Friday, August 31, 2007

Something to keep an eye on...

'White power' chanted during immigration discussion at school

written by: Jeffrey Wolf , Web Producer
and Nelson Garcia , Reporter

BROOMFIELD – It started with a simple question and ended with at least one student chanting "white power" in a classroom.

It happened Tuesday in a classroom at Holy Family High School, the Catholic school that sits at the corner of 144th Avenue and Sheridan Boulevard in Broomfield.

The classroom discussion started with the question: Why do students need to learn Spanish?

According to the Archdiocese of Denver, the conversation soon became about immigration and it turned ugly.

"It became a heated discussion and some rhetoric was used that was inappropriate for the classroom," said Jeanette DeMelo, spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Denver.

At least one e-mail sent to 9NEWS said that at least one student started a chant of "white power" and some said that all Mexicans should go back to Mexico.

"Immigration is an explosive topic right now. It seeped into the classroom," she said.

It will be interesting to get the students side of the story...if they are allowed or brave enough to tell it.

S. Florida students charged...

Remember these guys? They said they were headed to North Carolina, going the wrong direction. And they said they had fireworks in the trunk? Remember?
Fla. students face explosives indictment

By LARA JAKES JORDAN, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 19 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - Two Egyptian students at the University of South Florida were indicted Friday for carrying explosive materials across states lines and one of them was charged with teaching the other how to use them for violent reasons.

Ahmed Abdellatif Sherif Mohamed, 24, an engineering graduate student and teaching assistant at the Tampa-based university, faces terrorism charges for teaching and demonstrating how to use the explosives.

He and Youssef Samir Megahed, 21, an engineering student, were stopped for speeding in Goose Creek, S.C., on Aug. 4, where they have been held on state charges.

Dems being slimed by their own words...

It's interesting that the Dems who visit Iraq and found soldiers with bios on all of the congressmen's statements and positions regarding Iraq policy consider themselves slimed, by their own words...
Lawmakers Describe 'Being Slimed in the Green Zone'

By Jonathan Weisman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, August 31, 2007; Page A13

The sheets of paper seemed to be everywhere the lawmakers went in the Green Zone, distributed to Iraqi officials, U.S. officials and uniformed military of no particular rank. So when Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D-Va.) asked a soldier last weekend just what he was holding, the congressman was taken aback to find out.

In the soldier's hand was a thumbnail biography, distributed before each of the congressmen's meetings in Baghdad, which let meeting participants such as that soldier know where each of the lawmakers stands on the war. "Moran on Iraq policy," read one section, going on to cite some the congressman's most incendiary statements, such as, "This has been the worst foreign policy fiasco in American history."

The bio of Rep. Ellen O. Tauscher (D-Calif.) -- "TAU (rhymes with 'now')-sher," the bio helpfully relates -- was no less pointed, even if she once supported the war and has taken heat from liberal Bay Area constituents who remain wary of her position. "Our forces are caught in the middle of an escalating sectarian conflict in Iraq, with no end in sight," the bio quotes.

"This is beyond parsing. This is being slimed in the Green Zone," Tauscher said of her bio.

Is the Hsu going to drop ?

It seems Mr. Hsu's cover stories are not panning out. The NY Times reports;
People who met him said they knew only that he ran an apparel business. Efforts to learn more about his trade hit dead-ends yesterday. Visits to companies at addresses listed by Mr. Hsu on campaign finance records provided little information. There were no offices in buildings in New York’s garment district whose addresses were given for businesses with names like Components Ltd., Cool Planets, Next Components, Coopgors Ltd., NBT and Because Men’s clothing — all listed by Mr. Hsu in federal filings at different times.

At a new loft-style residential condominium in SoHo that was also listed as an address for one of his companies, an employee there said that he had never seen or heard of Mr. Hsu. Another company was listed at a condo that Mr. Hsu had sublet in an elegant residential tower in Midtown Manhattan just off Fifth Avenue, but an employee there said Mr. Hsu moved out two years ago, after having lived there for five years. The employee, who was granted anonymity because he was not authorized to talk about residents, said he recalled that Mr. Hsu had received a lot of mail from the Democratic Party.

A lot of mail from the Democratic Party? Hmmm...Capt. Ed has more thoughts on Hillary's campaign staff's vetting process..

Zogby: 54% believe war is NOT lost...

Quick, notify Harry Reid. Also let the NY Times know so they can put this on the front page...
UPI/Zogby Poll: Most Americans Say Iraq War Not Lost

Survey finds two in three Democrats believe the war is already lost

A majority of Americans - 54% - believe the United States has not lost the war in Iraq, but there is dramatic disagreement on the question between Democrats and Republicans, a new UPI/Zogby Interactive poll shows. While two in three Democrats (66%) said the war effort has already failed, just 9% of Republicans say the same.

The poll comes ahead of a September report to Congress by David Petraeus, commander of the multi-national force in Iraq, on the progress of the so-called surge in quelling attacks by insurgents and creating an atmosphere where the new Iraqi government can develop.

Notice the party breakdown? Unsurprisingly 66% of democrats believe the war is already lost. Only 9% of Republicans believe its time to wave the white flag.

Preview of Surge Report

Ed Morrissey of Captains Quarters noticed an interview that General Petraeus gave The Australian newspaper last week where he drops some hints as to what will be in his report...
David Petraeus, the top US commander in Iraq, said the build-up of American forces in Baghdad since late January had produced positive outcomes. These included the killing or capture of al-Qa'ida fighters, causing the terrorist group to lose influence with local Sunnis.

The strategic gains against insurgents would lead to a changed and possibly longer-term role for Australian troops, shifting from security operations to a focus on training Iraqi soldiers and police.

General Petraeus told The Australian during a face-to-face interview at his Baghdad headquarters there had been a 75 per cent reduction in religious and ethnic killings since last year, a doubling in the seizure of insurgents' weapons caches between January and August, a rise in the number of al-Qa'ida "kills and captures" and a fall in the number of coalition deaths from roadside bombings.

"We say we have achieved progress, and we are obviously going to do everything we can to build on that progress and we believe al-Qa'ida is off balance at the very least," he said.

The Captain notes;
How have things changed in Iraq? Petraeus compared the previous condition of Ramadi to Stalingrad. The general told the newspaper that having to stay on defense had taken its toll on American strength and had emboldened the enemy. Switching to offense has changed everything, and AQI simply cannot contend with a modern army with initiative on its side.

That's not the only progress that the general will report. Petraeus will tell Congress that sectarian violence has dropped 75% since last December. He will also call that one of the most important measures of success, which makes sense, as the sectarian violence had been the biggest obstacle to political reconciliation.

Expect more Democrats to abandon the white flag brigade and embrace the surge as their own idea and that they never had any doubt that it would succeed.



UPDATE: Ed Morrissey catches Harry Reid in desperation mode already.
The final straw for Reid came when he dropped the war debate entirely. He figured that Iraq would get worse and the pressure on Republicans would increase. Unfortunately, Reid miscalculated again. The end of the debate gave the surge some breathing space, and the perception of its success got shaped by actual facts and news rather than Democrat spin.

Now Reid wants to cut a deal, and he's desperate to get it done while he has any credibility left at all. He's broken from his hard-line stance about timetables for withdrawal, and now he's just talking about using back-door methods to get modest troop reductions with no firm date at all to end the mission. After Petraeus reports to Congress on the military progress from the surge and on the political reform agreement engineered by Maliki, Reid will have little standing to declare the war "lost" as he did just a few months ago.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

You've got to be kidding me!

Colo. School Bans Tag on Its Playground

Aug 30, 7:44 AM (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) - An elementary school has banned tag on its playground after some children complained they were harassed or chased against their will.

"It causes a lot of conflict on the playground," said Cindy Fesgen, assistant principal of the Discovery Canyon Campus school.

Running games are still allowed as long as students don't chase each other, she said.

Fesgen said two parents complained to her about the ban but most parents and children didn't object.

In 2005, two elementary schools in the nearby Falcon School District did away with tag and similar games in favor of alternatives with less physical contact. School officials said the move encouraged more students to play games and helped reduce playground squabbles.

Imagine that? Kids were chased during a game of tag.

Remember the drunk astronauts story?

Just a thought...

If Sen. Larry Craig were a Democrat would this still be a big scandal? Some don't think so.

Another NY Times correction should be forthcoming...

The NY Times really should know better; (via InstaPundit)
It is an eminently good thing that the anti-suicide measure would require medical specialists to keep track of veterans found to be high risks for suicide. But that’s to care for them as human beings, under that other constitutional right — to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Respect for the grave sacrifices by veterans requires the Senate to strike down the Coburn ploy and hurry this vital measure to President Bush.

I'm not a constitutional expert but that line is not in the Constitution....

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

MoveOn would rather Baird lie about what he saw in Iraq...

and the ad features a pre-surge soldier from 2003-2004. From The Hill;
MoveOn targets pro-surge Democrat

By Aaron Blake
August 29, 2007

Rep. Brian Baird’s (D-Wash.) recent conversion on the Iraq war is beginning to affect more than the national dialogue. On Wednesday, liberal group MoveOn.org announced an ad campaign against the congressman in his own district.

Baird recently returned from a trip to Iraq and reversed his position on a withdrawal timetable, citing military progress in the four-year-old war.

MoveOn is calling the move a “flip-flop” and says it goes against the views of his constituents.

The ad does not make specific reference to Baird’s conversion. Instead, it features a soldier who served in Iraq talking about the amount of resistance troops encountered and at the end asks viewers to tell Baird to bring the troops home.

The soldier in the ad served in Iraq in 2003 and 2004 and describes a scene from that time, long before the current troop increase that Baird has cited as the reason for military progress.

Baird voted against the war in 2003 and had opposed it until last month. Republicans have been quick to key on his remarks as evidence of progress in Iraq.

MoveOn disagrees, calling the war “unwinnable.”

“So far this has been one of the bloodiest summers in Iraq, and voters don’t want to continue down a failed path,” said MoveOn campaigner Nita Chaudhary. “They want representatives who will stand up to President Bush’s reckless policy and bring our troops home.”

Baird has represented a swing district in southwest Washington since 1998 but has not seen strong challenges in recent years. He has taken more than 60 percent of the vote in each of the last three elections.

More Seattle Ferry info...

Check out Captains Quarters for more info on the two guys apparently casing the Seattle Ferry system.


Will the media care? Three guesses...

Yesterday the Wall Street Journal had a story about a The Paw family in California donating over $200,000 to Democratic candidates since 2005. That alone is not necessarily unusual until you look a little deeper. The Paws live in a 1280 sq ft. house that they recently refinanced for $270,000. William Paw is a mail carrier for USPS. Alice Paw is a homemaker, meaning she doesn't work. Their donations rank up there with those of people living in Greenwich CT and Manhattan's Upper East Side. This is a picture of their house in Califirnia;

The WSJ goes on to discover that the dontions by The Paws' closely match the donations of Norman Hsu, a wealthy New York business man. By a strange coincidence Hsu once listed the Paw home address as his own. In another coincidence Hsu is the top fund raiser for Hillary Clinton.

Read the whole article, it's very interesting.

And today the LA Times has their own piece on Mr. Hsu who they claim is fugitive and they also build on what the WSJ reported yesterday;
Democratic fundraiser is a fugitive in plain sight

California authorities have sought businessman Norman Hsu for 15 years. Since 2004, he has carved out a place of honor raising cash for such candidates as Hillary Rodham Clinton.

By Chuck Neubauer and Robin Fields, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers
August 29, 2007

WASHINGTON -- For the last 15 years, California authorities have been trying to figure out what happened to a businessman named Norman Hsu, who pleaded no contest to grand theft, agreed to serve up to three years in prison and then seemed to vanish.

"He is a fugitive," Ronald Smetana, who handled the case for the state attorney general, said in an interview. "Do you know where he is?"

Hsu, it seems, has been hiding in plain sight, at least for the last three years.

Since 2004, one Norman Hsu has been carving out a prominent place of honor among Democratic fundraisers. He has funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions into party coffers, much of it earmarked for presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York.

In addition to making his own contributions, Hsu has honed the practice of assembling packets of checks from contributors who bear little resemblance to the usual Democratic deep pockets: A self-described apparel executive with a variety of business interests, Hsu has focused on delivering hefty contributions from citizens who live modest lives and are neophytes in the world of campaign giving.

The question is will the media take notice and report this with the same gusto that they are with the Larry Craig story?

Monday, August 27, 2007

See how easy it is?

A little enforcement here, a little there and see what happens? From the Arizona Republic;
Undocumented immigrants are starting to leave Arizona because of the new employer-sanctions law.

The state's strong economy has been a magnet for illegal immigrants for years. But a growing number are pulling up stakes out of fear they will be jobless come Jan. 1, when the law takes effect. The departures are drawing cheers from immigration hard-liners and alarm from business owners already seeing a drop in sales.

It's impossible to count how many undocumented immigrants have fled because of the new law. But based on interviews with undocumented immigrants, immigrant advocates, community leaders and real-estate agents, at least several hundred have left since Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano signed the bill on July 2. There are an estimated 500,000 illegal immigrants in Arizona.

Some are moving to other states, where they think they will have an easier time getting jobs. Others are returning to Mexico, selling their effects and putting their houses on the market.

The number departing is expected to mushroom as the Jan. 1 deadline draws closer. After that, the law will require employers to verify the employment eligibility of their workers through a federal database.

And other states are following, Oklahoma and Georgia to name two.

Gonzo is Gonzo

NY Times;
Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, whose tenure has been marred by controversy and accusations of perjury before Congress, has resigned. A senior administration official said he would announce the decision later this morning in Washington.

First military progress and now....

So Hillary and Carl Levin and all the other screaming about no political progress...what will the say now? Probably nothing positive, but this is positive news;
Iraq's leaders agree on key benchmarks

By Waleed Ibrahim and Wisam Mohammed Sun Aug 26, 6:27 PM ET

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq's top Shi'ite, Sunni Arab and Kurdish political leaders announced on Sunday they had reached consensus on some key measures seen as vital to fostering national reconciliation.
ADVERTISEMENT

The agreement by the five leaders was one of the most significant political developments in Iraq for months and was quickly welcomed by the United States, which hopes such moves will ease sectarian violence that has killed tens of thousands.

But skeptics will be watching for action amid growing frustration in Washington over the political paralysis that has gripped the government of Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

White House spokeswoman Emily Lawrimore congratulated Iraq's leaders on the accord, hailing it in a statement as "an important symbol of their commitment to work together for the benefit of all Iraqis."

The apparent breakthrough comes two weeks before U.S. President George W. Bush's top officials in Iraq present a report that could have a major influence on future American policy in Iraq.

"I hope that this agreement will help Iraq move beyond the political impasse," Deputy Prime Minister Barham Salih told Reuters. "The five leaders representing Iraq's major political communities .... affirmed the principle of collective leadership to help deal with the many challenges faced by Iraq."

Maliki's appearance on Iraqi television with the four other leaders at a brief news conference was a rare show of public unity.

The other officials present were President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd; Sunni Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi; Shi'ite Vice President Adel Abdul-Mahdi, and Masoud Barzani, president of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.

Iraqi officials said the five leaders had agreed on draft legislation that would ease curbs on former members of Saddam Hussein's Baath party joining the civil service and military.

Consensus was also reached on a law governing provincial powers as well as setting up a mechanism to release some detainees held without charge, a key demand of Sunni Arabs since the majority being held are Sunnis.

The laws need to be passed by Iraq's fractious parliament, which has yet to receive any of the drafts.

OIL LAW

Yasin Majid, a media adviser to Maliki, told Reuters the leaders also endorsed a draft oil law, which has already been agreed by the cabinet but has not yet gone to parliament.

But a statement from Talabani's office said more discussions were needed on the draft oil law and constitutional reforms. Committees had also been formed to try to ensure a "balance" of Shi'ites, Sunni Arabs and Kurds in government.

The oil law is seen as the most important in a package of measures stalled by political infighting in Maliki's government.

The lack of action has frustrated Washington, which has been urging more political progress before the pivotal report on Iraq is presented to the U.S. Congress around September 11.

The report by the U.S. military commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, and ambassador Ryan Crocker, is seen as a watershed moment in the unpopular four-year-old war, with Democrats likely to use the negligible political progress to press their case for troops to begin pulling out soon.

Bush is pleading for patience, pointing to the military's apparent success in reducing levels of violence between majority Shi'ite Muslims and minority Sunni Arabs.

The White House's Lawrimore said in her statement that the United States would "continue to support these brave leaders and all the Iraqi people in their efforts to overcome the forces of terror who seek to overwhelm Iraq's democracy.

"The President also welcomes the desire of the Iraqi leadership to develop a strategic partnership with the United States based on common interests."

But Democrats are not convinced, and presidential hopeful Senator Hillary Clinton and fellow Senator Carl Levin have called for Maliki to be replaced.

Maliki hit back on Sunday, saying: "There are American officials who consider Iraq as if it were one of their villages, for example Hillary Clinton and Carl Levin."

"This is severe interference in our domestic affairs. Carl Levin and Hillary Clinton are from the Democratic Party and they must demonstrate democracy," he said. "I ask them to come to their senses and to talk in a respectful way about Iraq."

(Additional reporting by Mariam Karouny, Peter Graff, Aseel Kami)

Of course the Washington Post finds this such a huge piece of the news that they found room for it on page 9 of today's paper. Hasn't the media ( and the Dems ) been clamoring for political progress? Wouldn't this news qualify as progress? And if so wouldn't this deserve front page placement? (Via The Captain)

That would be like reporting success....Ah, now I see why its on page 9.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Well Perez Hilton says it so it must be true...

Sources reveal exclusively to PerezHilton.com that U.S. officials will be holding a press conference shortly to announce the death of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. South Florida police organizations are calling in reinforcements before the announcement is made, we're told. PerezHilton.com was the first media outlet in the world to break the news ...

We shall see...

Did Fred Thompson just announce?

At a fundraiser on Nashville Fred Thompson said this;
“Sometime in the next few weeks, we’ll officially have our hat in the ring.”


Media misrepresents Warner comments

Well...what else is new?
GOP Senator Calls for Troop Withdrawals

Aug 24, 6:03 AM (ET)

By ANNE FLAHERTY

(AP) Sen. John Warner, R-Va., discusses his recent trip to Iraq during a news conference in Washington...
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WASHINGTON (AP) - Sen. John Warner's call for troop withdrawals from Iraq is likely to ratchet up pressure on President Bush substantially and lend momentum to Democratic efforts to end U.S. combat.

Warner, R-Va., former chairman of the Armed Services Committee and Navy secretary during the Vietnam War, said Bush should bring some troops home by Christmas. Doing so, he told reporters Thursday, would send a powerful message that the U.S. commitment in Iraq was not open-ended.

Warner says the president should get to decide when and how many troops should leave. Bush has opposed setting a date to pull out troops and contends that conditions on the ground should dictate deployments.

Actually he did not say that. He suggested a symbolic withdrawal of 5000 troops by Christmas to send a messgae. And he specifically said he would not support or vote for a troop withdrawal date.

So what exactly is the "turning point" that Brian Williams is talking about?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I didn't say what you heard me say...

Stephon Marbury says that he didn't say what what he said because TV is putting words in his mouth, or something like that;
Knicks guard has change of heart about Vick

ESPN.com news services

NEW YORK -- It didn't take long for New York Knicks guard Stephon Marbury to go from defending Michael Vick to distancing himself from the soon-to-be-imprisoned Atlanta Falcons quarterback.

After being criticized for his remarks Monday for calling dogfighting a sport and comparing it to hunting, Marbury told the New York Post for Thursday's editions that he despises dogfighting and that Vick "is 100 percent wrong."

"I don't like it at all," Marbury said of dogfighting. "I don't think [Vick's] right. But this dude is trying to ask for forgiveness. ... The way the way it's going about in the newspapers and TV, it's ridiculous."

Marbury also said he never called dogfighting a sport.

"I said, 'From what I hear, dogfighting was a sport.' They're editing me on TV," he said.


On Monday, Vick said through a lawyer that he will plead guilty to a federal charge of conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce in aid of unlawful activities and conspiracy to sponsor a dog in an animal fighting venture. He will be sentenced Aug. 27 in Richmond and also faces possible prosecution on state charges.

Speaking hours after Vick announced he would agree to plead guilty, Marbury -- while promoting his basketball shoe in Albany, N.Y. -- told reporters he was in Vick's corner.

"I think it's tough," Marbury said, according to Albany TV station Capital News 9. "I think, you know, we don't say anything about people who shoot deer or shoot other animals. You know, from what I hear, dogfighting is a sport. It's just behind closed doors.

"I think it's tough that we build Michael Vick up and then we break him down. I think he's one of the superb athletes, and he's a good human being. I just think that he fell into a bad situation."

Someone that executes dogs after they lose a fight with another dog is not a good person...

Mexico doesn't even want her...

Poor Elvira Arellano. Even the Mexico Senate says she should not have been deported back to her own country. From the USA Today;
Mexican Senate sides with mom deported from USA

MEXICO CITY (AP) — A Mexican Senate committee passed a measure Wednesday urging President Felipe Calderon to send a diplomatic note to the United States protesting the deportation of an illegal migrant who took refuge in a Chicago church for a year.

The committee also approved a scholarship to help her 8-year-old U.S.-born son, Saul, who is an American citizen and stayed in the United States.

Elvira Arellano, 32, became an activist and a national symbol for illegal immigrant parents by defying her deportation order and speaking out from her sanctuary in the Adalberto United Methodist Church. She announced last week that she was leaving to try to lobby U.S. lawmakers for immigration reform.

On Sunday, shortly after she spoke at a rally in a Los Angeles church, she was arrested and deported to Tijuana, across the border from San Diego.

"We cannot remain quiet in view of this injustice and must ask for firm action from our authorities," Mexican Sen. Humberto Zazue said.

The Decider = Seattle PI

The managing editor scolds us dumb folk about the Seattle ferry photo flap;
"I understand that people have a hard time with the concept that we get to decide what is news and what isn't..."

Well, I look forward to reading what the Seattle PI decides what is news and what is not news in tomorrow's edition...


Update: Media Blog found an example of more important news at the Seattle PI

Clinton vs. Chris Wallace

Remember the big fight Clinton had with Chris Wallace when he dared ask Clinton why he didn't try to kill Bin Laden? Clinton freaked out and said that he tried really really hard to kill him? Well, I guess not;
The report also criticized intelligence problems when Bill Clinton was president, detailing political and legal “constraints” agency officials felt in the late 1990s. In September 2006, during a famous encounter with Fox News anchor Wallace, Clinton erupted in anger and waived his finger when asked about whether his administration had done enough to get bin Laden. “What did I do? What did I do?” Clinton said at one point. “I worked hard to try to kill him. I authorized a finding for the CIA to kill him. We contracted with people to kill him. I got closer to killing him than anybody has gotten since.”

Clinton appeared to have been referring to a December 1999 Memorandum of Notification (MON) he signed that authorized the CIA to use lethal force to capture, not kill, bin Laden. But the inspector general’s report made it clear that the agency never viewed the order as a license to “kill” bin Laden—one reason it never mounted more effective operations against him. “The restrictions in the authorities given the CIA with respect to bin Laden, while arguably, although ambiguously, relaxed for a period of time in late 1998 and early 1999, limited the range of permissible operations,” the report stated. (Scheuer agreed with the inspector general’s findings on this issue, but said if anything the report was overly diplomatic. “There was never any ambiguity,” he said. “None of those authorities ever allowed us to kill anyone. At least that’s what the CIA lawyers told us.” A spokesman for the former president had no immediate comment.)



Jackie Mason unleashed!

Hysterical!

Some good news on the enforcement front

WizBang reports that illegals are fleeing Oklahoma due to a new law that is set to go into effect. Kansas and Arkansas are going to implement similar laws.


Finally, We are Seeing Some States Crackdown on Illegal Immigration (Wizbang)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Oh my, Dems need to recalibrate their recalibration

Just as the Washington Post reports that the Dems have to recalibrate their position on Iraq due to the military successes occurring in Iraq over to attacking the political situtation we get this bit of news (via Gateway Pundit);
Baghdad, 22 August (AKI) - The leader of Iraq's banned Baath party, Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, has decided to join efforts by the Iraqi authorities to fight al-Qaeda, one of the party's former top officials, Abu Wisam al-Jashaami, told pan-Arab daily Al Hayat.

"AlDouri has decided to sever ties with al-Qaeda and sign up to the programme of the national resistance, which includes routing Islamist terrorists and opening up dialogue with the Baghdad government and foreign forces," al-Jashaami said.

Al-Douri has decided to deal directly with US forces in Iraq, according to al-Jashaami. He figures in the 55-card deck of "most wanted" officials from the former Iraqi regime issued by the US government.

In return, for cooperating in the fight against al-Qaeda, al-Douri has asked for guarantees over his men's safety and for an end to Iraqi army attacks on his militias.

They are running out of available calibrations...

AP: Suspicious package on Seattle ferry

So will they now find a reason to publish the photos of the two middle eastern men the FBI is looking for?
Discovery of 'suspicious package' delays state ferry service

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

SEATTLE -- A "suspicious package" was found at the height of the Wednesday morning commute on one of the largest ferries in the Washington state fleet, idling the vessel for about an hour.

The 460-foot Puyallup had just been emptied of cars and passengers after arriving at Colman Dock from Bainbridge Island about 8 a.m. when the package was found behind the toilet in the disabled passenger stall in the men's restroom, said Marta Coursey, a spokeswoman for the ferry system.

Following a search and examination by State Patrol troopers, the 2,500-passenger, 202-vehicle capacity ferry was cleared to resume service about 9 a.m., Coursey said.

The Seattle Times is reporting that what was found was possible remnants of a bomb that had not functioned correctly.

Security alert or Haiku contest ?

The Seattle PI still refuses to publish the photos of the two middle eastern looking men (via Captains Quarters) seen multiple times acting suspiciously on ferries in Seattle. But they have asked their readers to write a haiku poem concerning the issue.

No I am not kidding.

I like this one from Dani B:
Don't be proactive
More readers if ferry sinks
Post pictures after

Some others are here via Michelle Malkin

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

JOhn Edwards said what?

"I'm going to be honest with you, I don't know a lot about Cuba's healthcare system. Is it a government-run system?"

Iraq media coverage down as surge strategy works...

PEJ Study: War Coverage Down, Campaign Reporting Up

By Joe Strupp

Published: August 20, 2007 12:10 AM Monday

NEW YORK Coverage of events related to the Iraq War decreased during the second quarter of 2007, but remained the top news issue, according to the Project for Excellence in Journalism, which noted 15% of stories across print, broadcast and online dealt with Iraq-related issues.

That is down from 22% during the first quarter of the year.
As in the first quarter, the Fox News Channel devoted roughly half as much coverage to the war (8%) than its rivals, CNN (18%) and MSNBC (15%).

What a coincidence! Just as the surge strategy is working and the Dems ( and some Republicans) who were against the surge now are saying it is working...

How long before we are told what she really said..

Hillary says new tactics working, so we must leave before we win...

Gotta get out before we win...but McCain says not so fast...
Clinton, McCain split on Iraq pullout

By JOHN HANNA, Associated Press Writer Mon Aug 20, 8:58 PM ET

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - New military tactics in Iraq are working but the best way to honor U.S. soldiers is "by beginning to bring them home," Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton told war veterans Monday.

Clinton, seeking the Democratic nomination for president, praised the work that soldiers have done in Iraq but described the government there as "on vacation," leaving American troops in the middle of a sectarian war.

Later the Veterans of Foreign Wars were told by Sen. John McCain, who is seeking the GOP nomination, that withdrawing from Iraq would be a historic mistake — far worse than previous U.S. missteps in the country.

McCain said he understands that Americans are "sick and tired" of the war, which he said hasn't gone well. Still, he said Gen. David Petraeus and other military leaders deserve patience.

Petraeus, the U.S. commander who will report to Congress on progress in Iraq next month, told the group that in some areas, partnerships between coalition forces and Iraqi soldiers are "quite robust." He also said that Iraqi losses have been three times those suffered by the U.S.-led coalition.

The hits just keep on coming!

From Gallup;
"A new Gallup Poll finds Congress' approval rating the lowest it has been since Gallup first tracked public opinion of Congress with this measure in 1974. Just 18% of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing, while 76% disapprove, according to the August 13-16, 2007, Gallup Poll."

Monday, August 20, 2007

Deported

Since then, Elvira Arellano has become the local face, the local symbol, for immigration reform. Last week, she left that church for the first time since seeking refuge to take her message on the road, knowing full well she could be arrested and deported under a 1997 order by federal immigration officials.

And she was...good!

The first step she can take to reform immigration is for her to enter the country legally...and start the process the way she should have back in 1997 when she first entered the country illegally. She was then deported, returned illegally in 2000. She then was arrested and convicted in 2002 for working under a false social security number. She was suppose to surrender to authorities in August 2006 but took refuge in the Humboldt Park church for over a year. She was arrested over the weekend when she left the church to participate in a pro-illegal immigrant rally in Los Angeles. She was deported yesterday and is back in Mexico where she will no doubt reenter the US illegally.

Cookies, I like cookies...

From Howard Kurtz of the WaPo;
In an embarrassment to the industry, some staffers at a Seattle Times news meeting cheered when Rove’s resignation was announced. To his credit, Editor David Boardman made the incident public and warned that staff meetings should not “evolve into a liberal latte klatch.” Rove responded by sending a basket of cookies to the newsroom, with a note saying “my wife shares in your enthusiasm."

But there is no media bias...

Women's Radio Network fails


FEMINISTS' HOT AIR
'WOMEN-RUN' RADIO NETWORK FALTERS

By CARRIE LUKAS

August 20, 2007 -- TO thunderous acclaim from the liberal intelligentsia, a team of feminist icons - including Gloria Steinem and Jane Fonda - last year launched a women-run radio network. The mainstream media dutifully parroted press releases describing the launch as a "breakthrough" for women in the male-dominated world of talk radio.

The Boston Globe, for example, proclaimed that "GreenStone gives women an outlet." Business Week described the venture as "Talk Radio Minus The Testosterone."

Last Friday, GreenStone Media signed off for good.
Why did this effort fail? After all, the programming carefully was designed by feminist experts to appeal to female tastes. According to Steinem, "women are more and more turned off by the hostility and argumentative nature of AM talk radio." Greenstone Media was supposed to capitalize on that by offering a different tenor, more "community" and greater respect for different points of views.

"Well, George, I was going to say good morning...and, as soon as I wake up, I'll answer your question."

Best answer of the Dem debate from yesterday morning from Hillary Clinton...

By the way the question was is Obama ready to be president...

Scott Thomas Affair - who it happened.

Interesting story from Richard Miniter over at Pajamasmedia.com on how The New Republic was snookered again and what the latest is on the scandal. One interesting point not known until now;
What Foer did not tell McGee [the whistlebower] was that Beauchamp was married to Elspeth Reeve, one of the magazine’s three fact-checkers (a point that the press missed too). So Beauchamp was effectively an insider—and would get treated as such.

Read the whole thing here.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Making money off one of his Americas?

But would he have done the same if no one ever found out? From the NY Times;
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, who has called homeownership ''the foundation of the American dream,'' said Friday he will divest his holdings in funds linked to lenders that have foreclosed on Hurricane Katrina victims.

''I will not have my family's money involved in these firms that are foreclosing on people in New Orleans,'' he told the Associated Press.

Edwards has reported $29.5 million in assets, millions of which are invested in the hedge fund Fortress Investment Group., a company that paid him nearly half a million dollars last year for consulting advice.

"Making Up Crap"

Sen. Patty Murray (and by association Harry Reid) exploited the Minnesota bridge collapse to new levels of absurdity;
Murray: "I have learned of a bridge where school buses have to stop and let all of the children out and pick them up on the other side because of weight restrictions."

See Captain Ed for more.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Seemed like a furious rally to me...


Off lows? Thats like saying Roger Clemens won today without allowing any hits.

President moves to alter Constitution to allow limitless terms

Well the left howled about how the President was going to change the Constitution to remove the presidential term limits and essentially allow him to run for President endlessly...Well it looks like they were right.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Proposes Changes to Constitution Allowing His Perpetual Re-Election

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

CARACAS, Venezuela — President Hugo Chavez called for changes to Venezuela's constitution Wednesday night, delivering a key address pitching reforms that are expected to allow him to be re-elected indefinitely.

Chavez, speaking to the National Assembly, said the changes affect "less than 10 percent" of the constitution but would bring Venezuela "new horizons for the new era." Chavez, who is seeking to transform Venezuelan society along socialist lines, denied he wants lifelong power as his opponents allege.

"They accuse me of making plans to be in power forever or to concentrate power. We know it isn't like that. It's power of the people," Chavez said. "So many lies in the world. I doubt there is any country on this planet with a democracy more alive than the one we enjoy in Venezuela today."

Critics accuse Chavez of seeking to remain as president for decades to come, like his close friend Fidel Castro in Cuba. They argue his main goal is to expand his power and ensure he will be able to run again in 2012.

Chavez's political allies firmly control the National Assembly, which is expected to approve the reform plan within months. The plan then would have to be approved by citizens in a national referendum.
Related

Chavez has previously stressed the need to do away with presidential term limits that currently prevent him from seeking re-election in 2012. But he began his speech discussing what he called a transition to "a new society" and other reforms, including territorial changes.

"There are 33 articles that starting tomorrow will begin to be read, analyzed, criticized," Chavez said, adding that with the speech "a great debate" begins. He made clear who he expects to oppose him, saying: "We can defeat the forces of (U.S.) imperialism and the servile oligarchy."

Before lawmakers, Chavez held up a small copy of the country's current constitution, dating to his first term in 1999, and called it one of the world's "most advanced" but said he and members of a presidential commission have been "working intensely" on ways to improve it.

Chavez waved to a crowd of cheering supporters as he walked into the legislature with fireworks exploding overhead. His opponents, meanwhile, attacked the reform plan.

"Chavez is seeking to reduce the territory held by the opposition and give his intention to remain in power a legal foundation," said Gerardo Blyde, an opposition leader and former lawmaker.

He said many other reforms are likely to be "red capes" like those used by a bullfighter "to distract Venezuelans from his real objective."

Venezuela's Roman Catholic Bishops' Conference has also complained that Chavez's reform proposals were drafted without public involvement.

Chavez, a former paratrooper commander who was first elected in 1998, denies copying Cuba and insists that personal freedoms will be respected. He and his supporters say democracy has flourished under his administration, noting he has repeatedly won elections by wide margins.

In Washington, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Wednesday that the United States would wait for details of Chavez's proposal before commenting on it. He added that Chavez in the past "has taken a number of different steps ... that have really eroded some of the underpinnings of democracy in Venezuela."

Since his re-election to a new six-year term in December, Chavez has alarmed opponents who claim that he is headed toward Cuba-style communism.

Chavez, a former paratrooper commander who was first elected in 1998, denies copying Cuba and insists that personal freedoms will be respected. He and his supporters say democracy has flourished under his administration, noting he has repeatedly won elections by wide margins.

Chavez pushed through a new constitution in 1999, shortly after he was first elected. He said the charter must be redrafted so that Venezuela's capitalist system "finishes dying" to make way for socialism.

Ahead of Chavez's speech, actors sang in the National Assembly as they performed a scene from the life of South American independence hero Simon Bolivar, the spiritual father of the socialist movement that Chavez calls the Bolivarian Revolution.

Crowds of red-clad supporters cheered outside the National Assembly, holding flags and signs reading: "Yes to the reform, on the path to 21st Century Socialism." Giant video screens were set up, and folk music blared from sound trucks near a two-story-tall inflatable figure of Chavez.

Hours earlier, U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said in Washington that the United States would wait for details of Chavez's proposal before commenting on it. He added that Chavez in the past "has taken a number of different steps ... that have really eroded some of the underpinnings of democracy in Venezuela."

Sound familiar?

This sounds mighty familier....
Pipe bombs found in car during Boynton traffic stop

By Kevin Deutsch

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

BOYNTON BEACH — What started as a traffic stop on a gold Nissan Sentra early this morning led to the discovery of two pipe bombs, masks and gloves and 15-feet of PVC pipe inside the car.

Boynton Beach police have detained the four men who were inside the car when Officer Vincent Haugh stopped it in on North Federal Highway around 2:24 a.m.

Three suspects are from suburban Lake Worth. The fourth is from Boynton Beach. Their ages range from 21 to 22. Police are not releasing their names.

Haugh stopped the car after he saw one of the men throw something out a window. When he approached the vehicle and asked for identification, none of the occupants had any to provide.

The men were asked to step out of the car.

As they did, Haugh noticed what looked like two pipe bombs on the floorboard.

The devices were about the size of a fist. Each was wrapped in duct tape and had a fuse.

Police also found masks and gloves.

In the trunk of the car they discovered about 15-feet of PVC pipe.

The sheriff’s office bomb unit and ATF were notified and the road was closed off from the 500 block of N. Federal Highway to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

The bomb unit confirmed the devices were pipe bombs and destroyed them at 5:26 a.m., and 5:34 a.m., police said.

One of the suspects told investigators they had been making pipe bombs, police said. Their motive was not known.

I am sure they are good boys you love their families. It must be all a big mistake.

Wonder why they are not releasing their names?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Clean Is Happy

I can't believe they made me want one, but I do...

CleanIsHappy.com

More media Rove reactions

Michelle Malkin's got the news...stand up and cheer!

Maybe they're just cheap bastards!

During a report on people defrauding hospitals in order to not pay their insurance fees;
"As egregious as this sounds, it may be another example of how fed up people are with the health care system. One survey found one in ten people believe it's okay to submit false claims or collect when you don't deserve it."

So which is it?

Imus being sued, after settling for $20 million.

I am sure she is a very nice person and what Imus said was disgusting, but come on, how much damage to her reputation really occurred? Imus apologized, repeatedly. He met with the team who then accepted his apology. He was fired from his job. I think it was Imus reputation that was more damaged by this then anyone on the Rutgers womens basketball team.

But hey, there's money to be made...

Rutgers Player Sues Imus, CBS Radio - AOL News

Not cool!

The Miami Herald is on a quest, looking for the cool Republican, because all Democrats by default are cool, so there must be one cool Republican, right?

I nominate....myself.

My search for cool among Republicans
Posted on Sat, Aug. 11, 2007

BY BETH REINHARD
breinhard@herald.com

The good-looking hipster with the slicked back, slightly mussed hair looks out from his dark shades.

''He's a Republican,'' reads the billboard spotted around South Florida in recent weeks. ``But you don't see that.''

A Sunglass Hut official denied that the ad is a political statement, but its message is clear: Being a Republican isn't cool (unless you have fabulous hair and expensive sunglasses). Is that you, Karl Rove, behind those Foster Grants?

The ad's undertone harkens back to Michael J. Fox's buttoned-up role as a teenaged conservative on the 1980s sitcom Family Ties. His character, Alex P. Keaton, was cute, but he was a square in a suit -- and that's when Ronald Reagan was a popular president.

Thus began a Miami Herald quest for Republican cool. First up: Todd Goberville, 32, chairman of the Florida Young Republicans.

He was about to go scuba diving in the Keys, which seemed promising. Goberville is a director of sales for a construction company. A little corporate, but it might work.

Then came the buzzkill: ''My favorite place to shop is Men's Wearhouse,'' he said.

Here's a tip: Any clothing store that conjures a vast, dusty repository -- i.e. Dress Barn, for women -- is more about selection than soul.

Goberville was undeterred.

''I own an iPod,'' he said. ``I have some stuff on there that my 13-year-old step-daughter listens to -- like Fergie.''

Better.

An inquiry was made about his home address. Miami Beach? Design District? Downtown Fort Lauderdale?

''Parkland,'' he said, referring to the western Broward suburb whose claim to fame is its single traffic light. ``My kids like it. That's what's important.''

Apparently, this Young Republican isn't young enough.

GOING DIGITAL

Next: Erin VanSickle, 28, press secretary for the Republican Party of Florida.

VanSickle wouldn't reveal much, like any good press secretary, but she did point to the state party's newly redesigned website at www.rpof.org as full of podcasts and videos, with blogs forthcoming.

''We are really making an effort to reach out to the new media generation,'' she said.

Temperature dropping slightly, but still not totally cool.

Last try: Steven Muñoz, 18, who recently stepped down as chairman of the Florida Teenage Republicans.

He listens to indie rock. Has a MySpace page. Drives a Jeep Wrangler.

Sounds pretty cool to me.

Asked about the Sunglass Hut ad, Muñoz said the GOP needs to do more to convince kids that it is not just a party for ``rich guys.''

'It bothers me that Democrats get associated with popular culture, like MTV, just because you don't see [Republican presidential candidate] Mitt Romney on stage with P. Diddy saying `Vote or Die,' '' Muñoz said. ``That's part of being a conservative, I guess, being a little more pulled back.''

NO POLITICAL AGENDA

Sunglass Hut insists the ad isn't poking at the GOP.

''It's creative, just for fun,'' said Anna Livecchi, the company's public relations manager. ``It's about altering perception. . . When you wear sunglasses, you can become another person.''

Exactly. My advice to Muñoz, who is heading off to college this week: Get the shades. To quote the Men's Wearhouse commercials, ``You're going to like the way you look. I guarantee it.''

Beth Reinhard is the political writer for The Miami Herald.

NY Times linked to defacing Wikipedia entries

Someone has created a handy little utility that tracks and identifies IP addresses of whoever makes editing changes on Wikipedia. It also shows what the entry was and what it was changed to. Very slick. It seems that some clowns over at the NY Times have been changing Wikipedia entries on conservatives and Republicans represented on the site. See here here and here.

I wonder if the NY Times will report on this?

.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

NASA fixes hottest year goof

Red faces at NASA over climate-change blunder

Agency roasted after Toronto blogger spots `hot years' data fumble
Aug 14, 2007 04:30 AM

DANIEL DALE
STAFF REPORTER

In the United States, the calendar year 1998 ranked as the hottest of them all – until someone checked the math.

After a Toronto skeptic tipped NASA this month to one flaw in its climate calculations, the U.S. agency ordered a full data review.

Days later, it put out a revised list of all-time hottest years. The Dust Bowl year of 1934 now ranks as hottest ever in the U.S. – not 1998.

More significantly, the agency reduced the mean U.S. "temperature anomalies" for the years 2000 to 2006 by 0.15 degrees Celsius.

NASA officials have dismissed the changes as trivial. Even the Canadian who spotted the original flaw says the revisions are "not necessarily material to climate policy."

But the revisions have been seized on by conservative Americans, including firebrand radio host Rush Limbaugh, as evidence that climate change science is unsound.

Said Limbaugh last Thursday: "What do we have here? We have proof of man-made global warming. The man-made global warming is inside NASA ... is in the scientific community with false data."

However Stephen McIntyre, who set off the uproar, described his finding as a "a micro-change. But it was kind of fun."

A former mining executive who runs the blog ClimateAudit.org, McIntyre, 59, earned attention in 2003 when he put out data challenging the so-called "hockey stick" graph depicting a spike in global temperatures.

This time, he sifted NASA's use of temperature anomalies, which measure how much warmer or colder a place is at a given time compared with its 30-year average.

Puzzled by a bizarre "jump" in the U.S. anomalies from 1999 to 2000, McIntyre discovered the data after 1999 wasn't being fractionally adjusted to allow for the times of day that readings were taken or the locations of the monitoring stations.

McIntyre emailed his finding to NASA's Goddard Institute, triggering the data review.

"They moved pretty fast on this," McIntyre said. "There must have been some long faces."

Of course we still have global warming because, well, its hot out there...

Obama steps in it again!

Obama defended his push to prosecute a tougher military effort to root out al-Qaida on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, which drew criticism from primary rivals for sounding too bellicose.

“Now you have narco drug lords who are helping to finance the Taliban, so we’ve got to get the job done there, and that requires us to have enough troops that we are not just air raiding villages and killing civilians, which is causing enormous problems there,’’ Obama said.

Campaign spokesman Reid Cherlin said Obama was not endorsing the current Bush policy, which consists solely of air raids and bombing of civilians.

So not only does Obama say we are killing civilians but his spokesman confirms it.

Going off the cliff...

The greatest comeback in military history?

The Democrats (and some Republicans) are and have been unwittingly setting themselves up for a massive failure of immense proportions. And that failure is not far off.

With Gen. Patraeus expected to report progress next month, the USA Today article from yesterday detailing how major attacks are down 50% since the surge began and now German's Der Spiegel reporting that "the US military is more successful than the world wants to believe" it now appears that the US military is engaged now in the greatest comeback in military history thanks to how the Democrats have portrayed the war to this point.

And now the LA Times is joining the party too.

More real problems of the Clyburn type for the Dems...

Now Der Spiegel, the German magazine that has been vehemently opposed to the Iraq war (they declared Iraq lost on their cover last year) has apparently reconsidered their opinion after sending a reporter to Iraq to see for themselves;
Since June, Ramadi residents have only known the war from televison. Indeed, US military officials at the Baghdad headquarters of Operation Iraqi Freedom often have trouble believing their eyes when they read the reports coming in from their units in Ramadi these days. Exploded car bombs: zero. Detonated roadside bombs: zero. Rocket fire: zero. Grenade fire: zero. Shots from rifles and pistols: zero. Weapons caches discovered: dozens. Terrorists arrested: many.

Ramadi is an irritating contradiction of almost everything the world thinks it knows about Iraq -- it is proof that the US military is more successful than the world wants to believe. Ramadi demonstrates that large parts of Iraq -- not just Anbar Province, but also many other rural areas along the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers -- are essentially pacified today. This is news the world doesn't hear: Ramadi, long a hotbed of unrest, a city that once formed the southwestern tip of the notorious "Sunni Triangle," is now telling a different story, a story of Americans who came here as liberators, became hated occupiers and are now the protectors of Iraqi reconstruction.

And then there is this passage;
There is no doubt that the greatest enemies of success in Iraq are in Tehran and Damascus. Many of the jihadists enter the country through Syria, and Iran supports the terrorists with weapons and money. During their operations, US troops often find brand-new mines and grenades produced in Iranian weapons factories, sometime still in their original packaging.

Isn't that what the administration and military has been saying and that the Dems have for the most part dismissed?

Monday, August 13, 2007

Mainstream media; totally classless!

The following are from the mainstream media (and one presidential candidate) on Karl Rove's resignation, and they wonder why the public hates them.

First we have Chris Matthews' name calling;
Matthews referring to Valerie Plame case: "Yeah but Bush, the President said, that 'anyone of my people involved with leaking this will be taken care of.' Did he, is that what he meant by today's ceremony, the bear hug and everything? Was that being taken care of? And, I mean, I've never seen a staff aide be signed-off on at the presidential helicopter with such majesty. It was almost regal today, like he was knighting the guy. And, and he said he was going to take care of this bum, anybody that leaked in the CIA case. Well this is how he took care of him. He knighted the guy."

Ah Chrissie, I believe he said anyone convicted of a crime would be taken care of.

Next we have Bill Plante of CBS (via TVnewser);
As Karl Rove embraced President Bush today following an emotional farewell announcement on the South Lawn, the solemnity of the moment was shattered by Bill Plante of CBS, who bellowed to Bush: "If he's so smart, how come you lost Congress?"

Nice, and so quick-witted!

And finally from the media darling John Edwards;
"Goodbye, good riddance."


I am sure there are more to come...

Pretty funny

From Rasmussen Reports:

Favorable ratings:

Rove 29%
Congress 25%

Stunningly stupid

The AP continues to peddle that Karl Rove leaked Valerie Plame's name to Robert Novak when we all know that Richard Armitage was the actually leaker, Rove provided confirmation, if you can call it that. From Robert Novak's book;
I mentioned [in a phone call to Rove] that I had heard Wilson’s wife worked for the CIA in the counterproliferation section and that she had suggested Wilson be sent to Niger. I distinctly remember Rove’s reply: “Oh, so you know that, too.”

But the AP reports on Rove's resignation this way;
The most explicit testimony on Rove came from columnist Robert Novak, who outed Plame in a July 2003 column. He testified that Rove, a frequent source, was one of two officials who told him about Plame. Libby, with whom he seldom spoke, was not a source.

Rove, though, was not indicted after testifying five times before the grand jury, occasionally correcting misstatements he made in his earlier testimony.

The jury in Libby’s trial did not hear that testimony, nor did it hear that Rove is credited as an architect of Republican political victories and has been accused by opponents of playing dirty tricks.

All that jurors heard is that Rove leaked Plame’s identity and, from the outset, got political cover from the White House. He was never charged with a crime.



Media duped by altered AQ videos

The Blotter says the background images in recent AQ videos are doctored in order to portray a different location;
For example, in one video of Zawahri released in July of last year, he appears to be seated in a news studio complete with a backdrop of images of the World Trade Center attacks and hijacker Mohammed Atta.

News commentators at the time remarked on how Zawahri, who many assumed to be hiding in a cave, was able to record a video message from a high-tech newsroom.

Krawetz, however, says that background was very likely added after Zawahri filmed his message.

"That's the fakest one so far," said Krawetz.

Krawetz found six different layers on one JPEG from that video, implying the various background components were very likely added after Zawahri recorded his message.

Krawetz says an even more visible clue occurs as the video itself plays, when there is a subtle shifting of the camera. The image of Zawahri appears to move side-to-side as if the camera is shaking while the background remains still.

In another video of Zawahri released in August 2005, the same summer as the bombing attacks on the London subway system, Zawahri appears outside of a tent with his trusted Kalashnikov behind him. At the time, some in the media remarked at the brazen message delivered in broad daylight just a few weeks after the London attacks.

Krawetz, however, notes that while the sunlight moves against the backdrop, the light levels on Zawahri's face never change. Once again, this implies the background could have been added after the video monologue was recorded. While it may appear he is staring into the sun because of the reflection in his eyeglasses, Krawetz speculates he was actually seated in front of a spotlight.

On the eve of the 9/11 anniversary last year, Zawahri and American al Qaeda leader Adam Gadahn released a video in which Gadahn praised the hijackers and their mission. On the tape, Gadahn is seen seated in a white room with a computer and books behind him.

After analyzing the image, Krawetz determined the books were at different error levels and a different color spectrum than the rest of the room, implying they were added when the subtitles and as Sahab logo were added to the video. Whether this was an attempt to send a message to followers, an attempt to hide something else in the background or served any purpose at all remains unclear.

Paging Congressman Clyburn: Attacks down 50% in Iraq

Remember when Congressman Clyburn responded that success in Iraq from the surge would be "a real big problem for us?" Well I guess you've got a problem;
Major attacks decline in Iraq

By Jim Michaels, USA TODAY

The number of truck bombs and other large al-Qaeda-style attacks in Iraq have declined nearly 50% since the United States started increasing troop levels in Iraq about six months ago, according to the U.S. military command in Iraq.

The high-profile attacks — generally large bombs hitting markets, mosques or other "soft" targets that produce mass casualties — have dropped to about 70 in July from a high during the past year of about 130 in March, according to the Multi-National Force — Iraq.

Paging John Murtha

Waiting for a comment from John "Earmark" Murtha, I am sure the media will be all over for him for his thoughts;
Charges Dropped for Two Marines in Haditha Case

NPR.org, August 9, 2007 · Charges have been dropped against Marine Capt. Randy W. Stone and an enlisted marine in connection with the deaths of 24 civilians in 2005 in Haditha, Iraq, the Corp said Thursday. Two other enlisted men are charged with murder, and three other officers besides Stone are accused of failing to adequately investigate the deaths.

The Marine Corps dropped all charges against Stone, a 35-year-old battalion lawyer from Dunkirk, Md., and Lance Cpl. Justin Sharratt, 22, of Canonsburg, Pa.

"It is clear to me that any error of omission or commission by Capt. Stone does not warrant action under the Uniform Code of Military Justice," Lt. Gen. James Mattis wrote in dismissing the charges.

The Corps also said that charges had been dismissed against Sharratt. Prosecutors had alleged that he and other members of his battalion engaged in a revenge-motivated assault on Iraqi civilians after a roadside bomb killed a fellow Marine, Lance Cpl. Miguel Terrazas of El Paso, Texas. Sharratt argued that he fired on the Iraqi men because they were insurgents and at least one was carrying an assault rifle.

Stone and Sharratt are among eight Marines who were originally charged in the case. In April, murder charges were dropped against Marine Sgt. Sanick Dela Cruz; charges are still pending against the remaining defendants.

The decision to drop the charges against Sharratt followed an earlier recommendation from Lt. Col. Paul Ware, a hearing officer.

"The government version is unsupported by independent evidence," Ware wrote. "To believe the government version of facts is to disregard clear and convincing evidence to the contrary."

Ware said prosecution of Sharratt could set a "dangerous precedent that ... may encourage others to bear false witness against Marines as a tactic to erode public support of the Marine Corps and its mission in Iraq."

"Even more dangerous is the potential that a Marine may hesitate at the critical moment when facing the enemy," Ware said.

Friday, August 03, 2007

WaPo calls Reublicans "insurgents" in House rebellion

The Washington Post has called the Republicans that stormed off the House floor last night "insurgents" after the Democrats literally stole a victory from the Republicans.
It was unclear by midday when, or if, Republicans would return. Rep. Patrick McHenry (N.C.), a Republican insurgent, this morning called Democrats "cheaters," prompting a new eruption.

Nice chose of words there...The Democrats who stole the vote away from the Republicans after their own screw up cost them are simply "cheaters" but the Republicans who are understandably angry over what the Democrats are trying to pull are labeled "insurgents." I believe an apology is in order.

And The WaPo has completely mis characterized what actually happened declaring the vote on a agriculture bill as a 214-214 deadlock when in fact the vote was closed with the Republicans winning the vote 215-213. From the Politico;
In a massive flare-up of partisan tensions (video link courtesy Breitbart.tv), Republicans walked out on a House vote late Thursday night to protest what they believed to be Democratic maneuvers to reverse an unfavorable outcome for them.

The flap represents a complete breakdown in parliamentary procedure and a distinct low for the sometimes bitterly divided chamber because members of one party have rarely, if ever, walked off the floor without casting a vote.

The rancor erupted shortly before 11 p.m. as Rep. Michael R. McNulty (D-N.Y.) gaveled close the vote on a standard procedural measure with the outcome still in doubt.

Details remain fuzzy, but numerous Republicans argued afterward that they had secured a 215-213 win on their motion to bar undocumented immigrants from receiving any federal funds apportioned in the agricultural spending bill for employment or rental assistance. Democrats, however, argued the measure was deadlocked at 214-214 and failed, members and aides on both sides of the aisle said afterward.

One GOP aide saw McNulty gavel the vote to a close after receiving a signal from his leaders – but before reading the official tally. And votes continued to shift even after he closed the roll call - a strange development in itself.

Whatever the final tally, acrimony quickly exploded between lawmakers on either side of the aisle as Democratic leaders tried to plot a solution, while parliamentarians on either side argued over protocol.

Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) eventually offered a motion to reconsider, according to floor staff on either side, ostensibly giving members a chance to recast their votes. But the maneuver sparked a chorus of angry protests from the Republicans, yelling “shame” on Democrats, while they returned fire with angry volleys of their own.

When Democrats finally moved to consider the spending bill as the last vote of the night, furious Republicans left the chamber en masse to protest the maneuver. The House eventually recessed at 11:18 p.m. But Republicans quickly discovered that there was no longer any record of the controversial vote and immediately charged Democrats with erasing the bad result.

“Obviously, the Democrats don’t want to stand up against illegal immigration – so much so that they’re willing to cheat in order to win a vote,” Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) said in an e-mail. “They’re desperate – and it shows.”

The official House website did not show a record of the vote as of 1 a.m. Friday.

Bush more trusted on war than Congress

Bush trusted by 24%, Congress gets 3%. Not exactly resounding support for either.

But whot about this number, 3% approve of Congress handling of Iraq.

Thats right, 3% think Congress is doing a good job on its handling of the Iraq war.

UPI/Zogby Poll: 54% Lack Confidence in Bush's Ability As Commander in Chief

Survey shows just 3% of Americans approve of how Congress is handling the war in Iraq; 24% say the same for the President

A majority of American adults (54%) lack confidence in President Bush’s ability as Commander in Chief of the U.S. military, a new UPI/Zogby Interactive poll shows. A majority (60%) said they do not trust the president’s judgment when it comes to the war, while 38% say they have faith in his military decisions.

Just 24% give the president favorable ratings of his performance in handling the war in Iraq, but confidence in Congress is significantly worse – only 3% give Congress positive marks for how it has handled the war. This lack of confidence in Congress cuts across all ideologies. Democrats – some of whom had hoped the now Democrat-led Congress would bring an end to the war in Iraq – expressed overwhelming displeasure with how Congress has handled the war, with 94% giving Congress a negative rating in its handling specifically of that issue.

The online survey was conducted July 13–16, 2007, and included 7,590 respondents. It carries a margin of error of +/– 1.1 percentage points.

House Republicans walk-out in protest!

As well they should have. Simply stunning! From The Politico:
House erupts in chaos

In a massive flare-up of partisan tensions, Republicans walked out on a House vote late Thursday night to protest what they believed to be Democratic maneuvers to reverse an unfavorable outcome for them.

The flap represents a complete breakdown in parliamentary procedure and an unprecedented low for the sometimes bitterly divided chamber.

The rancor erupted shortly before 11 p.m. as Rep. Michael R. McNulty (D-N.Y.) gaveled close the vote on a standard procedural measure with the outcome still in doubt.

Details remain fuzzy, but numerous Republicans argued afterward that they had secured a 215-213 win on their motion to bar undocumented immigrants from receiving any federal funds apportioned in the agricultural spending bill for employment or rental assistance. Democrats, however, argued the measure was deadlocked at 214-214 and failed, members and aides on both sides of the aisle said afterward.

One GOP aide saw McNulty gavel the vote to a close after receiving a signal from his leaders – but before reading the official tally. And votes continued to shift even after he closed the roll call - a strange development in itself.

Whatever the final tally, acrimony quickly exploded between lawmakers on either side of the aisle as Democratic leaders tried to plot a solution, while parliamentarians on either side argued over protocol.

Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) eventually offered a motion to reconsider, according to floor staff on either side, ostensibly giving members a chance to recast their votes. But the maneuver sparked a chorus of angry protests from the Republicans, yelling “shame” on Democrats, while they returned fire with angry volleys of their own.

When Democrats finally moved to consider the spending bill as the last vote of the night, furious Republicans left the chamber en masse to protest the maneuver. The House eventually recessed at 11:18 p.m. But Republicans quickly discovered that there was no longer any record of the controversial vote and immediately charged Democrats with erasing the bad result.

“Obviously, the Democrats don’t want to stand up against illegal immigration – so much so that they’re willing to cheat in order to win a vote,” Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) said in an e-mail. “They’re desperate – and it shows.”

The official House website did not show a record of the vote as of 1 a.m. Friday.

Sorry, wrong country...

This is just unbelievable. Well....it always was.

TNR has issued a statement on their "Shock Troops" piece written by alleged army soldier Scott Thomas Beauchamp claiming that after an exhausting review cut short by the Army's investigation (damn the Army) the entire story is accurate except for one tiny detail. The melted-face-woman that Beauchamp and his friend ridiculed and used as an illustration in the piece of what war can do to a human behavior was not in Iraq as first reported but actually in Kuwait. But wait....it gets better. It turns out, if we are to believe this load of crap, that the disgusting behavior towards the melted-face-woman took place BEFORE Beauchamps deployment in Iraq but after his tour in Germany. So Beauchamp didn't turn into a pathetic excuse for a human being because of the war in Iraq, he was already one before he got there. So the focal point of the story, which Beauchamp used to lead off the piece was just off by one little country. Ok, sure.

See Michelle Malkin for much more on this....

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Why isn't this a federal law?

Georgia voters must show a photo ID in order to vote in that state, via LaShawn Barber;
Georgia voters will be required to show a photo ID at the polls for a special election in September, following several years of court and legislative battles, the secretary of state said Tuesday.

A lawsuit contended the 2006 law was an undue burden on voters, and a Fulton County judge agreed, ruling the law unconstitutional. The Georgia Supreme Court threw out the case, though, finding the plaintiff lacked legal standing to challenge the law. On Friday, the high court denied a motion to reconsider.

Secretary of State Karen Handel said Tuesday that the refusal to reconsider cleared the way for Georgia to implement the law for its Sept. 18 special election. But first, she said, the state will launch an education effort to let voters know about the new requirement.



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Always with the name calling...

Exactly what is with these dems that think its perfectly fine to call President Bush names. Today Congressman Earl Pomeroy (D-North Dakota) called the president a clown. What exactly does this accomplish except make the name-caller look small and juvenile;
Most of the people I represent think that’s (impeachment) a horrible idea. I’m a Democrat, and I can’t stand this president, but I’m to represent the people that I represent and they are against impeaching the president,” Pomeroy said while pointing and waving his arms. …

“I’m here to represent people. The people I represent don’t want to impeach this clown. I’m here to represent the people of North Dakota,” Pomeroy said.




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Free speech or hate crime

Its gets kinda confusing, which is why I question the need for the "hate crime" designation. Isn't all crime a form of hate anyway?

Burning the American flag - protected free speech
Burning the President in effigy - protected free speech
Place the crucifix in bodily waste - protected free speech
Depict the Virgin Mary covered in Elephant dung - well....you know.

Putting the Koran in the toilet ???

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