December 2, 2008

Web Reconnaissance for 12/02/2008

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)
Success of Clinton Choice Hinges on Rapport - Leaving the news conference in Chicago yesterday where he introduced his national security team, President-elect Barack Obama strolled out of the room arm in arm with his choice for secretary of state and onetime rival, Hillary Rodham Clinton. (READ MORE)

The Capitol Addition That Takes Too Much Away - Over time, the U.S. Capitol has taken on two very different faces. What was once deemed the back side of the building -- facing the Mall -- became a grand, ceremonial front, with the addition of dramatic stairs, terraces and landscaping that emphasized its prominence on a hill. (READ MORE)

Gates's Top Deputies May Leave - Although President-elect Barack Obama's decision to keep Robert M. Gates at the helm of the Pentagon will provide a measure of continuity for a military fighting two wars, many of Gates's top deputies are expected to depart their jobs, according to senior defense and transition officials. (READ MORE)

Mumbai Mourns Slain Rabbi, Wife - MUMBAI, Dec. 1 -- Outside the ornate synagogue, Indian sharpshooters were perched on rooftops and Israeli security agents roamed the alleys in this busy neighborhood, just a 15-minute walk from the devastated Taj Mahal Palace & Tower hotel. (READ MORE)

Travels With Hillary - Barack Obama's choice of Hillary Clinton to be his Secretary of State is either a political master stroke, or a classic illustration of the signature self-confidence that will come back to haunt him. We're inclined toward the latter view, but then Mr. Obama is the one who has to live with her -- and her husband. (READ MORE)

Mumbai and Obama - President-elect Obama said yesterday that terrorists based in South Asia represent "the single, most important threat against the American people." As he prepares to become responsible for American safety, we hope he's also absorbing some of the lessons of the Mumbai massacre. (READ MORE)

More Immigration Losers - Virginia Republican Congressman Virgil Goode's narrow loss to Democrat Tom Perriello became official last week, and it caps another bad showing for immigration restrictionists. For the second straight election, incumbent Republicans who attempted to turn illegal immigration into a wedge issue fared poorly. (READ MORE)

Palestinians shift position on peace accord - Top Palestinian negotiators with Israel said Monday that they are prepared to establish a Palestinian state initially in the West Bank, which Gaza can join if the militant group Hamas gives up control of the strip. (READ MORE)

Scholar: Visitor center edits Constitution - Plenty of critics have accused Congress of forgetting the Constitution from time to time. But a constitutional scholar who has toured the new Capitol Visitor Center, a monument Congress built to itself that is to be dedicated Tuesday, goes even further, saying exhibits mangle the founding document by claiming constitutional backing for powers that are still very much in dispute. (READ MORE)

Left angered by Obama pullout plan - President-elect Barack Obama said Monday that the U.S. is now "on a glide path" to have all combat troops out of Iraq 16 months after he takes office, but continued to leave wiggle room that vexes antiwar voters. (READ MORE)

Panel declares official recession - It's official. After months of depressing economic indicators, mind-boggling financial bailouts, mounting job losses and collapsing retirement accounts, an elite team of economists formally pronounced what most of us already knew: We're in a recession. (READ MORE)

On the Web:
THE TYGRRRR EXPRESS: India Burns, Liberals Plan Tea Parties - The world is on fire. Let me say this again real slowly so that liberals can follow along. The…world…is…on…fire. While this is going on, liberals are planning to get to the “root causes” of terrorism. I never thought that a movie about a comic book character would sum up something as complicated as terrorism so perfectly, but I recommend that every person on Earth watch the 2008 “Batman” movie. When others are trying to understand terrorism, Michael Caine as Alfred the Butler offers quiet wisdom. He understands why terrorists do what they do. “Some people just like to watch the world burn.” That is it. Every PHD in Sociology can now go find something else to do. (READ MORE)

A Soldier's Mind: Mourning The Loss Of A Husband, A Father, A Son, An American Hero - America has lost a Hero today. A man who served our country proudly as a Soldier in the US Army. A man who took pride in the job he did and a man who proudly led his Soldiers, when they deployed to Afghanistan this past summer. A man who has fought hard for his life over the past month, after being injured in an IED explosion in Afghanistan, on October 28, 2008. Captain Rob Yllescas, commander of B Troop, 6/4 Cav, 3rd Brigade, 1st ID, passed away today at Bethesda Naval Medical Center, after a month long battle to overcome the devastating injuries that he received in the IED attack. Since first being notified that her husband was injured, his wife Dena flew to his side and has been with him every step of the way. She has kept friends and family updated on his condition through a blog, that she has updated as much as possible. Captain Rob Yllescas leaves behind his wife Dena, his two young daughters Julia and Eva. (READ MORE)

Lawhawk: The Media Just Loves A Great Depression Story - The media has its memes and isn't willing to stray from them for even an instant. They believe that the world is coming to an end and that the economy is going to completely implode into a Great Depression. These kinds of stories continue to circulate on a near daily basis, and the fact is that the media has been getting soundbites from the ill informed and just plain clueless claiming that we were already in a depression months ago. The Record ran this story today about how some folks who lived through the real Great Depression are wondering if we're heading into another depression. “Economists are pretty much unanimous that we are now in a recession. Unemployment has hit levels not seen in 25 years. Social services are stretched to the limit, conjuring up memories of the Great Depression.” (READ MORE)

The Belmont Club: Rules for Radicals - Here’s an Australian community organizer who knows how to criticize the establishment of an Islamic school using the arguments of the Left against itself. Here’s what they did. “Protesters have swarmed the Gold Coast City Council headquarters, and with blaring rock anthems vented anger over a planned Muslim school. Almost 200 residents turned out for the demonstration, draped in Australian flags and shouting pro-Aussie slogans while Australian rock classics such as Down Under and Great Southern Land boomed across the parkland, The Courier-Mail reports. Australian International Islamic College, planned for Carrara, has raised the ire of residents who fear it will lead to the local Muslim population withdrawing from the rest of the community. A rally last week attracted about 400 people, while people turned out yesterday carrying placards bearing slogans such as ‘no Muslim school, hell no’ and ‘integration, not segregation.’ Resident’s spokesman Tony Doherty said Muslim schools did not encourage multiculturalism. ‘It’s segregation, not integration,’ he said.” (READ MORE)

Big Dog: Obama Causes Market To Drop 680 Points - The Stock Market Dropped 680 points yesterday and it is Barack Obama’s fault. As a matter of fact, the market has lost quite a bit since November 4th and it is all because of Obama. Obama has been the cause of other bad things as well. Manufacturing is at its lowest in 26 years and Treasury yields have plunged to their lowest ever and this is all Obama’s fault. I know there are a few moonbats who will say this is not true and that Obama is not even in office yet (though he thinks he is) even though there are plenty who want Bush to move aside and let him in now. Democrats have never been big supporters of the Constitution so this is not a surprise. In any event, Barack Obama has to be to blame for all the bad because the moonbats are giving him credit when things are good (or at least better). George Stephanopoulos stated that the 17% increase in the market since Obama began announcing his economic team was attributed to The One. (READ MORE)

Chickenhawk Express: Take a Long Hard Look at This, Deepak Chopra - This is Moshe - he's 2 years old. He lived in Mumbai with his mom and dad until a few days ago. This picture was taken at the funeral for his parents who were killed by the cowardly disgusting pigs in Mumbai's terrorist attacks. This child will never see his parents again - will never really remember them since he's only 2. Thank God he will probably not remember sitting in pools of their blood until his Nanny could escape with him. So Mr. New Age touchy-feely can't we just get along Deepak Chopra - take a long hard look at this picture of this baby crying for his murdered parents. May this image be burned into your brain the next time you want to excuse the behavior of murdering terrorists because they were "misunderstood" and no one liked them. (READ MORE)

Freedom Eden: Michelle Obama's $30,000 Ring - The Obamas reportedly aren't feeling our pain. From the New York Post: “The country's economy is in shambles, but President-elect Barack Obama is reportedly sparing no expense when it comes to bling for his first lady. Obama is giving wife Michelle a $30,000 diamond-encrusted Harmony ring made of ‘black gold’ - rhodium - the world's most expensive metal, London's Daily Mail reported online last night. Made by Italian designer Giovanni Bosco, the pricey thank-you ring will be ready in time for the inauguration, the report said. ‘Our agent in the United States was asked by Barack Obama about the ring because he wants it as a thank-you gift for his wife, Michelle, for her support the last two years,’ a spokesman for the designer said. ‘We have a select number of clients in the United States, Europe, Russia and the Middle East, and our prices, as a result, reflect the wealth of our customers,’ the spokesman said.” (READ MORE)

Don Surber: Diversity first - A Washington Post blogger scores national security teams not on effectiveness but on quotas — and then ignores key minorities. Phillip Rucker: “President-elect Barack Obama today introduced a war cabinet that is more diverse than any other president’s in recent history, appointing three women and two African Americans to his top national security and foreign policy posts. But the six individuals officially nominated by Obama mirror the national security slates of the last three presidents in one key demographic: age.” Well, let’s see, Bush had 2 blacks in key positions (out of 5 not the present 6 so that makes it 40% instead of 33% under Obama) and 1 was a woman (20% vs. 50%) so yes, there is diversity. But I thought the discrimination was against old people, not young so let’s subtract some points for that because Bush had old guys. (READ MORE)

Jules Crittenden: The Crankiness of the Backbench Loser - However noble his public visage, John Kerry was PO’d by the dissing. Boston Herald’s Inside Track: “Word from Capitol Hill is that, despite his kind words for Hillary Clinton yesterday, Sen. John Kerry is angry and disappointed about not being considered a serious candidate for Barack Obama’s secretary of state. ‘He’s pretty PO’d,’ said Someone Who Knows. ‘After going from the early front-runner to not even being considered, he’s pretty disappointed.’” You know, I’m getting a real Democratic Congress feel off of all of that. Raise your hand if you think that crowd is going to be able to accomplish anything. But back to Kerry. No “Why the long face?” jokes, please. OK, maybe a couple, if you have to. It remains to be seen whether Obama has done himself or the nation any favors by nominating Hillary to State, but indisputably he has done himself, the nation and the world a tremendous favor by not naming Kerry. A career do-nothing and quitter who is now bored. Sheesh, that only took 24 years. (READ MORE)

Ed Morrissey: Social Security and the market meltdown - In the wake of the stock market collapse, one theme emerged almost immediately — that derailing George Bush’s reform and privatization plans for Social Security saved retirees from disaster. People saw the steep drop in stock prices over the last few weeks and figured that retirees would be eating cat food by Christmas. However, that ignores a couple of realities, and in fact we may wind up wishing we’d listened to Bush in the long run. First, the people who were close to retirement weren’t eligible for privatization anyway. In fact, the first stock purchases under the 2005 plan wouldn’t have been made until next year, and those only for people whose retirement dates were still years away. Anyone within ten to fifteen years of retirement had to stick with Social Security with Bush’s transition proposal. Having that money flowing into the markets now would have provided some welcome capital flow during a recession, and the portfolios could have bought some real bargains. (READ MORE)

Allahpundit: MSNBC anchor surprised to find terrorism still exists post-Obama - Well, aren’t we all. To think, without the ‘Busters, this moment of glory might have been lost to history: “ALEX WITT: You know, John, and it’s interesting because there are many who had such an optimistic and hopeful opinion of things, and you certainly can’t expect things to change [snaps fingers] on a dime overnight, but there are many who suggested that with the outgoing Bush administration and the incoming Obama administration there would be something of a lull in terrorism attacks. There had been such a global outpouring of affection, respect, hope, with the new administration coming in, that precisely these kinds of attacks, it was thought — at least hoped — would be dampered down. But in this case it looks like Barack Obama is getting a preview of things to come.” No video, alas. Er, who are the “many” who thought jihadists would be giving The One a honeymoon to get himself settled? (READ MORE)

William Teach: The 4 Horsemen Of The Climate Change Come - Let’s bring the quote out again, shall we? “‘In the United States of America, unfortunately we still live in a bubble of unreality. And the Category 5 denial is an enormous obstacle to any discussion of solutions. Nobody is interested in solutions if they don’t think there’s a problem. Given that starting point, I believe it is appropriate to have an over-representation of factual presentations on how dangerous (global warming) is, as a predicate for opening up the audience to listen to what the solutions are, and how hopeful it is that we are going to solve this crisis.’ — Al Gore” In other words, lying, over-stating, and trying to scare the daylights out of people is quite acceptable, all in the name of Anthropogenic Global Warming. Hence (READ MORE)

Scott Johnson: Al Franken's last resort... - is an attack on the result based on the rejection of certain absentee ballots from the tabulation. Franken now anticipates losing the recount. And Franken stands ready to call on the Senate to reject the result he anticipates in the recount. We've noted the threat aimed by Franken at the heads of Minnesota authorities in the event his position on rejected absentee ballots is not adopted. Yesterday the head of Franken legal team reiterated it for the benefit of the press including The Hill: “ Franken attorney Marc Elias made the case to reporters Monday that as many as 1,000 absentee ballots were improperly disqualified and that the Senate or the courts may need to step in to resolve the issue. ‘No recount can be considered accurate or complete until all the ballots cast by lawful voters are counted,’ Elias said of the recount that became necessary when only about 200 votes separated the two candidates on Nov. 4. (READ MORE)

ShrinkWrapped: Changing the Calculus - America won the war in Iraq for two primary reasons. First, the surge and its changed tactics showed the Iraqis that we were not going to do a Vietnam-redux and abandon them to the tender mercies of the Jihadis. Second, and of perhaps even greater importance, the brutality and viciousness of the Jihadis had already alienated their constituents by the time the surge took place. It is arguable whether we could have won the war prior to the alienation of the Iraqis from the Jihadis taking place. This is germane for discussions of the Mumbai terror attacks and the aftermath. Peter Brookes summarizes an argument that many have made, when he asks WAS THE REAL TARGET INDO-PAK PEACE? “IN the wake of the terror attacks that killed more than 180 people (including at least six Americans) and wounded another 300 in Mumbai, India, last week, the burning question is: Who done it - and why? It's still speculative, but most fingers are pointing toward Pakistan and such terrorist groups as Lashkar e Tayyiba (LeT) and Jaish e Mohammed (JeM).” (READ MORE)

Rightwing Nuthouse: THE INCREDIBLY STUPID THOUGHTS OF DEEPAK CHOPRA - There are few human beings on planet earth more annoying than Deepak Chopra, the touchy-feely, New Age Guru whose fetid, gooey, and completely banal nostrums regarding health and healing have reached a new low in the history of civilized thought. He is, in short, a first class idiot. To prove my point, Dorothy Rabinowitz writing in the Wall Street Journal caught this fakir blaming America for the attacks in Mumbai: “How the ebullient Dr. Chopra had come to be chosen as an authority on terror remains something of a mystery, though the answer may have something to do with his emergence in the recent presidential campaign as a thinker of advanced political views. Also commending him, perhaps, is his well known capacity to cut through all sorts of complexities to make matters simple. No one can fail to grasp the wisdom of a man who has informed us that ‘If you have happy thoughts, then you make happy molecules.’” (READ MORE)

Stop the ACLU: Patriotism, nationalism and racism - Warner Todd Huston sets out at some length the simple but rather denied truth that Leftists only pretend to be patriotic. In a patriotic nation they have to do that for PR purposes but their hearts are not in it and they manage the pretence only by claiming that they love what America COULD BE rather than what it is. Pathetic! I have set out at some length previously evidence that patriotism is not in general aggressive. There is however a related attitude known as nationalism. That is when the lovers of their own country want to dominate other countries. All the examples I can think of, however, from Napoleon to Hitler, have been Leftists. So my summary of the matter is that nationalism is a Leftist perversion of patriotism. No wonder Leftists are so suspicious of patriotism! They judge others by themselves. They know how vicious they would be with an entire nation behind them and assume that others think similarly. (READ MORE)

DJ Drummond: Worse Than You Think - Part 1 - Congress surprised me a little while back, when they decided not to bail out the 'Big 3' automakers, who were hoping for just about fifty billion tax dollars (25 billion already requested and they wanted to add another 25 billion just because). Given the way the press is spinning the 700 billion set aside to address the financial markets, I was worried that the Congress would just toss off another 50 billion without looking into the matter. But instead, Congress displayed an unexpected but welcome prudence, demanding that Detroit demonstrate better responsibility. I wondered just what was missing, so I started looking into the financial health of these companies. Boy howdy, these guys are in really bad shape, and more, throwing money at them won't do a lick to change their crash course. Before I go into these companies, I need to explain why extra money won't help. (READ MORE)

Soccerdad: Cooties - In Hostages to fear, Janet Albrechtsen writes: “That said, no one imagines Israel is free from fault. But its Government is not creating civil institutions that preach hatred and violence. By contrast, an entire generation of Palestinian children is being raised on a full diet of hate education, on jihad and anti-Semitism. This is the long-term hurdle to peace in this generation, and the next. Look at the website of Palestinian Media Watch ( where analysts have long tracked what the Palestinian leadership under Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas is doing. Not what is said to Westerners in English or what they tell Israelis in Hebrew.” When supporters of Israel are questioned for not demanding that Israel “end the occupation” or failing to criticize the Israeli government for not being more forthcoming towards the Palestinians, this is what’s not taken into account. If the dispute between Israel and the Palestinians were simply an issue of borders, it would have been settled long ago. However, the problem is that the fundamental problem is Israel’s right to exist. The Palestinians are still hard pressed to acknowledge and utilize their civil institutions to deny Israel’s legitimacy. (READ MORE)

Wesley Pruden: In from the cold, a familiar Obama - Another Barack Obama came in from the cold Monday. The man who gave us the unexpected in his team to resurrect the economy introduced his team to reorganize the world of which he sees himself as president-elect. The new message is clear - being president merely of the United States is for bush-leaguers. Hillary Clinton, who suggested she has the equipment to be the manliest member of the entire Obama administration, invoked the campaign mantra right away, cheering an uneasy cult after those earlier appointments. She's not only for change, but "positive" change. She promised to work with the toy countries of the world to resolve global crises. "The American people have demanded not just a new direction at home, but a new effort to renew America's standing in the world as a force for positive change," she said. She vowed to "reach out to the world again," to give the thirsty world a Coke after the drought of the Bush years. (READ MORE)

Bret Stephens: Media Narratives Feed Terrorist Fantasies - For purposes of self-justification, Azam Amir Kasab, the only terrorist taken alive in last week's Mumbai massacre, offered that the murder of Jews in the city's Chabad House was undertaken to avenge Israeli atrocities on Palestinians. Two other terrorists cited instances of anti-Muslim Hindu violence as the answer to the question, "Why are you doing this to us?" before mowing down 14 unarmed people at the Oberoi Hotel. And if dead terrorists could talk, we would surely hear Abu Ghraib mentioned as among their reasons for singling out U.S. and British hostages. One suspects the terrorists spent far too much time listening to the BBC World Service. Let's hasten to add that by no means should the BBC alone be singled out. When it comes to terrorists and their grievances, nearly all the Western media have provided them with a rich diet on which to feed. (READ MORE)

Mikheil Saakashvili: Georgia Acted in Self-Defense - Since Russia invaded Georgia last August, the international community seems stuck on one question about how the war started: Did the Georgian military act irresponsibly to take control of Tskhinvali in the South Ossetia region of Georgia? This question has been pushed to the center in large degree by a fierce, multimillion-dollar Russian PR campaign that hinges on leaked, very partial, and misleading reports from a military observer from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) that claimed Georgia responded militarily in South Ossetia without sufficient provocation by Russia. Judging from recent media coverage, this campaign has been successful. Focusing on this question distracts from Russia's intense, blatant policy of regime change that has long aimed to destabilize Georgia through ethnic manipulation, and thus thwart our democracy while stopping NATO's expansion. (READ MORE)

William MCGurn: What's Good for GM Could Be Good for America - Rick Wagoner, this could be your moment. When you appear before Congress later this week, you will no doubt have left behind the Gulfstream jet that attracted so much unwanted attention the last time you testified as chairman and chief executive officer of our nation's largest car company, General Motors. You know that corporate jets are among the least of Detroit's problems. You know too that among the greater threats to your industry are the overly generous health-care promises made by various managements and union leaders to their workers and retirees. Most of all, you know that these promises will not be kept, for the simple reason that there isn't enough money to fund them. Given this reality, Detroit needs two things today. First, it needs a restructuring that would allow auto workers to own their own health care -- and take it with them if they leave. Second, it needs someone like you to stand up and say so. (READ MORE)

Maurice R. Greenberg: AIG Needs a New Deal - We are living in unprecedented times. The federal government's intervention in the markets has become critical to the maintenance of confidence in our economic system, as last week's rescue of Citigroup suggests. Substantial public assistance will be necessary to restart many parts of our economy. The enormity and importance of the government's role calls for consistency in how it intervenes in our financial markets. Logic also dictates that federal assistance be designed to save jobs and assure, to the extent possible, that the American taxpayer be repaid. To date, the government has shown everything but a consistent approach. It didn't give assistance to Lehman Brothers. But it did push for a much-publicized and now abandoned plan to purchase troubled assets. The government also pushed for a punitive program for American International Group (AIG) that benefits only the company's credit default swap counterparties. (READ MORE)

Rick Perry & Mark Sanford: Governors Against State Bailouts - As governors and citizens, we've grown increasingly concerned over the past weeks as Washington has thrown bailout after bailout at the national economy with little to show for it. In the process, the federal government is not only burying future generations under mountains of debt. It is also taking our country in a very dangerous direction -- toward a "bailout mentality" where we look to government rather than ourselves for solutions. We're asking other governors from both sides of the political aisle to join with us in opposing further federal bailout intervention for three reasons. First, we're crossing the Rubicon with regard to debt. One fact that's been continually glossed over in the bailout debate is that Washington doesn't have money in hand for any of these proposals. Every penny would be borrowed. (READ MORE)

Thomas Sowell: Freedom and the Left - Most people on the left are not opposed to freedom. They are just in favor of all sorts of things that are incompatible with freedom. Freedom ultimately means the right of other people to do things that you do not approve of. Nazis were free to be Nazis under Hitler. It is only when you are able to do things that other people don't approve that you are free. One of the most innocent-sounding examples of the left's many impositions of its vision on others is the widespread requirement by schools and by college admissions committees that students do "community service." There are high schools across the country from which you cannot graduate, and colleges where your application for admission will not be accepted, unless you have engaged in activities arbitrarily defined as "community service." The arrogance of commandeering young people's time, is exceeded only by the arrogance of imposing your own notions as to what is or is not a service to the community. (READ MORE)

David Limbaugh: Obama a Centrist? Like I'm a Liberal - I am far less convinced than many that Barack Obama will be a centrist in office. Despite his announced future Cabinet appointees, I find it amazing that people are so willing to believe he'll change his stripes that fast. Just what about Obama's very liberal voting record to date causes one to believe he'll be any different as president? I could see an aspiring presidential candidate establishing a centrist legislative record in the state and federal senates to make himself more electable as president, but not the other way around. There's another red flag that should give pause to those hoping against hope -- pun intended -- that Obama will indeed govern as a centrist. The very liberal mainstream media are giving Obama nothing but plaudits for his presumed centrist appointments. If they truly believed he had changed his governing philosophy, they would be anything but sanguine. (READ MORE)

Dennis Prager: The Rabbi and the Terrorists - It was obvious to observers around the world that one of the designated targets of the Pakistani Islamist terrorists was the Mumbai Chabad House, the one Jewish center in Mumbai. The 10 Islamic terrorists who came from Pakistan to India chose their targets with great care. If one assumes that the terrorists primary goals were to destabilize India, weaken growing Indian-Pakistani cooperation in fighting terrorism, and greatly increase Indian-Pakistani tension, hopefully to the point of military war between the two countries, every one of the targets made strategic sense. Slaughtering as many people as possible in Indias major economic center, including as many foreign tourists as possible at Mumbais finest hotels, also made sense. But one target seemed to make little sense. In fact, until the attack was over people were uncertain whether the terrorists attack on the Jewish center known as the Chabad House was part of the original plan or chosen spontaneously. (READ MORE)

Douglas MacKinnon: Our Scapegoats Say: "The Fault is Yours" - More than two months into the "worst economic crisis of our lifetimes," and here is the prevailing—and increasingly angry—complaint I'm hearing from real people : "Why is no one accountable for this?" Shouldn't true leadership be defined by someone coming forward and simply saying, "I messed up. I should have seen this coming. I should have done something to help avert the untold pain this crisis is visiting upon our businesses, our retirees, our families and the very health of those who have been devastated financially by the obvious warning signs I ignored or the steps I failed to take." When I worked for former Sen. Bob Dole (R-Kan.), several times a day I would walk past a handwritten note by Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower. A note that said it all about leadership and responsibility. Just before D-Day and the Normandy invasion, Eisenhower drafted the brief note should the landings fail. As D-Day was a success, the remarks were never delivered. (READ MORE)

Chuck Norris: The Most Overlooked News Story of 2008 - Have you noticed lately that mainstream media are giving less attention to the war in Iraq, especially concerning our troops' progress? Who doesn't recognize by now that we live in a time in which there's little, if any, publishing space for positive military stories about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? recently reported: "There were only two front-page New York Times stories that mentioned 'Iraq' in the headline in October 2008 -- there were 11 in October 2006 and 17 in October 2004. The Washington Post ran four front-page stories that had headlines using the word 'Iraq' in October 2008 -- in October 2006 there were 17 stories, and 27 stories in October 2004." In July, The Times, a newspaper in the U.K., ran a column that commended American and Iraqi forces in making significant progress in Mosul, Iraq, and reaching the "final purge" of al-Qaida in Iraq. (READ MORE)

William Rusher: The Limits of Presidential Power - Whenever a new president is inaugurated, there is always a tremendous amount of speculation over what he (or she) is going to "do." And there's no denying that the new chief executive does have a great deal of discretionary power. But it swiftly becomes apparent that there are strict limits on that power. In the first place, there are the limits that the new president imposes on himself. He may have pledged to do all sorts of things "on Day One" in the Oval Office, but a lot of them end up being postponed or severely modified, and some, for one reason or another, never get done at all. This is often all to the good: They were promised on the basis of information that turns out to have been inaccurate or incomplete, and on further consideration they may seem downright inadvisable. Far larger are the restrictions imposed on the president by the Constitution, and by the statutes under which he is compelled to act. (READ MORE)

Mona Charen: Pinch Me, Am I Dreaming? - Superstition almost forbids me to comment on President-elect Obama's appointments thus far. The news has been so shockingly welcome that I'm almost afraid to remark on it for fear of breaking the spell. Such reticence has not afflicted everyone on the right, though. Here's Max Boot, conservative editorialist, author, and military historian: "I am gobsmacked by these appointments, most of which could just as easily have come from a President McCain..." Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, declared that the Obama administration was "off to a good start." And New York Times columnist David Brooks has acknowledged that he is "tremendously impressed." If I were a left-winger, I'd be tearing out my hair about now. The economic team of Lawrence Summers, Timothy Geithner, and Christina Romer does not exactly send a "to the ramparts" message. (READ MORE)

Michael Fumento: Barack Obama and the FDR Myth - The cover of Time magazine has Barack Obama photoshopped into Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s famous convertible, complete with oval-shaped glasses and cigarette holder held between the teeth. “The NEW New Deal,” The cover reads. Surely many who voted for Obama saw him as potentially the new FDR, the man to lead us out of hard economic times. But they’ve been misled, for even FDR wasn’t FDR. He is a quasi-mythical creature who not only didn’t end the Great Depression but probably greatly prolonged the nation’s economic agony with his New Deal programs and a menagerie of other foolish measures. Just look at the numbers from Bureau of Labor Statistics, Survey of Current Business. Unemployment from 1923 to 1929 averaged a mere 3.3%. In FDR’s first year, 1933, it hit its high point of 24.9%. Joblessness did decline for the next three years to 14.3% in 1936, but that’s still deep in depression territory. (READ MORE)

William Perry Pendley: One Consequence of a "Sorry" Congress; More to Come! - In 1993, Congress adopted an “Apology Resolution” expressing regret to “Native Hawaiians” for the federal government’s role in ending the Hawaiian monarchy. There was one problem: nearly every paragraph was either false or misleading, including one stating that “Native Hawaiians” were targets of any American mischief—in fact, since creation of the Hawaii Kingdom in 1810, there never was a race-based government. More significantly: why was Congress apologizing for ending a monarchy and moving toward republican government? As U.S. Senator Hank Brown (R-CO) put it: “We ought to be clear that we are not here apologizing for democracy or the concept of private property.” Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI) said his only purposes were “to educate . . . the American public on events [and] provide for reconciliation between the United States and the native Hawaiian people.” Senator Slade Gorton (R-WA) was dubious. (READ MORE)

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