September 6, 2007

Web Reconnaissance for 09/06/2007

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)
Bush Presses China on Key Issues - President Bush and Chinese President Hu Jintao tackled tough issues today, from climate change and North Korea to recalls of Chinese food and individual freedoms in China. (READ MORE)

Chertoff Warns Meddling 'Sanctuary Cities' - Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff yesterday told a House panel that his agency will not tolerate interference by so-called "sanctuary cities" when it comes to hiring illegal aliens. (READ MORE)

Dems Already Dismissing Iraq War Report - Congressional Democrats are trying to undermine U.S. Army Gen. David H. Petraeus' credibility before he delivers a report on the Iraq war next week, saying the general is a mouthpiece for President Bush and his findings can't be trusted. (READ MORE)

Realtors Report Shakes Markets - Evidence of a sudden collapse of pending home sales and new jobs at the onset of an acute credit crunch reignited worries in financial markets yesterday. (READ MORE)

Report: Iraqi Army Can't Displace Terrorists - Iraq's army, despite measurable progress, will be unable to take over internal security from U.S. forces in the next 12 to 18 months and "cannot yet meaningfully contribute to denying terrorists safe haven," according to a report on the Iraqi security forces published today. (READ MORE)

More Bomb Plot Suspects Sought - German authorities said Thursday they are pursuing as many as 10 additional suspects in connection with a plot to bomb American interests in the country, a day after announcing the arrest of three men believed to have trained at militant camps in Pakistan. (READ MORE)

NJ Supreme Court Sides With Vioxx - TRENTON, N.J. -- New Jersey's Supreme Court rejected a huge class-action lawsuit against drugmaker Merck & Co. over its withdrawn painkiller Vioxx on Thursday, reversing two previous lower-court decisions. (READ MORE)

From the Front:
Matt Sanchez: The Ramadi Run - In Iraq, everything before the fall of Saddam Huseein seems to have faded from collective memory, but in Ramadi, the Anbari capital of one of Iraq’s most important provinces, the general agreement was that an organized race in the streets of the city had not taken place for nearly a decade. Ramadi was the focal point in the once infamous Sunni Triangle. Marines from the 1/6 and 3/7 out of Camp Lejeune and 29 Palms fought up and down the streets that were now a flag spangled race route. The Northwest bridge was the starting point, but the year before it was also prohibited territory as it provides no cover from possible sniper fire. A Marine set off the starting flare. (READ MORE)

Mohammed: Islam, The Solution...!? - Yesterday Maliki went to visit Sistani to discuss the latest security and political developments with him. It's the kind of a move that reflects the government's persistence to let clerics make the political decisions for the country. As if they haven't done enough harm so far! Instead of reaching out to his partners in the political process from other groups he goes in the exact opposite direction and I really don't know what he thought such visit could do to improve his position, especially at a time when he's in desperate need to mend the rift in his cabinet. (READ MORE)

Bill Ardolino: "We like you!" - I'm still in the middle of my Civil Affairs (CAG) embed, and the ongoing missions plus intermittent power and internet access in my current billet make writing difficult. Polished commentary will be a few days out. But a quick teaser: the positive change in Fallujah since my January visit is astounding. I've attended a Fallujah City Council meeting, a recruiting day for the "Fallujah Protectors" (neighborhood watch), the establishment of the city's last police precinct and a meeting of "muktars," traditional cultural leaders of specific neighborhoods who work with Marines to improve infrastructure. (READ MORE)

Calvey in Iraq: Deprivations of Deployment - Greetings from Baghdad! Deployed soldiers suffer many deprivations: For me, the worst is being away from my wife. After that, I miss the rest of my family. And here I have to deal with rocket attacks, heat, and long work hours, among other issues. (READ MORE)

Acute Politics: The Anti-Iraq - The coffee franchise Green Beans has carved out a foothold in the Middle East over the last few years. Several months ago, a Green Beans opened up in Ramadi; the deck outside has become a nightly oasis of sorts for like-minded individuals across the post. Some of Bravo company is there almost every night; I'm there every night that I'm in Ramadi. Other people drop in occasionally- some from other companies in the task force, some from other units. There are a few shadowy figures that come and chat now and then- they are happy to talk, and we are happy for the company. (READ MORE)

John Donovan: News from our man in the 'stan. - This is dated, admittedly. I held slowed down on some for OPSEC reasons. Bill's already talked about the Pakis moving into the tribal areas - so OPSEC isn't important any more - but these are still good small windows into the life of a Fobbit, our Sailor in a Strange Land. ‘So I’m walking to my office and I see an Air Force Captain I used to work with as a contractor. He usually gives part of the morning briefing, and I hadn’t seen him for a few days. Me, holding out my hand: “Hey Dave I haven’t seen you in about a week, I thought maybe you rotated home.”’ (READ MORE)

CW4BillT: Mail Call - And this'll probably be my last postcard from this edge of the Edge, so it'll be a bit eclectic. In no particular order and for no particular reason... We spent the day on CSMO at the base; tomorrow (today, rather -- I'm still tryin' to figure out if I'm ten hours ahead of you guys or if you're ten hours behind), we finish the equipment transfer -- it's "Defense of Pakistan Day" (commemorating the 17-day Indo-Pak war of 1965) and the troops will be primed for their half-day off. (READ MORE)

Northern Disclosure: Not sure if it was Sweat or Reality - There has been alot of great things hapenning in the Bad Voo Doo world. Today we were able to promote some of the Junior Leaders into the Corps of the Non-Commisioned Officer. I am pleased to annouce that Ranger Sidwa is now SGT Sidwa (if you outrank him you can still call him Ranger though) and SGT Quezada also known as the Dominican Pony Keg. We were also graced with the pressence of Senior Leadership today. A General Officer flew into our little desert oasis and presented some awards. I am doubly pleased to annouce that the crew of Bad Voo Doo wheels of death received the coveted Combat Infantrymans Badge this morning. (READ MORE)

On the Web:
The Shield of Achilles: More Terror Arrests - Right now, the media is running with the arrests by German police yesterday of three Islamic militants on charges of plotting to attack US targets in Germany. What's scary is that two of the guys are German converts to Islam - in other words, they wouldn't look like middle easterners, just ordinary Germans. The third was Turkish. It's reported that they had been trained in Pakistan and had links to Al-Qaida. I'm not going into much detail now, because they have just been arraigned and not all the facts of the case have come out yet. (READ MORE)

Neptunus Lex: Unhinged - It’s hard to believe that the tinfoil hat brigade could marshal its forces so quickly in the wake of the dKos/Maccabee fiasco. But the story of the Minot-based B-52’s inadvertently taking off with war shot air-launched cruise missiles - while bad enough in itself for those involved - has now been taken as evidence by some on the left that the US plans to use these nuclear weapons in an attack on Iran. (READ MORE)

McQ: Meanwhile in Canada, the wait time for Health Care remains potentially lethal - Thank goodness that care was available across the border in the horrific US health system: “Two Ontario patients who had brain tumours removed in the United States because they say they couldn't get quick treatment here are suing the provincial government over what they claim are unjustly long wait times for medical care.” Ironic, isn't it? Here we have factions that claim the private health insurance is the root of all evil and government run health care is the cure all, and we have actual, no-kidding patients of a government run health care system suing to be able to buy private health insurance. (READ MORE)

David Bernstein: Bizzare Mearsheimer and Walt Self-Defense - It will probably be some time before I get around to reading the new "Israel Lobby" book, but the book's web page links to a response to critics by Mearsheimer and Walt written late last year. The defense makes some reasonable points, especially with regard to some of their more emotive critics, but in general reflects M & W's unwillingness to give even an inch to their critics, or to correct even their most egregious misstatements. The defense also reflects the same general blindness regarding the scope and power of the "Israel Lobby" as in their original paper. (READ MORE)

Jay Tea: Words Fail Me - This morning, the Boston Globe has a story about a series of workshops being offered across the Bay State. They're being put together by non-profit organizations, and their focus is simple: How illegal aliens can avoid getting caught and deported. (READ MORE)

Jim Addison: 9/11 DVD release delayed by Clinton candidacy? - The award-winning mini-series "The Path to 9/11" was supposed to be released on DVD this spring, but it still hasn't been, nor has a date been set. The writer claims he was told by an ABC executive that Hillary Clinton's presidential candidacy was the problem, reports Martin Miller of the Los Angeles Times: “The $40-million, five-hour ABC miniseries, which recently received seven Emmy nominations and drew a combined two-night audience of more than 25 million viewers, is for now on the path to nowhere.” (READ MORE)

Jules Crittenden: Monkey Business - For some reason, Larry Craig deciding to fight reminds me of Gary Hart deciding not to. I’m not the only one getting Gary Hart flashbacks off this, even though the scandals, the reactions, the stakes are entirely different. You’ll remember that amid rumors of extra marital affairs in 1987, Democratic presidential candidate Hart dared reporters to follow him. They did, and caught him in DC with Donna Rice. (READ MORE)

Allahpundit: (Video) Olby names Michelle “worst person in the world” because Geraldo wants to spit on her - No typo. You probably glanced at that headline and thought he named Geraldo “worst person” for being a pig who fantasizes about spitting on his opponents. Nope. Michelle earns the honors because Olby wanted to repeat that bottom feeder’s disgusting comment on the show tonight without having to vilify a fellow traveler. So he squared the circle by giving her the prize instead. (READ MORE)

Bryan Preston: Redacted features a recycled plot? - Let’s play a trivia game: I’ll give you the plot, you tell me the movie. Here’s the plot: “During war, a girl is taken from her village by five American soldiers. Four of the soldiers rape her, but the fifth refuses. The young girl is killed. The fifth soldier is determined that justice will be done. The film is more about the realities of war, rather than this single event.” If you answered Redacted, the controversial new film by Brian DePalma and Mark Cuban, you’re half right. (READ MORE)

Don Surber: Dem whines politics ‘ends at the water’s edge’ - Ex-Clinton official, Rahm Emanuel, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, didn’t like President Bush comparing the Democrat-led Congress unfavorably to the Iraqi Parliament. Both organizations took the month of August off, but as Bush pointed out, the Iraqis passed 60 bills and a budget before leaving town. The Democratic Congress? Well, it issued subpoenas and rattled its white flags at the enemy. (READ MORE)

Ed Morrissey: I Guess Uncle Chuck Didn't Read This, Either - Last night, I posted about Chuck Schumer's jaw-dropping assertion that the US military had nothing to do with the success in Anbar, Diyala, and western Iraq in throwing off al-Qaeda goons. I noted that Chuck apparently never bothered to read reports from independent journalists who have reported from the front during the surge. He also hasn't bothered to read the foreign press, including war critic Martin Fletcher of the Times of London, who spelled out clearly what role the Americans played in destroying AQI's grip on the region in a story from a week ago: (READ MORE)

Dafydd: Bush Moves Goal Post in Iraq from Security - to Security - Stanley Kubrick's brilliant comedy-noir Dr. Strangelove depicts a tense nuclear standoff between the United States and the Soviet Union. In a scene set in the war room of the Pentagon, Soviet Ambassador Alexi de Sadesky (Peter Bull) -- admitted to the sanctum sanctorum to talk to Soviet Premier Kissoff on the hotline -- begins surreptitiously snapping pictures with a tiny camera he has smuggled in. Gen. Buck Turgidson (George C. Scott) spots him, and they start tussling. President Merkin Muffley (Peter Sellers) breaks up the kafuffle: "Gentlemen," he snaps, "you can't fight in here... this is the war room!" (READ MORE)

Uncle Jimbo @ Blackfive: Chuck Schumer- The Senate's biggest ass? - Tough call there given the competition, I mean Teddy, Reid, Larry Craig but Chuck Schumer is just so consistently low and mean. Plus he is so ruthless in getting in front of a camera, there is plenty of ammo. Today was just a little soliloquizing on the Senate floor. I feel his pain, it is hard to stand there all pompous ass-like and try to make the case that even though the surge is working, neither W nor the troops deserve any credit. Now that is a stretch, and poor Chuck face planted. (READ MORE)

The Belmont Club: White Lies and Promises - Who said the Minority Report was science fiction? Who said Britain's four million-camera "Ring of Steel" video surveillance system was enough? As Karen Carpenter once sang, "we've only just begun". Reuters reports: “The entire population of Britain -- and every visitor -- should be added to the national DNA database, a senior judge has argued. Appeal Court judge, Lord Justice Stephen Sedley, said the database, which holds the DNA from millions of suspects and crime scenes, should be extended to all residents and even tourists, in the interests of fairness and crime prevention.” (READ MORE)

ShrinkWrapped: The Mental Health Industry's Dirty Little Secret - When Sigmund Freud discovered a way to explore the dynamic unconscious and, when luck and effort came into concordance, help patients resolve serious mental disorders, a new field of endeavor was born. Psychoanalysis was the first "talking cure" that could actually help people. Since that time, a multitude of factors have led to an exponential increase in the number and types of Psychotherapy. As well, there has been an exponential increase in the types of mental disorders treated. Much of this has been extremely useful to those who once would have had to suffer without hope, yet especially in the last 15 years, it has been hard to avoid the sense that the Mental Health Industry has gone seriously awry. (READ MORE)

John Hawkins: A Few Thoughts On Last Night's Debate - All in all, Fox put on the best debate yet. There were lots of tough, relevant questions and this was the first debate that really ran the top tier candidates through the ringer on immigration. There was one minor complaint I had though: Fox started out by essentially inviting the other candidates to trash Fred Thompson for not attending the debate. That came across as a bit petty on Fox's part and on the part of the candidates who took them up on it. (READ MORE)

Meryl Yourish: The Israel Darfur double standard, continued - A couple of weeks ago, all of the major media outlets picked up the story that Israel was sending some Sudanese refugees back to Egypt, where they had fled the cruel treatment and substandard Egyptian hospitality. The world media was very quick to pass along this story, and there was plenty of Israel-bashing to be had. the New York Times, the WaPo, AP, Reuters, Time, the Philadelphia Inquirer—hundreds of media outlets from around the world ran with the story. This week, Israel has declared that it will naturalize several hundred of the refugees. The story is not yet on the New York Times or WaPo websites at the time of this post (which is being written last night and scheduled for this morning). (READ MORE)

Armed Liberal: Bomb, Bomb Iran? Don't Think So... - Commenter Beard sent an email asking my view of the recent flurry of reports that Bush is serious - darn serious - about attacking Iran before he leaves office. My sense of humor is pretty dark these days, but the picture that came to mind was Bush sitting on the stand on January 20 2009, holding up his hand, and picking up a cell phone and telling the staffer on the other side "Go for it! Bomb the c**p out of them!" and then smiling at his successor. "How do like that," in the words of not-yet-ex-Senator Craig. But it's actually a serious issue, and let me take a moment to lay out my thoughts. (READ MORE)

Tel-Chai Nation: Two forms of savagery thwarted in Germany - First, there was another terrorist plot by al Qaeda operatives that was thwarted: “BERLIN - Three militants from an Islamic group linked to al-Qaida were planning "massive" bomb attacks against Americans in Germany when an elite antiterrorist unit raided their small-town hideout after months of police surveillance, officials said Wednesday.” And that wasn't the only grisly case that was fortunately stopped. In Bremen, a plan to subject two infant girls to Islamic genital mutilation was stopped too: “It was an anti-terrorism raid with a big difference.” (READ MORE)

J. Peter Pham: The Return of Counterinsurgency - In an op-ed in today's Wall Street Journal (subscription required), Tank contributor and Naval War College professor Mackubin Thomas Owens notes that the importance of organizational cultures in the various military services, with each service possessing a preferred way of fighting that is not easily changed. While, since the 1930s, the culture of the U.S. Army has emphasized "big wars," Owens observes that "this has not always been the case." Instead, he argues: “Throughout the 19th century, the U.S. Army was a constabulary force that, with the exception of the Mexican and Civil Wars, specialized in irregular warfare.” (READ MORE)

A Soldier's Mind: Small Town America, Showing Support Of Our Troops - We’re forever hearing in the media, how America is growing weary of the war and hearing stories of ways that people show their disdain and disrespect towards our Troops. The media seems to delight in playing up things like anti-war protests, and people being disrespectful towards the Troops, to further their position that America does not support the war. It’s a rare occasion that we hear about events that occur, that portray just the opposite. Events that contridict that position. If you remember the Gathering of Eagles event that took place in March, in Washington; there was a huge amount of coverage on the anti-war protest that took place that same day and very little mention of the Eagles and the fact that they vastly out-numbered the anti-war protestors. (READ MORE)

LawHawk: Hsu Jumped Bail Again - Norman Hsu, the Democratic party bagman, missed his bail hearing, and it's suspected that he once again fled the country rather than face the sentencing music on his 1992 grand theft conviction (for which he fled the country to avoid jail at that time). “A top Democratic fundraiser whose criminal past has roiled the campaigns of top presidential candidates failed to appear Wednesday for a bail hearing and a judge issued a new warrant for his arrest.” (READ MORE)

Pamela Geller: Massive Islamic Terror: MOSQUE IS WAR ROOM – “One book seized from the MHK library called on Sunni Muslims to ‘execute Jews and Christians as infidels,’ the statement said.” We must monitor the mosques. No brainer. Just do it. You want to feel good about yourself then monitor shuls an churches in political correct exercise of mental masturbation. I don't care who you do it but the mosques MUST BE MONITORED. They are hotbeds of terror activity and the inculcation of the muslim youth into the violent dogma of Jihad. More on the massive Islamic terror plot. Five to ten more are being sought: (READ MORE)

Big Dog: ABC Holds Path to 9/11 Because of Hillary - The movie The Path to 9/11 caused a huge uproar when it was first aired because the Clintonistas were upset with the content. Bill Clinton was on TV wagging his finger and telling everyone that the movie was a pack of lies and his fellow incompetent players were all up in arms. ABC had to change a few things to smooth things over but the changes were not enough to appease the people who were concerned about a legacy. The movie was factual and portrayed events as they occurred but that is not what people who spend their lives rewriting history want us to see. (READ MORE)

Blonde Sagacity: Muslims Don't Want to be Stereotyped... - A main topic of discussion at a large Islamic Society of North America convention, that wrapped up on Monday, was how "Americans should distinguish between mainstream Muslims and the radical fringe". These are the "three reasons" they have determined that Muslim stereotypes exist: 1) Global terrorist attacks in the name of Islam 2) Disappointing reports from the Iraq war 3) The agenda of some supporters of Israel who try taint Islam to undermine the Palestinians. (1) True (2) False (3) False (READ MORE)

Democracy Project: NYT’s Misses Point About Charitable Deductions - When those who cry for higher funding for social causes instead fail to reduce the corrupt and self-serving tax drain by those who support them politically, that’s not charity but charitable abuse and political abuse. In an otherwise informative, long article, “Big Gifts, Tax Breaks and a Debate on Charity,” the New York Times colors the debate over the the ends to which the tax deduction for charitable contributions is used as another case in its crusade against what it considers unfair inequality. (READ MORE)

Dr. Sanity: Psychotic Creeps, Secret Deals, and Seedy Connections - So Democratic donor Norman Hsu, has skipped bail and is on the run. No one knows where he is, or if he is even still alive and in one piece (dead men tell no tales). Whether he is dead or not (and likely he is hightailing it somewhere far far away), the story will now die in much the same way that this topic will have a brief run in the blogsphere, then disappear into the ether. In the comments to a post at The Belmont Club (which is a revelation in itself concerning the life and times of Norman Hsu, international man of mystery), Wretchard makes this statement: “The existence of Norman Hsu naturally raises the question: how many other Norman Hsus are out there. For the Saudis, for the Mexicans, for the Israelis, maybe, for the Russian oil interests perhaps, and for God knows who else. How many?” (READ MORE)

Flopping Aces: The Left: Hypocrites - Like undoubtedly many of the RealClearPolitics readers, I like to peruse the website, hosted by noted author Robert Spencer. Here, Spencer posts countless topics per day regarding atrocities, murders, hate-crimes, etc perpetrated by Islamists. I thought a fairly brief essay was in order to discuss the pressure “civil rights” groups like CAIR (Council for American-Islamic Relations) and the IAC (Iranian-American Council) have placed on corporations, universities, and other sponsors. Here this pressure is to block JihadWatch as a hate-speech site on their servers, as well as excoriate Spencer and his site for espousing hate. Also, the intention of this essay is to rebuke the Left, who have embraced dhimmitude, for their hypocritical stance towards First Amendment rights. (READ MORE)

The Foxhole: Craig reconsiders resignation - This sordid little tale would be just another temporary blip on the radar screen if he were a Democrat. Left-of-center Representatives and Senators, as well as the 1992-2000 Whitehouse occupant have gotten away with some pretty serious crimes, and not a peep out of their peers, or for that matter, their constituents. Clinton refused to resign and served out his term despite of the multitude of felonies, including treason. During his regime, the DNC took in millions of campaign dollars from foreign entities like China, (the classified technology swap for contributions) but the Federal Election Commission dropped charges against the Communist cohorts because many of them fled the country. (READ MORE)

Chuck Ziegenfuss: Batten down the hatches, 11 september is coming – “Germany arrests 3 in alleged plot on U.S. sites: BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany said on Wednesday it had foiled a plan by Islamist militants to carry out ‘massive bomb attacks’ against U.S. installations and arrested the three men behind it.” Looks like some krauts and turks don't like us. This group was planning to attack US bases, places where soldiers hang out, and airports. They had enough explosives to detonate a 550 kg bomb. Any bets on whether this will encourage the German people to a) want to deport more turks, or b) Demand we close more US bases, as we apparently attract terrorists who could injure German citizens by mistake. (READ MORE)

Baron Bodissey: Lars Vilks Speaks Out - Earlier today I gave some background information on Lars Vilks and his artistic efforts. Now the artist has spoken out to the media: Artist: ‘We needed a hot potato’ Artist Lars Vilks has spoken out about the controversy surrounding the publication of his picture of Muhammad as a dog in local newspaper Nerikes Allehanda. Speaking to news agency TT, Vilks said that a provocation was necessary to create a debate. “We must be free to criticize religions. Why should Islam be exempted from the sort of criticism that is commonplace for Judaism and Christianity?” he said. (READ MORE)

Gateway Pundit: Syria Fires on Israeli Planes - Syrian officials said today that they fired on Israeli planes flying into Syrian air space. The Jerusalem Post reported this news from last night: “Syrian officials reported that four or five IAF aircraft broke the sound barrier and dropped fuel tanks over deserted areas of northern Syria, along its border with Turkey. It was not clear if Syria was accusing the Israelis of using warplanes or some type of other aircraft like drones.” (READ MORE)

Congressman John Campbell: The Earmark Battle Goes On - Recently, the non-partisan publication "Congressional Quarterly" reported that the Pentagon is receiving earmarked appropriations it has not asked for. Most of these earmarks are destined for pet projects within certain congressional districts, undoubtedly slated to meet political ends. In fact, 67 of the House Democrats who voted in favor to cut defense spending by over 20% are the very ones who have added $485 million worth of earmarked defense appropriations for various companies located within their home districts. (READ MORE)

Hugh Hewitt: Reading General Jones - "Some in the media have been remarkably quick to report on leaked copies of reports about Iraq before the average person has a chance to read them," writes AEI's Frederick Kagan in today's "There is a reason, apart from the usual journalistic desire to be first with a story. The reports often don't say what the reporters want them to." Former USMC Commandant James Jones delivers his report to Congress today, and given Jones' stature, it is an important part of the pre-Petraeus report information flow. (READ MORE)

Musing Minds: Eye Dee Ten Tea - Yesterday Brit Hume reported on the confirmation of Jim Nussle to the office of Director of Management and Budget. The vote was 69 to confirm, 24 against, and 7 did not vote. Of the 24 against, one was Bernie Sanders and the rest have D’s after their names. Brit Hume noted that the senators who voted against confirmation stated their reasoning as something like (I can’t find the exact quote) “We think he’ll be too influenced by the President and do what the White House wants.” Now, isn’t that what a White House Director of Management and Budget is supposed to do? (READ MORE)

WLS: How Robert Novak Is Responsible For Jimmy Carter Having Been President - Novak contends that the most important column he ever wrote, both professionally and personally, came during the Ford Administration when he came into possession of a transcript of a speech given during a closed briefing of US European Ambassadors. The speaker was State Dept. Counselor Helmut Sonnenfeldt, a close ally of Kissinger in his detente policy, and the leading State Dept. expert on East-West affiars. Novak’s column was in the Spring of 1976 during the Republican primaries, and it exposed a movement in the State Dept. towards a less and less aggressive posture towards the growth of communism in Europe. (READ MORE)

The Sandmonkey: Where do we go from here? - You know, I had plans to revive this blog on august first. I was going to update you all about what happened in the previous 3 months and what's I am involved with now. Low and Behold, my Grandmother dies that day, which unleashes a series of unpredictable events which consequences I still haven't even processed till this day. But nevermind all that. The question that has faced me ever since I've written my past post has been: Can you go back to blogging again after this post? Is that even possible? (READ MORE)

Rhymes with Right: Dems looking For Bipartisan Plan For Defeat - When things looked bad in Iraq, the Democrats wanted an all-or-nothing plan for immediate defeat at any cost. They wouldn't accept any bipartisan solutions that might give our forces a chance to win, and Iraq a chance to be stable. Well, now that the situation in Iraq is improving daily, the Democrats are willing to look for GOP allies to help get the American military defeat they so desperately need to be successful in 2008. With a mixed picture emerging about progress in Iraq, Senate Democratic leaders are showing a new openness to compromise as they try to attract Republican support for forcing at least modest troop withdrawals in the coming months. (READ MORE)

Right Truth: Common Sense. Some Treasures Can’t Be Faked. - It is always amazing that the greatest of treasures are comprised of the simplest of elements. Diamonds, for example, are considered to be quite valuable. A “girl’s best friend”. They last “forever”. They are so valuable, in fact, that DeBeers monopolizes them. Personally, I see little clumps of carbon that are brought into fascination through the effort and care of a skilled craftsman. It is the individual artisan who takes something which in its gaseous state is blamed for destroying the planet’s ecosystem and works it into a gem that spawns romance and intrigue. (READ MORE)

WSJ Review & Outlook: The Thompson Effect - Fred Thompson is scheduled today to make official what's long been obvious: He's seeking the Republican nomination for President. His entry brings adrenaline and new competition to the race, and our guess is that the ultimate nominee will be better for it. The two Republican front-runners, Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney, have their strengths, but no one in the field has emerged as a dominant candidate. (READ MORE)

Daniel Henninger: The 'Toxic' Tower - Arguments have finally broken out over whether the clock has run on commemorating the events of September 11, with year No. 6 arriving next Tuesday. On one side is the view that some in the 9/11 "victim community" have turned it into the Day That Can Never Go Away. At the center of that argument are questions about the status in our culture of emotions and grief. Their status is very large. The cost of the unbuilt 9/11 Memorial at the World Trade Center site is about $600 million. How can that be? (READ MORE)

Abigail Thernstrom: The Massacre of Innocence - Privileged, rowdy white jocks at an elite, Southern college, a poor, young black stripper, and an alleged rape: It was a juicy, made-for-the-media story of race, class and sex, and it was told and retold for months with a ferocious, moralistic intensity. Reporters and pundits ripped into Duke University, the white race and the young lacrosse players at the center of the episode, and the local justice system quickly handed up indictments. But as Stuart Taylor Jr. and KC Johnson show in "Until Proven Innocent"--and as the facts themselves would show when they finally came to light--it was a false story, a toxic controversy built on lies and bad faith. (READ MORE)

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