Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Page 5A

Thats where this article was placed in the print edition of the USA Today today...but if a suicide bomber attacked you can be sure it would have been Page 1A;
Page 5A

U.S. deaths in Iraq lowest since March 2006

General: All Baghdad-area violence falling since June

By Jim Michaels
USA TODAY

The number of U.S. combat deaths in Iraq is headed for the lowest level in more than a year and a half and the fifth consecutive monthly decline.

Twenty-seven Americans have been killed in action in October, with one day left in the month, Pentagon records show. That would be the lowest monthly level since March 2006, when 27 servicemembers died in hostile action, according to a USA TODAY analysis of Pentagon reports.

The total number of U.S. deaths, including accidents, in October so far is 35, records show.

A new strategy, backed up by 30,000 more U.S. servicemembers, has led to a decline in violence and weakened al-Qaeda, commanders say. The U.S. military started building combat outposts and moving troops outside major bases earlier this year in an attempt to provide more security.

That strategy led to higher U.S. casualties in the spring, as the new troops moved into areas that had been insurgent sanctuaries. Combat deaths in April and May were the highest for a two-month period since the war started in March 2003, records show.

More recently, casualties have declined as security has been established. "I think we've turned the corner," Brig. Gen. John Campbell, an assistant commander for the U.S. division in Baghdad, said Tuesday in an interview from Iraq.

All measurable violence in the Baghdad area, including attacks on civilians and sectarian murders, have declined steadily since June, he said. The overall number of monthly attacks in the Baghdad area was 2,455 in January. In October, there were 598 attacks.

"What's done that is the people," Campbell said. The military's counterinsurgency doctrine says rebellions are defeated when the population turns away from insurgents.

An initiative to persuade Sunnis to join Iraq's security forces and protect their neighborhoods has won over thousands, many of whom were former insurgents.

The initiative, which began in Anbar province, a largely Sunni area west of the capital, has spread elsewhere in Iraq and now also includes Shiite groups.

The Multi-National Division-Central, based south of Baghdad, said 23,000 citizens have pledged to oppose al-Qaeda. Most will join security forces or get public works jobs, said Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, commander of the division.

That has led to improved intelligence, as former insurgents and citizens have provided tips, the U.S. military says.

Some U.S. commanders have complained that Iraq's Shiite-dominated government has not fully supported efforts to bring the citizens into Iraq's security forces, a key element in winning over former insurgents and others.

Maj. Gen. Benjamin Mixon, who recently completed a tour as commander of Multi-National Division-North, accused Iraq's Interior Ministry of "foot-dragging" in not moving quicker to hire an additional 6,000 police in Diyala province, north of the capital.

Despite the increase in security, U.S. commanders are reluctant to recommend accelerating the withdrawal of U.S forces beyond what is already planned, fearful of jeopardizing hard-fought gains.

The top U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, has said U.S. troop levels will return to pre-"surge" levels, about 130,000 U.S. servicemembers, by next summer.

There hasn't been a decision beyond that.

"Until I get to the point where I've got a sustained security presence, I'm going to be reluctant to withdraw any forces," Lynch said.

"We fought to take over those 39 patrol bases," Lynch said, referring to outposts established in his division's area. "We're not giving that ground back until we have a sustained security presence. That's just going to take some time."

"Declaring victory … would be naive," he said. "I don't think we're at the point."

Ok, so wait a minute I'm confused...

So she does support drivers licenses to illegal immigrants because she said it "makes a lot sense" or she doesn't support it because she didn't say the words "I support the idea" ??? You tell me...

But I thought it was global warming's fault?

Someone should Harry Reid know this....
Boy Started California Fire, Officials Say

By DAISY NGUYEN, AP

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (Oct. 31) - A prosecutor will be asked to consider the case of a boy accused of starting a massive wildfire by playing with matches.

Fueled by ferocious desert winds, the fire quickly spread, burning more than 38,000 acres and destroying 21 homes.

The boy, whose name and age were not released, admitted to sparking the fire on Oct. 21, Los Angeles County sheriff's Sgt. Diane Hecht said Tuesday.

"He admitted to playing with matches and accidentally starting the fire," she said in a statement.

The boy was released to his parents, and the case will be presented to the district attorney's office, Hecht said. It was not clear if he had been arrested or cited by detectives.

Friday, October 26, 2007

More of this please Mr President

Harry and Nancy should be so proud of themselves...
Bush says he'll veto health bill again

By DAVID ESPO, AP Special Correspondent 1 hour, 8 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - President Bush accused Democratic lawmakers on Friday of wasting time by passing legislation to expand children's health coverage, knowing that he would veto it again. At the same time, he criticized Congress for failing to approve spending bills to keep the government running.

Bush said Congress had "set a record they should not be proud of: October 26 is the latest date in 20 years that Congress has failed to get a single annual appropriations bill to the president's desk."

He also complained that Congress had failed to pass a permanent extension of a moratorium on state and local taxes on Internet access, and that the Senate had not yet confirmed Michael Mukasey as attorney general. Further, he chided Congress for failing to approve more money for Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Senate on Thursday night approved a seven-year extension of the Internet tax moratorium; differences with a House-passed version still have to be worked out.

Bush made his comments to reporters in the Roosevelt Room a day after the House passed new legislation to expand children's health coverage. Bush vetoed an earlier version, and Republicans argued the latest bill was little changed from the earlier measure. The bill — approved with less than the two-thirds majority needed to overturn another veto — now goes to the Senate. The House vote was 265-142.

Bush said that Congress needs to "stop wasting time and get essential work done on behalf of the American people."

Democrats said Republicans were making a mistake in opposing the children's health bill.

"They won't take yes for an answer," Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., said of Republicans.

He said that in the week since they failed to override Bush's first veto, Democrats had systematically addressed earlier complaints that the bill failed to place a priority on low-income children, did not effectively bar illegal immigrants from qualifying for benefits and was overly generous to adults.

A White House spokesman, Tony Fratto, mocked the suggestion that Democrats — and Emanuel in particular — were acting on principle. "I think the last principal Rahm Emanuel knew was in high school." Told of the remark, Emanuel chuckled.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland raised the possibility that additional changes were possible before the bill would be sent to the White House.

At the same time, he added, "I don't want to be strung along" by Republicans merely feigning an interest in bipartisan compromise.

Senate passage is highly likely, particularly with senior Republican Sens. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Orrin Hatch of Utah among the bill's most persistent supporters.

The legislation is designed chiefly to provide coverage for children whose families make too much money to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to purchase private insurance.

In general, supporters said it would extend coverage to children of families making up to 300 percent of the federal poverty level, or about $62,000 for a family of four.

At that level, congressional officials said, it would cover about 4 million children who now go without, raising the total for the program overall to 10 million kids. The $35 billion cost over five years would be covered by an increase in the tobacco tax of 61 cents a pack.

The vote unfolded one week after the House failed to override Bush's earlier veto, and indicated that the changes Democrats had made failed to attract much, if any, additional support.

The 265 votes cast for the measure came up seven shy of the two-thirds majority needed to override a veto. In addition, 14 Republicans who voted to sustain Bush's original veto were absent.

Public opinion polls show widespread support for the issue, and the political subtext was never far from the surface on a day of acrimony.

Biden suffers foot in mouth disease yet again...

The coming media non-firestorm over Joe Biden's comments concerning school performance in Iowa compared to Washington DC;
After a lengthy critique of Bush administration education policies, Biden attempted to explain why some schools perform better than others — in Iowa, for instance, compared with the District. “There’s less than 1 percent of the population of Iowa that is African American. There is probably less than 4 or 5 percent that are minorities. What is in Washington? So look, it goes back to what you start off with, what you’re dealing with,” Biden said.

Ok...if this were a Republican he'd already have resigned and been referred to as the 'disgraced former Senator Joe Biden' but since he is a Dem it will be explained by saying that Biden is just such an intelluctual that he has a hard time explaining to us regular people what he really means.

Well of course!

Norman Hsu wants he felony conviction thrown out...read why.
Disgraced political donor Norman Hsu wasn't hiding from anyone over the past few years, his lawyers say. If California authorities really wanted to find him, they could have asked Hillary Rodham Clinton or one of the other prominent Democrats he showered with cash donation.

Hsu is asking a judge to toss his 15-year-old felony fraud conviction, arguing that his right to a speedy trial was violated because authorities weren't actively pursuing him.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

"Okay, you can tase me bro!"

Since you probably won't hear much about this like you did when it happened;

University Of Florida Police Cleared In Use Of Taser On Student

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- University of Florida police were justified in using a Taser against a student who refused to stop questioning Sen. John Kerry on campus last month, according to a state investigation released Wednesday.

SLIDESHOW: Student Tasered During Press Conference
RAW VIDEO: Student Shot With Taser During Press Conference
READ: FDLE Report On Tasering Of UF Student (PDF)

Some had questioned the use of force in using the stun gun against student Andrew Meyer, leading to the investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. A summary of the agency's report was released Wednesday. (PDF: Read Full Report)

"In short, the FDLE determined that our officers acted well within state guidelines," university President Bernie Machen said in a letter to students, faculty and staff.

Two officers who were placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation were reinstated Wednesday, Machen said.

Rob Griscti, Meyer's attorney, said he had not yet reviewed the report and had no immediate comment. The journalism major is known for posting practical jokes online on his Web site.

The scuffle between Meyer and police started during the Sept. 17 speech by Kerry when Meyer refused to leave the microphone after his allotted time was up, police said. The videotaped altercation and Meyer's cries of "Don't Tase me bro!" were played frequently on the Internet.

The report says the officers' intent was to escort Meyer from the auditorium, but he broke away and refused to follow the officers' instructions.

"Officers decide not to escalate to hard empty hand strikes, kicks, knees or baton ... (it) would have looked like the officers were beating Meyer into submission," the report said.

The report, which has Meyer's name and that of other students blacked out, said the officers did what was necessary to control the student.

"Our purpose is, and has always been, to ensure a civil and safe environment where the many types of campus activities and open discourse can occur," said Police Chief Linda Stump.

Meyer has been charged by police for resisting an officer and disturbing the peace, but the State Attorney's Office has not yet decided whether to file formal charges.

Spencer Mann, a spokesman for the State Attorney's Office, said the decision may be made some time next week.

Myths of Jena

Interesting article written by a journalist who lives in Jena, LA and has covered the story from the beginning;
Media myths about the Jena 6
A local journalist tells the story you haven't heard.
By Craig Franklin

from the October 24, 2007 edition

Jena, La. - By now, almost everyone in America has heard of Jena, La., because they've all heard the story of the "Jena 6." White students hanging nooses barely punished, a schoolyard fight, excessive punishment for the six black attackers, racist local officials, public outrage and protests – the outside media made sure everyone knew the basics.

There's just one problem: The media got most of the basics wrong. In fact, I have never before witnessed such a disgrace in professional journalism. Myths replaced facts, and journalists abdicated their solemn duty to investigate every claim because they were seduced by a powerfully appealing but false narrative of racial injustice.

I should know. I live in Jena. My wife has taught at Jena High School for many years. And most important, I am probably the only reporter who has covered these events from the very beginning.

The reason the Jena cases have been propelled into the world spotlight is two-fold: First, because local officials did not speak publicly early on about the true events of the past year, the media simply formed their stories based on one-side's statements – the Jena 6. Second, the media were downright lazy in their efforts to find the truth. Often, they simply reported what they'd read on blogs, which expressed only one side of the issue.

The real story of Jena and the Jena 6 is quite different from what the national media presented. It's time to set the record straight.

Read the whole thing...

The really big news!

GIRLS SOCCER

Norwalk wins first since 2003 to halt 48-game winless streak

Published October 24 2007

Norwalk 3, Bridgeport Central 0 - Lindsay Macri, Alyssa Schlegel and Tory Turchick each scored a goal to help Norwalk (1-12) pick up its first win since the 2003 season and snap a 48-game winless streak. The Bears had an 0-42-6 combined record beginning from when they lost their season finale to Cheshire in the 2003 state tournament. They finished 9-10 in 2003.

Norwalk goalkeeper Carly Babel made four saves, including a big one when she made a save on the penalty kick when the game was still scoreless in the ninth minute. Ashley Lampman assisted Macri on Norwalk's first goal in the 21st minute.

Adaobi Ogbenta had 16 saves for Bridgeport Central (0-10-2).

Copyright © 2007, Southern Connecticut Newspapers, Inc.

My daughter has played on the team since her Freshman year in 2005 and this is the first time she has experienced the thrill of victory!

Fires in California an AQ plot?

From the USA Today in 2003;
FBI: al-Qaeda detainee spoke of fire plot

PHOENIX (AP) — The FBI alerted law enforcement agencies last month that an al-Qaeda terrorist now in detention had talked of masterminding a plot to set a series of devastating forest fires around the western United States.

Rose Davis, a spokeswoman for the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, told The Associated Press that officials there took note of the warning but didn't see a need to act further on it.

The contents of the June 25 memo from the FBI's Denver office were reported Friday by The Arizona Republic. Davis declined to share a copy of the memo and an FBI spokeswoman in Denver didn't immediately return a telephone call.

The Republic reported that the detainee, who was not identified, said the plan involved three or four people setting wildfires using timed devices in Colorado, Montana, Utah and Wyoming that would detonate in forests and grasslands after the operatives had left the country.

The memo noted that investigators couldn't determine whether the detainee was telling the truth.

The newspaper said many forest law enforcement officers it contacted had no idea the warning had been issued.
Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Monday, October 22, 2007

35 Inconveniet Truths

The Science and Public Policy Institue documents "35 scientific inaccuracies and exaggerations" in Al Gore's movie..
35 Inconvenient Truths

The errors in Al Gore’s movie

ImageA spokesman for Al Gore has issued a questionable response to the news that in October 2007 the High Court in London had identified nine “errors” in his movie An Inconvenient Truth. The judge had stated that, if the UK Government had not agreed to send to every secondary school in England a corrected guidance note making clear the mainstream scientific position on these nine “errors”, he would have made a finding that the Government’s distribution of the film and the first draft of the guidance note earlier in 2007 to all English secondary schools had been an unlawful contravention of an Act of Parliament prohibiting the political indoctrination of children.

Al Gore’s spokesman and “environment advisor,” Ms. Kalee Kreider, begins by saying that the film presented “thousands and thousands of facts.” It did not: just 2,000 “facts” in 93 minutes would have been one fact every three seconds. The film contained only a few dozen points, most of which will be seen to have been substantially inaccurate. The judge concentrated only on nine points which even the UK Government, to which Gore is a climate-change advisor, had to admit did not represent mainstream scientific opinion.

Read it all...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Charlie Gibson can't find any news from Iraq...

On World News Tonight anchor Charlie Gibson said that because there were no roadside bombs or suicide bomber attacks that there was no news to report from Iraq. That statement tells you why we never hear the success stories from Iraq from the MSM. Unless there is death and violence they are not interested.

Well here is a bit of interesting news;
FORWARD OPERATING BASE KALSU, Iraq – A 72-year-old man stopped a suspected suicide bomber from detonating himself at a checkpoint in Arab Jabour Oct. 14.

The man approached a checkpoint where Mudhehr Fayadh Baresh was standing guard, but did not make it very far.

Baresh, a tribal commissioner and member of the Arab Jabour Concerned Citizens program, said he ordered the man to lift his shirt - using training received from Coalition Forces - when he did not recognize him as a local villager.

The suspect refused to lift his shirt. Baresh repeated the command again, and the suspect exposed his suicide vest, running toward the checkpoint.

Baresh opened fire which caused the vest to detonate, killing the suspect.

“I did it for the honor of my family and the honor of my country,” said Baresh, when he met with Col. Terry Ferrell, commander of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division.

Lt. Col. Kenneth Adgie, commander of the 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment presented Mudher with a battalion coin for his valor Oct. 16.

So this guy is to blame for the lack of news that Charlie is complaining about. Maybe Charlie can get on the phone and ask this guy to think twice before saving lives, after all, Charlie needs the ratings.

But what will all the building contractors do for laborers?

Bravo!
N.C. leads in immigrant crackdown
Local law enforcement agencies are hastening to join a federal program that lets them check the status of those they jail

Kristin Collins, Staff Writer
North Carolina is becoming a national leader in rooting out illegal immigrants in its local jails.

The state has largely avoided controversial municipal ordinances that crack down on illegal immigrants, their employers and their landlords. But many sheriffs and police chiefs are eager to enforce immigration law, federal officials say.

Eighteen law enforcement agencies in North Carolina, more than any other state, have asked to join a program that would allow them to check the immigration status of those they arrest and jail. Sheriff's offices in Wake, Durham and Johnston counties are among those that have applied.

Four more sheriff's offices are already enrolled in the program, and their efforts led to the deportation of thousands of immigrants in the past year.

The program allows law enforcement agencies to use a federal database to check the immigration status of every foreign person they arrest -- whether for reckless driving or selling drugs -- and start deportation of those in the United States illegally. Select officers from the agencies that enroll get about a month of training from the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. The program costs local agencies nothing but staff time, and the federal government pays for each night that immigration detainees spend in local jails.

"We've had tremendous interest," said Richard Rocha, a spokesman for the federal immigration agency, known as ICE. "North Carolina leads the country."

The interest has been so overwhelming that ICE created a task force this week to figure out how best to use North Carolina sheriffs and police departments in the fight against illegal immigration.

Mecklenburg Sheriff Jim Pendergraph, who in 2006 was the first in North Carolina to partner with ICE, has become a sort of folk hero to other sheriffs in the state. He says Mecklenburg County helped ICE deport more than 3,000 people last year.

"We're trying to rid the state of illegal alien criminals," Pendergraph said Wednesday. "The citizens, quite frankly, are demanding that we get involved because the federal government just can't handle it by themselves anymore."

S-CHIP battle

House in session, 1 minute speeches have started...

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., right, meets with Dara Wilkerson and her daughter Bethany, 2, of Tampa, Fla., on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2007, Bethany who was born with a serious heart condition and relies on State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) for her health coverage. (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)

Nancy Pelosi trots out another family that utilizes the SCHIP program, and still will regardless of what happens...Pelosi wants you to think the Bush and the Republicans want to stop the program which is a lie. And isn't that really all Pelosi cares about? But it appears that she will suffer another in a long line of failures during her reign as Queen of the House;
President Bush, anticipating that his veto of a $35 billion spending increase for children’s insurance will stand, has assigned three top advisers to try to negotiate a new deal with Congress.

Democrats appeared about 15 votes short in the House heading into Thursday’s attempt to override Bush’s veto of their $35 billion spending increase for the program. The president said his veto gives him a chance to weigh in on the future of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.

“Sometimes the legislative branch wants to go on without the president, pass pieces of legislation and the president can then use the veto to make sure he’s a part of the process,” Bush said. Leading the discussions for his administration are Mike Leavitt, the health and human services secretary; Al Hubbard, director of the National Economic Council; and Jim Nussle, the White House budget chief. But supporters of the bill passed last month by Congress say they already have compromised. The House originally had proposed a $50 billion increase over five years.

The bill is bipartisan and the Senate has shown it could override a veto. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has replied with an emphatic “no” when asked if he would seek a compromise with the administration. Both the House and Senate have to override a veto for a bill to become law over a president’s objection.

Through the program, the government and the states subsidize the cost of health coverage for families that earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to afford private insurance. Bush has recommended a $5 billion increase, bringing total spending over five years to $30 billion — half the level called for in the bill that he vetoed.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Yes this is a real story...

I thought this was from The Onion or Scrappleface but no, it is a real story lamenting the fact that cemetary workers in Iraq being hit hard due to the dropping levels of violence. Unbelievable;
As violence falls in Iraq, cemetery workers feel the pinch

By Jay Price and Qasim Zein, McClatchy Newspapers Tue Oct 16, 2:40 PM ET

NAJAF, Iraq — At what's believed to be the world's largest cemetery, where Shiite Muslims aspire to be buried and millions already have been, business isn't good.

A drop in violence around Iraq has cut burials in the huge Wadi al Salam cemetery here by at least one-third in the past six months, and that's cut the pay of thousands of workers who make their living digging graves, washing corpses or selling burial shrouds.

Few people have a better sense of the death rate in Iraq .

"I always think of the increasing and decreasing of the dead," said Sameer Shaaban, 23, one of more than 100 workers who specialize in ceremonially washing the corpses. "People want more and more money, and I am one of them, but most of the workers in this field don't talk frankly, because they wish for more coffins, to earn more and more."

Dhurgham Majed al Malik, 48, whose family has arranged burial services for generations, said that this spring, private cars and taxis with caskets lashed to their roofs arrived at a rate of 6,500 a month. Now it's 4,000 or less, he said.

Malik said that the daily tide of cars bearing coffins has been a barometer of Iraq's violence for years. The number of burials rose and fell several times during Saddam Hussein's persecution of Shiites, and it soared again during the eight years of the Iran - Iraq war in the 1980s.

Then in the 1990s, the daily average fell to 150 or less, Malik said. With the current war, the burials again reached 300 daily.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Randi Rhodes mugged.....nevermind.

This morning it was reported that Air America personality Randi Rhodes had been mugged and seriously hurt while walking her dog last night in New York. The overnight air personality, some guy named Elliot, claimed it was an attempt by the right-wing to silence liberal radio. Give me a break!

And now it turns out....no she wasn't mugged.

Read it all here...

Monday, October 15, 2007

I just like the way they headline looks

And its on page A01 above the fold in the Washington Post;
Al-Qaeda In Iraq Reported Crippled
Many Officials, However, Warn Of Its Resilience

By Thomas E. Ricks and Karen DeYoung
Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, October 15, 2007; Page A01

The U.S. military believes it has dealt devastating and perhaps irreversible blows to al-Qaeda in Iraq in recent months, leading some generals to advocate a declaration of victory over the group, which the Bush administration has long described as the most lethal U.S. adversary in Iraq.

But as the White House and its military commanders plan the next phase of the war, other officials have cautioned against taking what they see as a premature step that could create strategic and political difficulties for the United States. Such a declaration could fuel criticism that the Iraq conflict has become a civil war in which U.S. combat forces should not be involved. At the same time, the intelligence community, and some in the military itself, worry about underestimating an enemy that has shown great resilience in the past.


"I think it would be premature at this point," a senior intelligence official said of a victory declaration over AQI, as the group is known. Despite recent U.S. gains, he said, AQI retains "the ability for surprise and for catastrophic attacks." Earlier periods of optimism, such as immediately following the June 2006 death of AQI founder Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in a U.S. air raid, not only proved unfounded but were followed by expanded operations by the militant organization.

There is widespread agreement that AQI has suffered major blows over the past three months. Among the indicators cited is a sharp drop in suicide bombings, the group's signature attack, from more than 60 in January to around 30 a month since July. Captures and interrogations of AQI leaders over the summer had what a senior military intelligence official called a "cascade effect," leading to other killings and captures. The flow of foreign fighters through Syria into Iraq has also diminished, although officials are unsure of the reason and are concerned that the broader al-Qaeda network may be diverting new recruits to Afghanistan and elsewhere.

Dems reach bottom, take out shovel...

Because the Democrats have been unable to force defeat in Iraq through votes in Congress they have now turned to insulting our allies. Nancy Pelosi is pushing a resolution to condemn the killing of Armenians over 100 years ago by Turks as genocide. The result of this could so outrage Turkey that may end all logistical support for the US use as a major hub for allied military forces in Iraq.

The Democratic party says that they support the troops and that we should not question their patriotism. How does this support the troops? How is this patriotic?
Turkish General Issues Warning on Bill

Oct 14 10:27 PM US/Eastern
By C. ONUR ANT
Associated Press Writer

ISTANBUL, Turkey (AP) - Turkey's top general warned that ties with the U.S., already strained by attacks from rebels hiding in Iraq, will be irreversibly damaged if Congress passes a resolution that labels the World War I-era killings of Armenians a genocide.

Turkey, which is a major cargo hub for U.S. and allied military forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, has recalled its ambassador to Washington for consultations and warned that there might be a cut in the logistical support to the U.S. over the issue.

"If this resolution passed in the committee passes the House as well, our military ties with the U.S. will never be the same again," Gen. Yasar Buyukanit told the daily Milliyet newspaper.

Despite the general's strong words, it is not clear how far Turkey will go to express its dismay to Washington.

Turkey suspended its military ties with France last year after the French parliament's lower house adopted a bill that that would have made it a crime to deny that the Armenian killings constituted a genocide.

But there is more at stake for NATO's only Muslim member when it comes to its relations with the U.S. The Turkish military, and especially the air force, is heavily dependent on the American defense industry, experts say.

Still, when Washington imposed an arms embargo against Turkey in 1975 due to a dispute over Cyprus, Turkey ended all its logistical support to U.S. troops and sharing of intelligence until the embargo was lifted, said Onur Oymen, the country's former permanent representative to NATO.

President Bush has said the resolution is the wrong response to the Armenian deaths, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the measure's timing was important "because many of the survivors are very old."

In an interview broadcast Sunday with ABC's "This Week," Pelosi noted that the resolution would make the U.S. the 24th country to label the killings a genocide.

Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, said the measure was "irresponsible."

"Listen, there's no question that the suffering of the Armenian people some 90 years ago was extreme. But what happened 90 years ago ought to be a subject for historians to sort out, not politicians here in Washington," he told "Fox News Sunday."

About 70 percent of U.S. air cargo headed for Iraq goes through Turkey as does about one-third of the fuel used by the U.S. military there. Turkish truckers also carry water and other supplied to U.S. bases.

In addition, cargo planes fly supplies to U.S. soldiers in remote areas of Iraq from Incirlik, avoiding the use of Iraqi roads vulnerable to bomb attacks. U.S. officials say the arrangement helps reduce American casualties.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has "urged restraint" from Turkey and sent two officials to Ankara in an apparent attempt to ease fury over the measure, which could be voted on by the House by the end of the year.

At issue in the resolution is the killing of up to 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman Turks. Many international historians contend the deaths amounted to genocide, but Turkey says the mass killings and deportations were not systematic and that many Turkish Muslims also died in the chaos of war.

The congressional resolution comes as the Turkish parliament debates authorizing a military campaign into northern Iraq to root out rebels who seek a unified, independent nation for Kurds in the region.

U.S. officials have urged Turkey not to send troops and appealed for a diplomatic solution with Iraq. The Kurdish region in northern Iraq is one of the country's few relatively stable areas, and the Kurds here are also a longtime U.S. ally.

A Kurdish rebel commander on Saturday said Turkey would face a long and bloody conflict if it launched a large-scale offensive in northern Iraq.

Speaking to The Associated Press deep in the Qandil mountains straddling the Iraq-Turkish border, some 94 miles from the northern Iraqi Kurdish city of Sulaimaniyah, Murat Karayilan, head of the armed wing of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, warned that an eventual Turkish incursion would "make Turkey experience a Vietnam war."

The PKK has been fighting for autonomy in southeast Turkey since 1984. The conflict has claimed tens of thousands of lives. Turkey says the rebels use Iraqi Kurdish territory as a safe haven. Iraqi and Kurdish authorities reject the claim.

___

Associated Press writer Yahya Barzanji in Iraq's Qandil Mountains contributed to this report.

The AP can't ignore it any longer...

...but they can make the story so small that if you blink you miss it;
Iraq Sees Dramatically Low Death Toll

Oct 13 03:26 PM US/Eastern

BAGHDAD (AP) - The civilian death toll in Iraq fell to its lowest level in recent memory Saturday, with only four people killed or found dead nationwide, according to reports from police, morgue officials and credible witnesses.

Saturday marked the beginning of the Eid al-Fitr feast for Shiites, the three-day capstone closing out the Ramadan month of fasting. Sunnis began celebrating the holiday on Sunday.

The daily number of civilians killed, not including those on days when there were massive casualties from car bombs, had climbed above 100 at the end of last year and the beginning of 2007.

Saturday's decline in deaths was in line with a sharp drop in September of both Iraqi civilian and U.S. military fatalities.

The four dead included three death squad victims found in Baghdad and the bodyguard of the Kirkuk police commander who was killed in a roadside bombing.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Perfect Democrat Timing

Which I suppose was the point;
Turkey recalls envoy after U.S. genocide vote

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey, which is a key supply route to U.S. troops in Iraq, recalled its ambassador to Washington and warned of serious repercussions if the U.S. Congress labels the killing of Armenians by Turks a century ago as genocide.

Ordered after a committee in the U.S. House of Representatives endorsed the genocide measure, Thursday's summons of the ambassador for consultations was a further sign of the deteriorating relations between two longtime allies and the potential for new turmoil in an already troubled region.

The dems continue to look for creative and transparent ways of securing a US defeat in Iraq. Luckily the US military has other ideas.

Isn't that really what it's all about?

Kid Rock on his fight with Tommy Lee at the MTV VMAs;
Kid Rock's newest studio album, Rock N Roll Jesus, arrived in stores this week, but he is still being asked about his scuffle with Tommy Lee at the MTV Video Music Awards last month. "What it boils down to is a level of disrespect for a lot of years between me and him — him towards me — and it had nothing to do with Pamela [Anderson]," he told MTV News.

Rock wonders if someone made sure that the two rockers crossed paths that night, knowing there was bad blood between them over their ex. "Was it coincidence?," he asked. "Didn't MTV know all three of us [would be] in [the same] room? Obviously, they were looking for something. I don't know if MTV planned it, but somebody knew what they were doing."

The Kid says the best thing about the fight is that it gave him plenty of free publicity for Rock N Roll Jesus, which he is very satisfied with. "I hope it fills a void that seems to be missing from music — and that's the great classic American rock record,"

Al Gore wins Nobel Peace Prize

Now if someone can just explain what this has to do with world peace;
OSLO, Norway (AP) - Former Vice President Al Gore and the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize Friday for their efforts to spread awareness of man-made climate change and lay the foundations for counteracting it.

“I am deeply honored to receive the Nobel Peace Prize,” Gore said. “We face a true planetary emergency. The climate crisis is not a political issue, it is a moral and spiritual challenge to all of humanity.”

UPDATE: I got it. A phony award to a phony guy for a phony cause! Thats the ticket. Now Gore is in the same company as Yassir Arafat. What an honor.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Stunning

Maybe to complete the insult to America and everyone that lost loved ones on 9-11-01 the ESB public relations staff could invite President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran to come to NY City and throw the switch.
New York’s iconic Empire State Building is to be lit up green from Friday in honor of the Muslim holiday of Eid, the biggest festival in the Muslim calendar marking the end of Ramadan, officials said.

“This is the first time that the Empire State Building will be illuminated for Eid, and the lighting will become an annual event in the same tradition of the yearly lightings for Christmas and Hannukah,” according to a statement.

Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the fasting month, is expected to be celebrated in New York from Friday, depending on when the new moon is sighted, and the city’s tallest skyscraper will remain green until Sunday.

Built in the early 1930s, the 443-meter-tall (1,454-feet-tall) Empire State Building was first lit up with colored lighting in 1976, when red, white and blue lights were used to mark the American Bicentennial.

An estimated seven million Muslims live in the United States.


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

KO is the pre-game show for the repeat of the GOP-Matthews debate

I am going to go out in a huge limb and make the bold prediction that Keith Olberman will not be praising Fred Thompson's debate performance.

Bye bye Joe

After watching my Mets monumental collapse over the last 2 weeks of the baseball season I was left with an uneasy feeling of having to watch the Yankees steam roll through the American League playoffs on their way to another World Series appearance.

My spirits have been lifted...

It's An Indian Summer

and this certainly helps as well...

Swept Out Of The Playoffs in the first round







Monday, October 08, 2007

Dems use (not so) poor family to bash Bush on S-CHIP veto.

If you're going to use a poor family and their 12 year old son and his sister's need for costly medical care you should make sure that the two kids don't attend a $20,000 a year (thats $40,000 total) private school. See here for the scoop.

Berger advising Hillary? On what?

He’s back: Sandy Berger now advising Hillary Clinton

Oct 8, 2007 3:00 AM (5 hrs ago)
by Bill Sammon, The Examiner


WASHINGTON (Map, News) - Sandy Berger, who stole highly classified terrorism documents from the National Archives, destroyed them and lied to investigators, is now an adviser to presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Berger, who was fired from John Kerry’s presidential campaign when the scandal broke in 2004, has assumed a similar role in Clinton’s campaign, even though his security clearance has been suspended until September 2008. This is raising eyebrows even among Clinton’s admirers.

“It shows poor judgment and a lack of regard for Berger’s serious misdeeds,” said law professor Jonathan Adler of Case Western Reserve University, who nonetheless called Clinton “by far the most impressive candidate in the Democratic field.”

Adler told The Examiner that it is “simply incomprehensible to me that a serious contender for the presidency would rely upon him as a key foreign policy advisor.”
People who read this also read:

* Bears come back against Pack for 27-20 win Sunday night
* Steinbrenner says Yankees must win or Torre likely won't return
* Residents remain in shock after off-duty deputy kills 6, wounds 1
* Official: Iran Opens 5 Border Crossings
* Costa Rica Leader: US Trade Deal Passes

He added: “If Senator Clinton becomes the Democratic nominee, at some point she will begin to receive national security briefings that will include sensitive information. At such a point, continuing to keep Berger on board as a key advisor, where he might have access to sensitive material, would be beyond incomprehensible.”

The Clinton campaign declined to comment.

Friday, October 05, 2007

The September 6 Israel raid on Syria....

The real reason for the raid? From the World Tribune;
“The primary point of the attack was not to destroy that target,” Wheeler said. “It was to shut down Syria's Russian air defense system during the attack. Doing so made the attack an incredible success. Syria is shamed and silent. Iran is freaking out in panic. Defenseless enemies are fun.”

Tryforgettin

Jobs for September, August revised way upwards

110,000 jobs added to economy last month

By JEANNINE AVERSA, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON - Job creation picked up in September but not enough to stop the unemployment rate from rising to 4.7 percent, the highest in just over a year.

The new job market snapshot released by the Labor Department on Friday showed that employers boosted payrolls by 110,000, the most in one month since last May. In an encouraging note, the economy actually added 89,000 jobs in August. That marked an improvement from the net loss of 4,000 that the government first estimated.

The bump up in the unemployment rate from 4.6 percent in August came as hundreds of thousands of people streamed back into the labor market. That new rate of 4.7 percent was the highest since the summer of 2006.

Wages, meanwhile, rose solidly.

Gore dodges global warming debate offers

Wonder why?
Chilly reception for debate offer

October 5, 2007
STEVE HUNTLEY shuntley@suntimes.com

Seven hundred thousand dollars is a lot of money to spend to try to get someone to talk to you and not get an answer.

That's how much the Heartland Institute, a Chicago-based libertarian think tank, has forked over in six months for advertisements in national newspapers trying to persuade Al Gore to debate one of its experts on global warming issues. "We have tried, repeatedly, to contact Gore directly, with registered letters and calls to his office, and have never received a reply," says Joseph Bast, Heartland president.

A spokeswoman for Gore told me by e-mail that Heartland is an oil-company-funded group that denies that global warming is real and caused by human activities.

"The debate has shifted to how to solve the climate crisis, not if there is one," said Kalee Kreider. "It does not make sense for him to engage in a dialogue with them at this time."

The issue is a bit more complicated than that. What Bast wants is for Gore to debate one of three authorities who dispute the former vice president's assertion that global warming is a crisis that requires an immediate, hugely expensive response potentially damaging to the U.S. and world economies.

One of the Heartland experts is Dennis Avery, an economist, senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and co-author, with Fred Singer, professor emeritus of environmental science at the University of Virginia, of the book Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1,500 Years. As you might guess from that title, Avery sees global warming as a natural phenomenon in which "there may be a human factor but if so it's small." He describes the warming as "moderate" and says there's been no warming since 1998. "Where's the crisis?"

When you talk with Avery, he cites numbers on carbon dioxide and temperature change and dates of previous warming periods, such as during Roman and medieval times. A layman like me soon finds himself in deep water, and you know someone on the other side of the issue will cite other sources, such as a U.N. panel on climate change that says most of the warming since the mid-20th century is likely due to greenhouse gases.

But the point is that Gore and his movie "An Inconvenient Truth" aren't the last word. In March, the New York Times reported that while they praise Gore for raising awareness about warming, a number of scientists see exaggerations and errors in some of his assertions. "They are alarmed, some say, at what they call his alarmism," the Times wrote. For example, Gore forecasts sea levels rising up to 20 feet, flooding parts of New York and Florida. But the U.N. panel's actual estimate is that seas will rise 7 to 23 inches in this century.

As for the Gore camp's statement about Exxon funding, Bast says those contributions are too little to control Heartland policy and amount to "far less than what Heartland spends speaking out on climate change."

The Heartland case is not the first time Gore has ducked a forum. Earlier this year he canceled an interview with Denmark's largest newspaper when he learned it would include questions from Bjorn Lomborg, respected author of The Skeptical Environmentalist. "Gore's sermon is not one that will stand scrutiny," says Christopher C. Horner, another one of Heartland's debate candidates, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming and Environmentalism.

Bast says the ad campaign will continue until March, costing a total of $1.2 million. But he won't get a debate from Gore. Still, Heartland's effort serves the worthy purpose to spotlighting the need for an informed discussion on the severity of global warming and how best to deal with it, by trying to halt it or adapt to it. Gore offers a worst-case scenario of unmitigated disaster. If he's wrong about rising sea levels, what else is he wrong about?

Maybe he doesn't want to look foolish once he wins this;
Climate activists tipped for peace prize

By John Acher 2 hours, 3 minutes ago

OSLO (Reuters) - Former Vice President Al Gore and other campaigners against climate change lead experts' choices for the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, an award once reserved for statesmen, peacemakers and human rights activists.

If a campaigner against global warming carries off the high world accolade later this month, it will accentuate a shift to reward work outside traditional peacekeeping and reinforce the link between peace and the environment.

The winner, who will take $1.5 million in prize money, will be announced in the Norwegian capital on October 12 from a field of 181 nominees.

Gore, who has raised awareness with his book and Oscar-winning documentary "An Inconvenient Truth," and Canadian Inuit activist Sheila Watt-Cloutier, who has shed light on how global warming affects Arctic peoples, were nominated to share the prize by two Norwegian parliamentarians.

"I think they are likely winners this year," said Stein Toennesson, director of Oslo's International Peace Research Institute (PRIO) and a long-time Nobel Peace Prize watcher.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Obama doesn't wear his US flag pin anymore because of Iraq

This is so lame I can't believe a Presidential candidate said this in answer to a question about where his US flag pin was;
"You know, the truth is that right after 9/11, I had a pin," Obama said. "Shortly after 9/11, particularly because as we're talking about the Iraq war, that became a substitute for I think true patriotism, which is speaking out on issues that are of importance to our national security, I decided I won't wear that pin on my chest.

"Instead," he said, "I'm going try to tell the American people what I believe will make this country great, and hopefully that will be a testimony to my patriotism."

Dems doing what they do best, nothing...

Can the Senate censure a private citizen? I think not. But why let that stop you.
Sen. Ken Salazar dove further into the Rush Limbaugh brouhaha today, saying he’d support censuring the conservative radio talk-show host for his use of the words “phony soldiers.”

During a conference call with reporters, Salazar, a Colorado Democrat, said he’d support censure if a vote were taken. None is planned currently in the Senate.

“Rush Limbaugh owes an apology,” Salazar said. “He owes an apology to the men and women in uniform who are doing the duty that the commander in chief has asked them to do.”

That sound you just heard was the lefts collective head exploding!

The Senate passed the Intelligence Bill today, unanimously. And in doing so drop many of their demands for documents to prove Bush Lied. From the AP;
Senate Passes Intelligence Bill, Drops Bid for Records of Bush's Prewar Briefings

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

WASHINGTON — The Senate has scrapped its bid to obtain the archive of daily intelligence briefings given to the president on Iraq prior to the 2003 invasion.

That request was among several controversial provisions dropped from an intelligence bill, leading to the measure's unanimous Senate passage Wednesday.

The provision sought to give the Senate and House intelligence committees access to all presidential daily briefs between 1997 and 2003 that referred to Iraq — an attempt to determine whether the White House mischaracterized intelligence prior to the war. Senate Republicans objected, saying the documents had already been reviewed by an independent commission, according to a congressional official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly.

The final version of the bill also dropped a requirement that the director of national intelligence conduct an assessment of the effects of global climate change on national security.

The overall legislation would give Congress' approval for the whole range of intelligence programs over the coming year, including spy satellites and eavesdropping, human spying and battlefield collection, along with recommended spending levels. Most of the bill is secret.

The House approved its own version of the bill in May, and the two chambers now must work out differences between the two versions.

The Senate bill also gives new power to the inspector general in the office of the director of national intelligence to conduct investigations into Pentagon programs, which consume about 80 percent of the nation's intelligence budget.

The bill also requires the director of national intelligence to alert Congress when the cost of any major intelligence acquisition program grows by 20 percent or more. If it increases by as much as 40 percent, the president has to certify the program is necessary to national security and that there are no viable alternatives. Similar requirements already apply to major defense acquisition programs.

A top intelligence official disclosed in 2005 that the annual budget was around $44 billion. Experts estimate the budget is usually about 10 percent of total defense spending.

More good news from Iraq


"Violence throughout the country has dropped to a level not even seen before the first bombing of the Golden Mosque in 2006," he continued. "Last week, we saw a slight rise in attacks as al Qaeda attempted its own Ramadan surge, but for the large part, Iraqi security forces, as well as coalition forces, were successful in interdicting most of them."

In past years, Ramadan meant extremist attacks, the general said. Not so this year. "Attacks have decreased, and signs of normalcy across Iraq are starting to appear," he said.

Waiting for Democrat condemnation of this fake war hero

If this turns out to be true, we will be waiting with baited-breath for the next Democratic resolution condemning Rush Limbaugh when he speaks of this fake war hero;
ATLANTIC CITY - Where's the mayor?

Not since "Where's Waldo?" and "Where's the Beef?" has such a query caused such a stir.

In this resort, where the streets are literally paved by gambling revenues, they're taking bets on what might have become of Mayor Bob Levy and whether his disappearance signals another impending scandal involving the city's top job.

Amid reports of a federal probe into false claims that Levy admits he made regarding his Vietnam military service, the mayor drove off last Wednesday in a silver, city-owned Dodge Durango and has not officially been heard from since.

School keeps Christmas and Halloween celebrations, but only...

...only if Ramadan is celebrated as well.

When are these so-called school "leaders" going to actually show some leadership and say no to this ridicules requests?
School Keeps Christmas, Halloween; Adds Ramadan
Muslim Mother Asks That Ramadan Be Celebrated Along With Other Holidays In Oak Lawn Schools

(CBS) OAK LAWN, Ill. Following a school board meeting where parent complained about what the saw as an assault on traditional American celebrations, an Oak Lawn school district has decided to keep observing Halloween and Christmas, but only on the condition that Muslim holiday Ramadan is celebrated as well.

The school district had asked principals to tone down all holiday celebrations after a Muslim mother requested that her children be separated from others during lunch for the Ramadan fast.

But after heated remarks from many parents at the meeting Tuesday, the school board changed its position.

"Everything is staying the same," school board member Dave Lis said. "Christmas is still Christmas, and Halloween is still Halloween."

That's good news to fifth-grader Samantha Ramirez, who looks forward to Santa's annual visit to Columbus Manor School.

"We should be able to celebrate our thing, and they should be able to celebrate theirs, too," the 10-year-old said.

Elizabeth Zahdan was at the center of the storm, a Muslim mother of three who requested that her children be separated from others at lunch during the Ramadan fast.

The schools agreed, but at the Tuesday board meeting, many parents didn't.

"I don’t ever remember one of us asking for our child to be separated from classmates during Ash Wednesday when they were fasting, or on every Friday of Lent when our children are not allowed to eat meat," said parent Cathy Hughes.

"If Muslims want the school holidays, menus and school traditions to become tailored to their needs or beliefs, then they should go to private school next to their mosque," said resident Brian Shapiro.


"That does not represent all the Muslims, all of the Arabs at that school," said Qais Nofel, the father of a student in Ridgeland School District 122.

Still, for many residents the debate took on a nationalistic tone, one of defending America and its traditions.

"We're letting you come here, were honoring you, don't dishonor us," said resident Linda Pferschy.

Zahdan said the compromise was exactly what she was looking for.

"Did I say ban holidays? I did not," Zahdan said. "I said please help us stop the cycle of hatred. I said let's celebrate all of the holidays."

The district has a 30 percent Arab-American population, many of whom practice Islam. The superintendent says the reason for the change in tradition comes after one parent wanted Ramadan decorations put up inside Columbus Manor Elementary. They were taken down.

CBS 2's Derrick Blakley and Suzanne Le Mignot, and the STNG Wire, contributed to this report.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Imus coming back!

Looks like Imus is coming back to radio very soon. See here and here.

Can't wait to hear the first day back...that should be great radio.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Harkin should be called out for this!

He said on this Senate floor yesterday about Rush Limbaugh;
"Maybe he was just high on his drugs again."

I do not believe a Senator is allowed to make statements like this against other Senators. I also do not believe a private citizen, like Rush, would be allowed to make a statement like this against another Senator on the Senate floor. So why is Harkin allowed to say garbage like this and get away with it?

Monday, October 01, 2007

Rush challenges Harry Reid to come on his program!

I would love to hear this but it will NEVER happen.