September 17, 2007

Web Reconnaissance for 09/17/2007

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)
Ex-Judge Is Said to Be Pick At Justice - President Bush has selected retired federal judge Michael B. Mukasey as his new attorney general, sources said yesterday, moving to install a law-and-order conservative at the Justice Department while hoping to avoid a confirmation fight with Senate Democrats. (READ MORE)

At Iowa Event, Clinton Vows Pre-Inauguration Diplomatic Push - Appearing Sunday at a mini-Democratic convention of sorts in a field, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton declared that if she is elected she will not wait until her inauguration to begin acting as president. (READ MORE)

State Dept. Convoy Attacked in Baghdad, Sparking a Shootout - A U.S. State Department motorcade came under attack in Baghdad on Sunday, prompting security contractors guarding the convoy to open fire in the streets. At least nine civilians were killed, according to Iraqi officials. (READ MORE)

From the Front:
ON Point Articles: Sheik Sattar and America - American policy in Iraq was severely challenged yesterday with the killing of Sunni leader and pro-American Sheik Abdul Sattar Abu Risha. The charismatic Sheik was killed when a bomb planted in his house exploded. It was the success of Sheik Sattar in joining forces in the Fall of 2006 with the 1st Battalion, 6th Marines ( 1/ 6 ) in Ramadi that became the centerpiece of the Bush administration's campaign to prove its troop buildup in Iraq has been a success. Every reference by Gen David Petraeus or Amb. Ryan Crocker to “success in Anbar” was due to Sattar’s vision in allaying with Marines to oppose the insurgents, primarily Al-Quada-in Iraq ( AQI ). (READ MORE)

Northern Disclosure: Sometimes the Best Victims are Ourselves - It is no big secret that here in Bad Voo Doo we enjoy a good joke. We enjoy a joke at anothers expense more than anything. Since the guys have been together jokes have become pretty common place. Friendly banter even more so. Of course there is the constant rivalries that propels the teams and squads to out do each other which I of course promote. The Squad Leaders are also very competitive and are constantly trying to get the best missions and crack on each other. (READ MORE)

Me Over There: Last Photos of Iraq - We did some tourist type things our last couple days. One of them was to walk a mile or two down the road to where some abandoned 1950's era bombers are laid to rest. They are pretty beat up, apparently weren't even worth bombing in one of our initial ventures into this country. (READ MORE)

Matt Sanchez: Last Interview--Sheik Sattar - On September 2, 2007, I conducted an interview with Sheik Abdul Sattar al Rishawi at his compound just North of Ramadi. I was just informed that this was Sattar's last interview. The Sheik was in good humor and determined to see his country rid of Al Qaida. (READ MORE)

Jason's Iraq Vacation: The IRR Vacation - As I watched the creamy-white foam cascade into black, my mouth began to water. Here it was, a creamy, dark, delicious Guinness, my 1st beer in about 138 days (not that I was counting). I could hardly wait to take my first sip, and when I did, I wasn’t disappointed. The aroma was just a hint of sweet malt, and the taste was creamy smooth, starting with a sweet taste and ending on a slight roasting note with just a hint of coffee. (READ MORE)

IraqPundit: Nice rally, shame about Iraq - A sound truck went blaring through my neighborhood Friday, trying to drum up interest in Saturday's antiwar rally at the White House. "We want money for education," a guy yelled repeatedly through his loudspeaker, "not for a racist occupation." According to the big yellow posters all over town, the rally was being sponsored primarily by the Answer Coalition, which aside from protesting the Iraq War is best known as an apologist for North Korea. Anyway, I though I'd check it out. Mostly, I went in search of protesting Iraqis. (READ MORE)

Mohammed: Iraq Invades Washington - The American capital is going to witness intensified Iraqi presence and political activity in the coming few weeks. First there are Sunni leaders who have been invited by members of Congress. The Sunni leaders are likely to make this visit coincide with former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi expected visit to Washington since the Sunni alliance with the Shia Allawi became more evident recently, especially after the latter confirmed that he had meetings with former leaders in the Baath Party to persuade them to join the political process. (READ MORE)

Bill Ardolino: A Meeting with President Bush - President Bush met with a group bloggers today in an almost hour-long discussion of the war on terror. Eight individuals attended the meeting at the White House, while Bill Roggio and I video conferenced in from Camp Victory in Baghdad. Bush commenced the event with his oft-stated thoughts on the overall importance and strategies in various fronts of the war, with a focus on Iraq and Afghanistan, and then opened up the format to questions and discussion. My question focused on how national political reconciliation will affect progress in the Anbar Province and Fallujah specifically, and the President's answer honestly surprised me in its length, level of detail and grasp of events on the ground. (READ MORE)

Far From Perfect: Sleeping on Broken Glass - Its been a busy week. The raids and engagements never seem to cease. Here I thought things were supposed to slow down as your redeployment date neared! I have come to the conclusion, though, that one of our IA commanders hunts insurgents like people in the US hunt deer. He is notorious for the way he deals with insurgents and terrorists, and his uncanny ability to find safehouses, caches etc. Its almost as if he knows ahead of time where to look (and he might). We were out with him today on a “recon” for a future IA outpost. (READ MORE)

Eighty Deuce on the Loose in Iraq: Ramadan begins... - Alright well today is officially the start of the 3rd day of Ramadan. For those of you that dont know about Ramadan, it is the holiest of holy months for Muslims. It is a very important time to them, and towards the end of the month is the supposed date when the angel Gabriel gave Muhammod the texts to the Koran. Here's what I've learned about Ramadan, part due to what the military has put out and part of what I've learned on my own. (READ MORE)

Desert Flier: Detonation - The first one was different. Not in the way you would expect. It's not as if the first VBIED scared the religion into me, and all the rest got easier. No, quite the opposite, in fact. With that first concussion wave dissipating, what I was about to realize was that as the reverberations faded, it was only the beginning of the experience. Of course I knew I was going to Anbar. Your gonna see some bad shit. (READ MORE)

Acute Politics: By the Numbers - We brought 102 men to war, if my memory serves. Among those, 97 experienced at least one attack by the enemy and earned the Combat Action Badge. All three of our medics earned the Combat Medical Badge, for giving medical aid in combat. Those same medics helped save the lives of several of our soldiers- 35 of 102 received a Purple Heart for wounds received during an engagement with the enemy. Sadly, three of our best were killed in action. We are going home. (READ MORE)

Michael Yon: Hunting Al Qaeda, Part II of III - When we dropped ramp in the “Mechanics” section of Baqubah, and linked up with Iraqi soldiers, I heard my danger chimes peal. Minutes after we hit the ground—POW!—a shot was fired close by and dust kicked in the air. An Iraqi soldier had managed to accidentally fire a shot from his AK-47. They are getting much better, but not there yet. I am not sure what tipped me off that this particular group of Iraqi Soldiers wasn’t entirely squared-away, but that shot only underscored the feeling. Back in 2005, I would seek cover whenever Iraqi Army approached. It’s not like that in 2007; they are becoming a real army, but there is still room for improvement. (READ MORE)

On the Web:
Suzanne Fields: When Decency Goes AWOL - There is no greater lie than to falsely accuse a person of being a liar. The slander by, the smearing machine of the Democratic lunatic left, rises to the highest office of the land, falsely accusing the president of lying about weapons of mass destruction in Saddam Hussein's Iraq, which was not a lie but a mistake based on the intelligence gathered by several nations of the coalition. A mistake is not a lie; an accusation of mistake has no power to destroy a reputation. (READ MORE)

Armstrong Williams: Killing for Faith or Fun? - Last week once again we reflected on the memory of the 9-11 terrorist attacks that almost seem ancient to some and just last week for others. The 9-11 responders are still suffering tragic health crises as a result of their heroic actions of that day. We often think of those that are deceased and often don't remember those that suffered loss of health, way of life, and any meaning to their day to day living. (READ MORE)

Donald Lambro: Petraeus Makes The Case - There is no doubt that Gen. David Petraeus won the politically charged slugfest on Capitol Hill last week when he called for the withdrawal of 30,000 troops from Iraq between now and early next year. He won it on his case that, as bad as things are in Iraq, the troop surge of the past six months has made verifiable progress in key battlegrounds now cleansed of terrorists. (READ MORE)

Paul Greenberg: Economics vs Politics - With gasoline prices now only medium outrageous, Gentle Reader may have forgotten how eager politicians were last year to find someone to blame when the pain at the pumps was off the charts. The usual congressional investigation was hastily called, the usual outrage expressed, and the usual suspicions voiced with the usual lack of any economic effect. (READ MORE)

Star Parker: A time for courage, not politics, on Iraq - Democratic politicians are either far more insightful than your average Republican, or, uniformly more political. I'd opt for the latter conclusion. How to explain that there is not one Democratic leader that sees any merit in our struggle in Iraq? There is no such uniformity among Republicans, and, after all, the commander-in-chief, who is leading this effort, is from their own party. (READ MORE)

John Fund: Turbulence Ahead - If you think there are more airport delays and cancellations than ever, you're right. The percentage of late flights has doubled since 2002. And as bad as things are now, they're about to get worse. The Federal Aviation Administration predicts there will be 36% more people flying by 2015. If the U.S. doesn't dramatically expand the capacity of its overburdened air traffic control system, the airlines won't be able to keep up with demand and ticket prices will skyrocket. (READ MORE)

Michael Barone: Conventional Wisdom - "Is it possible," I am often asked, "that we could have a brokered national convention this year?" There is a yearning in some quarters to see an old-time convention again, with platform or credentials fights, multiple ballots, favorite-son candidates and old political pros holding back delegates on the first or second ballot so that their candidate can be seen as gaining strength on the third or fourth. (READ MORE)

Mark Steyn: War, Terror and Time - Oh, it's a long, long while from September to September. This year, the anniversary falls, for the first time, on a Tuesday morning, and perhaps some or other cable network will re-present the events in real time - the first vague breaking news in an otherwise routine morning show, the follow-up item on the second plane, and the realization that something bigger was underway. If you make it vivid enough, the JFK/Princess Di factor will kick in: you'll remember "where you were" when you "heard the news." But it's harder to recreate the peculiar mood at the end of the day, when the citizens of the superpower went to bed not knowing what they'd wake up to the following morning. (READ MORE)

Jay Tea: "It's Broke, So Let's Break It Some More!" - This is an unusual day for me. Most days, I can find something in the Boston Globe that's just plain stupid politically, and today's no exception. But for once, the dumbness isn't based on their bias, but just plain ignorance. Today, they ran a column by a former CEO of John Hancock Financial Services. Mr. D'Alesandro thinks we should make the office of the vice-presidency an elected one, independent of the presidency. (READ MORE)

Paul: This is What Happens When You Give Children a Blog - It's really sad to see children try to pretend they can keep up with adults in the arena of ideas. Take the ever talkative Larkin from Wizbang Blue who tries to put in his two cents about the "General Betray Us" ad. It seems in Larkin's world view, the General brought it on himself. “Such attacks were predictable given the General's apparent acquiescence in becoming the chief spokesman for the White House in what should be an entirely political debate (i.e., no generals invited) centered on the the question of the continued involvement of US forces in Iraq.” (READ MORE)

Cassandra: Duh-versity, Tolerance Alert!!!! - The Divine Darleen catches fave arch-Lefty Jane Hamster in some steamy, grrrl-on-grrrl, bodice ripping action with Dem Truth to Powerer Liz Edwards. Oh, do tell! Hamsher’s Discipline thread is generating a lot of salivating, high-fives and further inanities. “The way I see it, we can discipline people like Mrs. Edwards into following a consistent dialogue and line of attack, but how do we get the Corporate Media to change their ways?” (READ MORE)

David Kopel: Significant Developments in DC Case on Handgun and Self-Defense Bans - This spring, the DC Court of Appeals ruled in the case of Parker v. District of Columbia. The case had three important legal holdings: 1. Five of the six plaintiffs did not have standing to sue, because the mere threat of criminal prosecution for exercising their constitutional rights was not sufficient to confer standing. The ruling was based on an extension of a previous DC case, Navegar, which had involved challenges to the federal ban on "assault weapons." (READ MORE)

Ilya Somin: When Is it Permissible for Universities to Refuse to Hire Professors Based on their Political Views? - The Chemerinsky saga raises a broader question: Is it ever permissible for a university to refuse to hire an academic because of his political views? For reasons that Eugene Volokh elaborates here, schools should be much more hesitant to reject professors on political grounds than high-ranking administrators such as law school deans. I am tempted to say that taking ideology into account in faculty hiring is never defensible. However, there are three situations where it probably is: (READ MORE)

Uncle Jimbo: What did the Israelis blow up? - Can someone remind me, are we in charge of Israel or are we it's puppets? It gets complicated sometimes. That relationship is going to be under scrutiny now that Israel has bombed something in Syria. Alisson Kaplan Sommer has a good look at some of the possibilities and much of the speculation. The nice thing from my view is that whatever got blown up, it changes the dynamic in the region and that helps us. We have not had the offensive momentum in Iraq or the rest of the region since the Thunder Run to Baghdad. Reminding the main destabilizers that two can certainly tango is a needed step. Plus I love the "Nudge, nudge, wink, wink" of it. Ms Sommer points out something that differentiates the Israeli press from our own, they have skin in the game: (READ MORE)

Ian Schwartz: John Kerry Completely Misrepresents What Republican Leader Said - CNN: “In an interview with Boehner this past Wednesday, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked Boehner how much longer U.S. taxpayers would have to endure the cost of the war, as well the loss of American soldiers. ‘We need to continue our effort here,” the Republican from Ohio said, “because long term the investment that we’re making today will be a small price if we’re able to stop Al Qaeda here, if we’re able to stabilize the Middle East.’” (READ MORE)

IMAO: Frank Improves the Sally Field Meltdown - Sally Field went into a crazy rant at the Emmys last night where she mumbled gibberish for a few seconds before finally shouting: “If the mothers ruled the world there would be no @#$% wars in the first place.” FOX cut her off right before the swear (a blaspheme that some people -- me included -- find quite offensive), but I bet a lot of people listening to the statement were saying to themselves, "I don't know if that's true; some mothers seem unhinged." (READ MORE)

Jules Crittenden: Little Tet - Al-Qaeda announces its Ramadan offensive. No indication as yet al-Qaeda is capable of a Tet, but an indication they may be trying. AP: “BAGHDAD — Dozens of fighters linked to al-Qaida in Iraq streamed into Shiite villages north of Baghdad today, torching homes and killing at least 15 people before Iraqi police and defiant residents drove them away, police and army officials said.” Meanwhile, “BAGHDAD — An al-Qaida front group threatened to assassinate Sunni leaders who support American troops in Iraq as a Shiite bloc loyal to radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr defected Saturday from the Iraqi government’s parliament base.” (READ MORE)

Bryan Preston: (Hot Air video) Infiltrating the Moonbats in DC - We waded into the middle of the big “die in” in Washington on Saturday, and recorded what we saw and heard. Among other things, the marchers called the police Nazis, fascists and pigs. Language alert. (READ MORE)

Allahpundit: (Audio) The O.J. incident, caught on tape - I surrender. TMZ’s posted 38 seconds of a six-minute tape of what it claims is the actual confrontation between the Juice and the memorabilia dealers who were allegedly trying to fence some of his belongings. The man who recorded it: Thomas Riccio, an auction house employee from California who claims to have been approached a month ago by the person who stole O.J.’s stuff. (READ MORE)

Ed Morrissey: Blackwater Blackballed - An American security firm that has become synonymous with private security in Iraq will no longer have permission to operate there. The Iraqi Interior Ministry has revoked Blackwater's license after the fatal shooting of civilians after an attack on a US State Department motorcade. The move may put more pressure on the US military to provide support for such events in the future: (READ MORE)

Don Surber: Hillary: Subsidize the well-off - Hillary will unveil another health care subsidy that will cost taxpayers $110 billion. Most of that will be used to cover illegal aliens and people who make $50,000 a year or more. This is on top of the $472 billion a year the federal government alone spends $472 billion on Medicare (old people), Medicaid (poor people) and the like. States match much of the Medicaid funding, depending on how well-off the state is. (READ MORE)

The Belmont Club: Why? - Walid Phares asks four questions about the $100K reward offered by al-Qaeda for the murder of a Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks they deem blasphemous. An extra $50K will be paid Vilks is "slaughtered". Phares asks: “1. Why would al Qaeda Iraq and not another branch offer such a bounty? The Cartoonist is Swedish and the al Qaeda Iraq fights against the US in Iraq. Where is the link here? Many voices in the debate on the War on Terror have been saying that al Qaeda came to Iraq just because the US invaded the country. What about Sweden?” (READ MORE)

The Monkey Tennis Centre: Bush bashing for beginners - Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper has published a nasty attack on President Bush by self-styled ‘controversial’ military historian Correlli Barnett (HT: Riehl World View). It’s essentially a rehash of the argument that the War on Terror is a struggle between fundamentalist Islam and fundamentalist Christianity as espoused by President Bush (which Correlli appears to think is interchangeable with neo-conservatism). (READ MORE)

Bill Roggio: Sheikh Sattar assassin captured by US forces - Forward Operating Base Delta, Wasit Province: Less than one week after the assassination of Sheik Abdul Sattar Abu Risha, the leader of the movement fighting al Qaeda in Anbar province and beyond, US Special Forces captured one of his killers. Fallah Khalifa Hiyas Fayyas al-Jumayli, also known as Abu Khamis, was captured in a raid in al Qaeda safe houses west of Balad in Salahadin province along with three associates. (READ MORE)

John Hawkins: Lincoln Chafee Isn't Even A Republican In Name Only Anymore - Throughout his last term in the Senate, there was constantly rumors floating around that Lincoln Chafee was about to change parties. In fact, just two days before the election, this story was floated at the Plank, “I have a friend in Rhode Island, a Democrat torn between his affections for Lincoln Chafee and his desire to make Harry Reid majority leader. Over the weekend, my friend attended a Chafee event and cornered the senator. Now, my friend doesn't have a personal relationship with Chafee, but he put the question bluntly to him: Why should I stick with you in a race with so many national implications? Chafee pulled my friend aside, lowered his voice, and told him that he might not be a Republican for much longer.” (READ MORE)

Pros and Cons: Bill Pryor, Senator Sessions and John Ashcroft in Vestavia, AL. - The long advertised and awaited speechifying, and victualling, finally took place. The concatenation of legal-political firepower was immanetized tonight as Judge William Pryor, Senator Jeff Sessions and Attorney General John Ashcroft came together to educate mere attorneys like myself and interested others. John Ashcroft is a very, very philosophical fellow. I knew that about Senator Sessions and Judge Pryor, but I was really pleasantly shocked how philosophical Senator Ashcroft is. Imagine a moderate Whig circa 1790 who has read a lot of Bastiat, Ayn Rand and Franz Kafka and you get the idea. Without talking out of school, he had two main points: (READ MORE)

McQ: Jane Hamsher: Take heed Liz - Who said "you're either with us or against us" was exclusive to George Bush? Certainly not the authoritarians on the left known as Netroots.
Remember the paragraph I featured from yesterday's post from one of the books I'm reading (the Lee Harris book)? Here's real world example of that mind-set within our own political realm. Jane Hamsher addresses Elizabeth Edwards about having the temerity to disagree with and condemn the ad about Gen. Petraeus and explains to Edwards why she screwed up big time: (READ MORE)

Right Wing Nut House: When You think Idiocy, "Think Progress" - Think Progress is one of those lefty sites that will skewer the right or Republicans at the drop of a hat: “GOP activist drops hat; blacks and children suffer.” That may have been a headline last week. It certainly isn’t any more outrageous than some other Think Progress headlines. How about this doozy: “Bush Admin Tamps Down Right-Wing Desire For Mass Deportation Of Undocumented Immigrants” If they only knew that those detention camps out west were built for liberals and not for illegal immigrants… (READ MORE)

Age of Hooper: Final 9/15 Post: An Anecdotal Count - ... No way was it 100,000. OK, I know that this is purely anecdotal, but I've heard the "100,000 attendees" count for the September 15th protest more than once [by ANSWER and their toadies] so I thought I'd put it to the test, along with my own count of 30,000 to 35,000 [tops]. After the march began and I had followed it for a while, I wended my way back to the beginning of the march seeking "musical" themes for inclusion in my blog and video. As you will note below [see previous posts ... especially the video] any fair observer will admit that I had an incentive to do so. If there was "musical" material to be had I would have it. I wanted it. Believe me ... I walked to the end of the march. (READ MORE)

John Donovan: SWWBO gets ANSWER'd - SWWBO, having the vapors from our excitement of the day previous, took to her fainting couch to recover Saturday morning, and sent me on ahead to the Gathering of Eagles. Long about 11AM, I get the cheap thrill of my cell phone on vibrate, and it's SWWBO asking me where she should tell the taxi driver where to go. Stifling the first impulsive answer, I tell her to have him bring her to the Mall, at 7th and Madison, and I'd be there to meet her. First mistake. I should have said "National Archives." 20 minutes later I get another cheap thrill. Then the girl put her top back on It's SWWBO on the phone. She's at Lafayette Park. This is not good. In her discussion with the taxi driver about where to go, it seems he decided that she didn't really want to go to the pro-military rally, but the anti-war rally. (READ MORE)

Dennis Lormel: Impediments to Making Us Safer - On September 12, I posted an article on the Counterterrorism Blog addressing the question “are we safer as a nation now than we were before 9/11”. I stated that we were safer but not safe, which is a prevailing theme. I attributed our safety, in great part, to the government agencies at the federal, state and local level, which are responsible for protecting us against the threat of terrorism. Unfortunately, there are impediments which make protecting us a more difficult task, thereby jeopardizing our safety. Three diverse groups fit into this category. They are select members of the media, certain members of Congress and organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). (READ MORE)

Walid Phares: Four questions on al Qaeda's threat to Sweden - Posted on Jihadi web sites, a declaration by the commander of al Qaeda Iraq, Omar al Baghdadi promised to pay 100,000$ for anyone who would assassinate Swedish Cartoonist Lars Vilks, who published an "offensive cartoon" of Prophet Mohammed in the Nerikes Allehanda. Al baghdadi would add another 50,000$ if the artist is "slaughtered," and 50,000$ for the killing of the publication's editor. The "Cartoon Jihad" is back in Europe after the Danish affair last year. But as we are analyzing the far consequences of this threat, and independently from the discussion of the cartoon and the sensitivities it may have hurt (which are real and important on the emotional levels), following are questions to be raised: (READ MORE)

Bear Creek Ledger: Teacher advocates students to renounce U.S. Citizenship - But he’s just trying to open the kids minds to all possibilities! ‘History’ Teacher Asks 14-Year-Olds to Renounce U.S. Citizenship “One often hears that government schools in totalitarian nations brainwash their children to love the government. People in free nations decry that as oppressing the free will of innocent children, and rightly so. In American schools, however, just the opposite is true as with the case of an anti-American teacher in a public school in Chico, California who hates this country so much that he sent a letter home to his student’s parents urging them to renounce their citizenship in the U.S. as he announced he was so doing.” (READ MORE)

Big Dog: Gathering of Eagles Update - The Gathering of Eagles rally was held in DC yesterday to counter the Communists of the various anti-war groups who vowed to create civil disturbances in order to get their points across. The were able to do just that because more than 160 of them were arrested for disobeying the law, as if this is a surprise. First things first. I arrived on Friday and met up with Kat from Cathouse Chat and Wild Bill from Passionate America. (READ MORE)

Dafydd: What Would Have Been? - One of the most difficult kinds of science fiction to write well is the alternative history... which, by a genre convention I'll follow, will henceforth be called "alternate history," or simply alt-hist. It's not acceptable simply to fantasize wildly about what could have happened had the Spartan 300 been given Star-Trek phasers or had George Washington been born a girl ("She would have led a Womyn's revolution and become the first female president of the United Feminist States of America!") The proper name for that activity is not alternate history but day dreaming. (READ MORE)

Crazy Politico: Still No Unity - My title doesn't refer to Iraq, where our Congress would have us believe that not having complete unity of the country after 5 years makes any efforts there a complete failure. Instead, it refers to this article in today's Washington Post, about the lack of full unity in Bosnia. It seems that 12 years after ending their civil war, they still have no national security force, instead it's divided between the two ethnic enclaves in the country. (READ MORE)

Confederate Yankee: Setting the Agenda for a Non-Scandal - Advertising Age dissects how my observation earlier this week helped shape this week's news: “MoveOn told ABC's Jake Tapper that the group paid $65,000 for a Sept. 10 ad accusing General David Petraeus of "cooking the books for the White House" in his status reports on Iraq. The Times rate card implies that weekday, full-page, black-and-white cause, appeal or political ads cost $181,692. A post on the blog Confederate Yankee soon noted the disparity. "While I'm fairly certain that nobody pays 'sticker' prices, 61% off seems a rather sweet deal," his post said.” (READ MORE)

Chickenhawk Express: Drone Video Exonerates SSgt Wuterich at Haditha - There are not enough words to express my gratitude and appreciation to Nathaniel Helms and David Allender for all the investigative work they have done to prove the innocence of the Haditha Marines. They have done the work that the paid media should have done. If there was a Pulitzer Prize for investigative work done by bloggers, David should win hands down. Today new screenshots of the video from ScanEagle taken at Haditha on November 19, 2005 were released. These scenes were included in the video released by CNN but amazingly they neglected to show these particular images. (READ MORE)

Dymphna: The UN Says America is the Most Productive Nation - According to a report issued in early September, Americans work harder, produce more, and get more done in an hour than do the citizens of other countries. Well, almost: the only ones who surpass us are in the third category. Norwegians have a higher per-hour output than Americans. “The average U.S. worker produces $63,885 of wealth per year, more than their counterparts in all other countries, the International Labor Organization said in its report. Ireland comes in second at $55,986, followed by Luxembourg at $55,641, Belgium at $55,235 and France at $54,609.” (READ MORE)

Dadmanly: A Letter to Congress - Wars take time. They require steady will and determination. They compel commitment. If fighting Saddam Hussein, and later Al Qaeda, in Iraq was important when earlier in this mission, they should still be important today. Al Qaeda is badly wounded there and elsewhere, but they aren’t dead yet. Iraq is making gains as a democratic nation, but they still need help. They still need time. Dear Senators and Representatives, you criticize President Bush relentlessly — picking apart the speech he gave last week with withering words, looking for any and every chance to bring him down. But at least he maintains steady attention to this war. At least he seems to grasp the stakes of losing and the danger of giving up. Not so Congress. (READ MORE)

GayPatriotWest: Hillary’s Good Fortune in Opponents - When watching coverage of the Democrats’ New York presidential Primary Debate in March, 1992, I had the sense that Bill Clinton* would win his party’s nomination. He simply looked like more of leader than did his two then-opponents, Paul Tsongas and Jerry Brown. I had once maintained that his wife could never win the Democratic presidential nomination. While she had her husband’s last name, a name as beloved among Democrats as it is hated among Republicans, she lacked his presence, his charisma. Whereas he comes across as warm and caring, a man who cares about your problems, she comes across as cold and calculating, someone most interested in furthering her own ambition. (READ MORE)

The Hatemonger's Quarterly: The Foolproof Guide to Anti-Bush Mania - As you may well know, dear reader, George W. Bush is still president of these here United States of America. And let’s be honest: To many, many people all across this great land of ours, that’s unfortunate. Few are more upset about current political vicissitudes, dear reader, than those with a nasty case of Anti-Bush Mania. You know the sort of folks we mean: The kind of people who vote for Dennis Kucinich, wear lots of hemp, and believe in all kinds of diversity—except for a diversity of opinion. Yep, to those folks—who have many a prominent perch on Al Gore’s Internet—the ongoing presidency of George W. Bush is nothing short of an Orwellian nightmare. (READ MORE)

Kobayashi Maru: Remind Me Again Why Global Warming is Bad? - Longtime readers already know that warmer temperatures lower morbidity and mortality far more than higher temperatures raise them, inverting any moral case that might be made against anthropogenic global warming... if it existed to any significant degree, which it doesn't. John Tierney notes the same thing in his NYT column last week, which I cited here. (READ MORE)

Melanie Phillips: Having the guts to stay the course - In a superb article a week ago in the Wall Street Journal (subscription only) about the situation in Iraq, the distinguished analyst Fouad Ajami wrote about Sheikh Abdul Sattar Abu Reisha, the Sunni leader who turned against al Qaeda and reached an accommodation with America — and who was killed three days later in a roadside bomb. But the story Ajami related was much bigger than this sheikh, vital and charismatic though he had been. It was the story of how the Anbar province had been transformed from a theatre of insurgency against America to a bulwark against al Qaeda. This is what the sheikh said: (READ MORE)

TigerHawk: From the halls of Montezuma to the stands at Petco Park - I've been working very long hours recently, including all day yesterday and well into the evening. Today, though, I was free of obligations. I popped awake at 6, which is rather late considering the time difference from the East coast, and repaired to a local Starbucks to read the newspaper and blog. Mid-morning I went up to the rooftop pool to finish Michael Ledeen's book, The Iranian Time Bomb: The Mullah Zealots' Quest for Destruction (currently #205 at Amazon, so it seems to be doing well, as it should be), of which more later. Then I went for a run along the harbor, and on the way back noticed the fans streaming to the Padres-Giants game at Petco Park, a mere two blocks from my hotel. I bought a ticket at a substantial discount to face and got a great seat along the first base line. (READ MORE)

ShrinkWrapped: The Democrats Elect to "Stay the Course" - The Democrats are in a bind. They have ridden the polls to leads in various arenas, generic Democrat versus generic Republican for Congress, close races among the Democratic contenders versus Republican contenders, but their approach has always been fraught with danger. The Democratic chance to sweep to victory in the 2008 elections have always depended on the continued ineptitude and corruption of the Republicans (many of whom have done their best to help out) and more importantly, continued problems in Iraq. If Iraq can be reasonably depicted as a disaster in October of 2008, Hillary Clinton will almost certainly be our next President. However, she is not stupid and also recognizes that once in office, any subsequent developments in Iraq would be her responsibility. Thus, the next election crucially depends on the balance between the reality on the ground and the reality as determined by the MSM and the zeitgeist. What are the options in Iraq? (READ MORE)

Right Truth: Heaven help us, Hillary's got a new health care plan - Is Hillary Clinton trying to shift talk from Iraq to health care? She's certainly not doing a very good job at pleasing the rabid wing of the Democratic party right now. Her ideas on health care were a disaster in 1993 and I predict they will be a disaster this time. However, there are parts of her plan that sound very interesting (CSM) Hillary Clinton is the last of the Democrats to launch her health care plan. I'm wondering how much this plan is going to cost, and who is going to pay for it. John Edwards and Barack Obama have already decided their plans would be paid for by eliminating tax cuts on high-income Americans. (READ MORE)

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