They hated themselves and they hated Americans. (READ MORE)

Donald Douglas: Sarah Palin, Neoconservative - I just watched the first installment of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's interview with Charles Gibson, on ABC's World News Tonight. Palin gave a confident, intelligent interview. She appeared cool, calm, and perfectly comfortable responding to Gibson's line of questioning. Yet, the emerging meme on the left is that Palin was "stumped" on the Bush Doctrine. Granted, Palin seemed to search for a response, but if that's what Palin's critics want to focus on, so be it. The greater significance of Palin's talk is the way the Alaska Governor offered a ringing confirmation of the basic, underlying ideals that have guided not just the Bush administration's forward policy of preemptive defense and democracy promotion, but that of America's foreign policy tradition historically. This came at Palin's response on the question of God's will: (READ MORE)

Pam Geller: Obama's Paki Connection - Obama's background just gets curiouser and curiouser. I am still stumped as to how Dr. Al-Mansour came to mentor Barack Hussein Obama before he attended Harvard. How did Obama come to know Dr. Khalid al Mansour, Senior Advisor, HRH Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal, and where did Obama get the money for his long strange trip? For a "poor, starving, student" Obama sure had/has a collection of rich, wealthy and politically connected muslims all over the world. There is much we do not know about this man. Even his alleged stint at Columbia is being called into question. “The Columbia years are a hole in the sprawling Obama hagiography. In his two published memoirs, the 47-year-old Democratic nominee barely mentions his experience there. He refuses to answer questions about Columbia and New York -- which, in this media age, serves only to raise more of them.” (READ MORE)

The Belmont Club: Distant Shore - It’s been seven years since the night my wife woke me to say that two airplanes had flown into the World Trade Center towers. And now I know that even though the flames reached to the skies, for those who waited no sign would come. For what condemns the Sword is ordinary time; and what confounds the Writ is ordinary grief. The Call has no answer to a child’s empty shoe. The darkness fell but the sun came up. At the dawning of the day. Juan Cole believes that “our war is over”, that it is time “to come home, and train and fund locals to do the clean-up work.” “the original al-Qaeda is defeated …Al-Qaeda as a historical, concrete movement centered on Usama Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, with the mujahideen who fought in Afghanistan in the 1980s at their core. Al-Qaeda, the 55th Brigade of the Army of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan under the Taliban. That al-Qaeda. The 5,000 fighters and operatives or whatever number they amounted to. That original al-Qaeda has been defeated.” (READ MORE)

Big Dog: Sarah Palin Supports Gun Control - It is well known that nearly all major media outlets are in the tank for Barack Obama. They don’t even try to hide it any more. He comes out and breathes and they swoon and talk about their tingles. The nutroots deny the media is liberal and swear that it supports the Republicans and is unfair to the Democrats. But it is undeniable that the media is part of the Obama campaign and the campaign deploys them like all other surrogates: “His aides said they were looking to the news media to debunk the image of her as a blue-collar reformer, even as they argued that her power to help Mr. McCain was overstated.” How about a little fair time (fairness doctrine stuff) and we have the media debunk Obama’s image as an agent of change. It would be helpful if they spent the same amount of effort in scrutinizing him as they have her. And no, he has not been vetted over the last 19 months, he has been assisted. The media got him the nomination. (READ MORE)

Dadmanly: The Wrong Code - A CBS News outlet in Albany reports that NY Governor David Paterson in essence accused Republicans of making racist overtures in “code”: “‘I think the Republican Party is too smart to call Barack Obama “black” in a sense that it would be a negative. But you can take something about his life, which I noticed they did at the Republican Convention – a “community organizer.” They kept saying it, they kept laughing,’ he said.” Wow, that’s the end for Sen. Obama’s campaign, when all the white trash out there starts listening to Republicans and wake up to discover Obama’s black. Gov. Paterson went on to clarify: “‘I think where there are overtones is when there are uses of language that are designed to inhibit other people's progress with a subtle reference to their race,’ he said. ‘At this point, Americans wouldn't tolerate a racial appeal. What I'm saying is that there are sneaky ways to try to hurt someone,’ he said.” Geez, Governor. You sound just like the pathetically ingratiating person of pallor trying to talk jive, smack, or gangsta’. (READ MORE)

Confederate Yankee: WaPo Reporter Distorts Palin Deployment Speech - The willingness of the press to lie to undercut Sarah Palin is really getting obscene: “Gov. Sarah Palin linked the war in Iraq with the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, telling an Iraq-bound brigade of soldiers that included her son that they would ‘defend the innocent from the enemies who planned and carried out and rejoiced in the death of thousands of Americans.’ The idea that the Iraqi government under Saddam Hussein helped al-Qaeda plan the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, a view once promoted by Bush administration officials, has since been rejected even by the president himself. But it is widely agreed that militants allied with al-Qaeda have taken root in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion.” Anne E. Kornblut, just stop. Unless Kornblut buried the lede, Palin said precisely nothing about Saddam Hussein or his government at all or any roll they may have had in 9/11. Kornblut simply made that up, because she wanted Palin to say that. (READ MORE)

Cassandra: War of Words - Thursday, September 11th 2008, 4 a.m. I sit staring at my monitor as I have nearly every day since that brilliant morning which continues its nauseating free fall through our collective subconscious. This is merely one of many ways my life forked as I fiddled absentmindedly with the radio dial on my way to work that day. I wasn't really listening to the news. What I really wanted to hear was music - something loud and fast, with plenty of bass and a memorable back beat: the kind that gets inside your head and makes you feel, momentarily, like you're sixteen again and can take on the whole world single-handed, armed with nothing more than a stick of peppermint chewing gum and a disreputable looking tube of Maybelline UltraLash mascara in Black/brown. Something to get my pulse pounding and my adrenaline pumping. (READ MORE)

Dr. Sanity: DEAD SILENCE AT COLUMBIA - I watched the [rather ridiculous, I thought] ServiceNation Presidential Forum at Columbia University last night and had the same reaction as a reader at The Corner at one point: “Did you notice how McCain received absolutely NO applause when he talked about how Americans have shed blood around the globe in defense of freedom and should be commended for that? I thought to myself — is there not an audience at this event? The camera panned back and did reveal an audience. What kind of people don't respond to such positive statements about the history of America?” I think this perfectly exemplifies what it has come down to in this country: a great number of Americans--mostly of the Democrat and brainwashed leftist persuasion--don't think America is anything special. They live in the freest, best off, most productive, most generous country on the globe, and they don't think that's anything special. (READ MORE)

Don Surber: Parsing Noonan - Her column today raises the question again, what is she saying off camera? Peggy Noonan, the Bush 41 speech writer who came up with “read my lips, no new taxes,” lost all credibility with me when she praised Republican Gov. Sarah Palin on camera for MSNBC — and then said off-camera, “It’s over.” I don’t care what she thinks about Palin. What did Noonan in for me was that she said one thing on camera and another thing off camera. We called that in the schoolyard being a two-faced liar. So today in the Wall Street Journal, Noonan wrote: “Democrats, hit reset. Accept the fact that the race has changed utterly, that you’re up against a ticket that has captured the public imagination. Now you must go out and recapture it.” But does she mean it? (READ MORE)

Jules Crittenden: Ugh Say Vote Palin - The election is descending into a nonsense period. Blah blah blah Palin wears lipstick. Blah blah blah Palin dangerously believes in God. Blah blah blah Palin declares war on Russia. Like a lot of annoying flies, the ones that swarm you when you’re sneaking up on a mammoth herd. Crit thinks, “This nonsense exactly why Crit suspended blogging in the Moon of the No-See-Ums.” Too much blah blah blah makes Crit head hurt. Crit decides to explore other hunting grounds on the vast Blogosphere. So what’s up with Neanderthals these days, anyway? No, not the knuckle-dragging, gun-toting, religion-clinging Republican kind. Crit means the real, cave-dwelling, woman-by-the-hair-dragging, fur-loincloth-wearing Neanderthals. You know, low-brows with clubs over their shoulders named “Ugh.” (READ MORE)

Ed Morrissey: Uh, WaPo, Saddam’s been gone for 5 years - Yet another stupid Palin smear arises today, on the front page of the Washington Post, no less. Anne Kornblut writes that Sarah Palin linked 9/11 to Saddam Hussein in telling troops departing to Iraq that they would be fighting the same people who attacked America. Perhaps the Washington Post hasn’t yet realized it, but Saddam and his regime have long since been dispatched to history: “Gov. Sarah Palin linked the war in Iraq with the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, telling an Iraq-bound brigade of soldiers that included her son that they would ‘defend the innocent from the enemies who planned and carried out and rejoiced in the death of thousands of Americans.’ The idea that the Iraqi government under Saddam Hussein helped al-Qaeda plan the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, a view once promoted by Bush administration officials, has since been rejected even by the president himself. But it is widely agreed that militants allied with al-Qaeda have taken root in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion.” (READ MORE)

Neptunus Lex: Gloves Off - Why has the President authorized special forces to cross the border from hard-pressed Afghanistan into Pakistan in pursuit of terrorists? Because that’s where you find them. Critics will state that these actions will “enrage public opinion” in the region. Like we’re popular there already, when al Qaeda terrorists and Taliban thugs operate openly among the people of Waziristan and the Federally Administrated Tribal Area. As though there were no practical limits to the rage of addle-pated fanatics, and each new act of ours elevated the needle to some new, and previously unanticipated height. As though their sovereignty meant anything absent good will and reciprocity. As though it ever made sense to allow a relentless enemy sufficient time and sanctuary space to gather his wits, recruit and train new forces, rest, re-arm and re-equip. Let them hate: We will wear their outrage as a badge of honor. (READ MORE)

McQ: Congressional races tightening? - According to Gallup, they're tightening significantly: A potential shift in fortunes for the Republicans in Congress is seen in the latest USA Today/Gallup survey, with the Democrats now leading the Republicans by just 3 percentage points, 48% to 45%, in voters' "generic ballot" preferences for Congress. This is down from consistent double-digit Democratic leads seen on this measure over the past year. “The lead the ‘generic Democrat’ has been holding for months is fading in the polls, just like the the Democratic front runner. In my opinion, the fade is more a function of Democratic Congressional leadership than Obama - but it may be pointing to a situation where even if Obama wins, he won't have the coattails everyone anticipated.” Another surprise, and probably the most critical, is the generic Republican has taken a lead over the generic Democrat in the more critical "likely voter" category: (READ MORE)

Jay Tea: No Grace Under Pressure - I don't like being an armchair psychologist, but I think that it's true that you get a real glimpse into someone's character when they are under stress, confronted by adversity, find themselves challenged. And the current Democratic presidential ticket is facing that right now -- in spades. Jim Treacher has an interesting article up, where he takes a look at Barack Obama. Treacher's conclusion -- and I think it's supported by the facts: Obama, when pressed, turns into a real asshole. Yes, any of the individual incidents Treacher cites can be dismissed as an innocent error, a misunderstanding, a misinterpretation, a coincidence. The "scratching his face with his middle finger while talking about Hillary." The pig and lipstick reference. The "brush off your shoulder" moment. The repeated references to Palin as "mayor of Wasilly." The timing of the O'Reilly interview to coincide with the night of McCain's acceptance speech. (READ MORE)

Matt Sanchez: German Blunder in Afghanistan - Barrack Obama and why the Germans won't fight. In an interview with Bill O'Reilly, presidential hopeful, Illinois Senator Barrack Obama, said one of the reasons why NATO and specifically, Germany, was not willing to fight in Afghanistan was due to "We soured our relationships with the Europeans, after Iraq" The truth is that the German military is constitutionally prohibited from attacking and can only act in self-defense (Verteidigungsfall) For the German military, a member of NATO, to participate in the Operation Enduring Freedom, the German Chancellor initially deemed the German mission to be solely a peace mission. The fact that Germans have become suicidal pacifists and horrorifically anti-American also causes the war in Afghanistan to be heavily unpopular. Since 2002, Germany has lost 26 servicemen in Afghanistan, according to the website (READ MORE)

Nibras Kazimi: Something is Missing - I'm sure bloggers from all around have picked up on this, but I just wanted to voice my concern: I find it very disturbing that the New York Times chose not to run any 911-related stories on its front-page today, of all days, this being the seventh anniversary of the horrible terrorist attacks. I wonder if this is just the case with the 'Washington Edition' of the NYT that I picked up this morning (...and why would they do this to the city that suffered the Pentagon attack?), but I have a feeling that the front-page of the paper would be the same for all its editions. For a newspaper that is published from that wounded city to relegate the memory of this event to its backpages, especially on a light news day (...the main image is that of the flooding in Haiti), is something beyond shameless. It is almost malicious. (READ MORE)

Jim Lindgren: Charlie Gibson’s Big Mistake - One thing I learned tonight is that neither Charlie Gibson nor anyone on his staff reads the Volokh Conspiracy (or Hot Air for that matter). Outrageously, in his interview Gibson claimed that Sarah Palin had called the Iraq War “a task . . . from God.” No she didn’t. She prayed that it was a task from God. As I said a few days ago: I find it hard to believe that Anderson Cooper [and now, Charlie Gibson] does not understand the difference between praying for something you hope is true and stating that it is true. Is praying for peace throughout the world the same as saying that there is peace throughout the world? If I had prayed for the press to be fair to Sarah Palin that would not be the same as stating that the press is being fair to Sarah Palin. Here was the exchange between Palin and Gibson tonight: (READ MORE)

Melanie Phillips Blog: Greenwashing a jury - Britain’s astounding retreat from reason is now legitimising anarchy. A jury has solemnly decided that it is ok to break the law and cause more than £35,000 criminal damage to a coal-fired power station because of the threat of man-made global warming. The Independent reports: “In a verdict that will have shocked ministers and energy companies the jury at Maidstone Crown Court cleared six Greenpeace activists of criminal damage. Jurors accepted defence arguments that the six had a ‘lawful excuse’ to damage property at Kingsnorth power station in Kent to prevent even greater damage caused by climate change.” Apparently they reached this decision having sat through a propaganda barrage by militant mmgw fanatics, including the pioneer evangelist James Hansen and the activist (and Tory party green guru) Zac Goldsmith. The story does not record whether the jury also heard the opposite case; if it was subjected only to mmgw indoctrination, then this was truly a mind-bending trial. (READ MORE)

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