Because of an editing error, a front-page article in some editions yesterday about the Republican presidential debate misstated the response of former Senator Fred D. Thompson in a passage about high points for many candidates. During the debate, he offered a spirited defense of gun rights, not gun control.
Friday, November 30, 2007
Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), one of the leading anti-war voices in the House Democratic Caucus, is back from a trip to Iraq and he now says the "surge is working." This could be a huge problem for Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other Democratic leaders, who are blocking approval of the full $200 billion being sought by President Bush for combat operations in Iraq in 2008. Murtha's latest comments are also a stark reversal from what he said earlier in the year. The Pennsylvania Democrat, who chairs the powerful Defense Subcommittee on the House Appropriations Committee, has previously stated that the surge "is not working" and the United States faced a military disaster in Iraq. ... But Pelosi, who is scheduled to speak to a Democratic National Committee event in Virginia on Friday, will surely face tough questions from reporters regarding Murtha's statement on the surge. "This could be a real headache for us," said one top House Democratic aide, speaking on the condition of anonymity. "Pelosi is going to be furious."
Will the press question her on Murtha? How could they not.
Bohrman said he had no problem using questioners who have voiced support for other candidates as long as they are not donors or formally affiliated with any campaign. "We bent over backwards to be fair," he said. "We're not perfect. But we tried extremely hard."
It took viewers and bloggers about 5 minutes to figure out Kerr was on Clinton's staff. They used this cool tool called Google.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
6,000 Sunnis join pact with US in Iraq
By LAUREN FRAYER, Associated Press Writer
Nearly 6,000 Sunni Arab residents joined a security pact with American forces Wednesday in what U.S. officers described as a critical step in plugging the remaining escape routes for extremists flushed from former strongholds.
The new alliance — called the single largest volunteer mobilization since the war began — covers the "last gateway" for groups such as al-Qaida in Iraq seeking new havens in northern Iraq, U.S. military officials said.
U.S. commanders have tried to build a ring around insurgents who fled military offensives launched earlier this year in the western Anbar province and later into Baghdad and surrounding areas. In many places, the U.S.-led battles were given key help from tribal militias — mainly Sunnis — that had turned against al-Qaida and other groups...
The ceremony to pledge the 6,000 new fighters was presided over by a dozen sheiks — each draped in black robes trimmed with gold braiding — who signed the contract on behalf of tribesmen at a small U.S. outpost in north-central Iraq.
For about $275 a month — nearly the salary for the typical Iraqi policeman — the tribesmen will man about 200 security checkpoints beginning Dec. 7, supplementing hundreds of Iraqi forces already in the area.
Meanwhile, in Najaf...
Khaled al-Mulla, a Sunni cleric, attends a meeting between Sunni and Shiite clerics in Najaf, Iraq, Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2007. Iraq's top Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, renewed his call for an end to sectarian violence in the country and for Sunni and Shiite Muslims to unite, according to al-Mulla, who was part of the Sunni delegation that met him Tuesday in Najaf. (AP Photo/Alaa al-Marjani)
bg forwarded this translation of an Iraqi news story that for some reason did not get much play in the Western media outlets. This rough translation was posted by Hameed Abid at Iraq the Model from SotalIraq.com:
Sunnis and Shiites by one in building the new Iraq
Under the slogan ((Sunnis and Shiites by one in building the new Iraq)) Najaf embraced the first Forum of scientists in Iraq.
The media center of the communication _ Khader Elias
Husseinieh Fatimid held in the Great in Najaf the first national forum for scientists Sunnis and Shiites under the slogan "Sunnis and Shiites by one in the building of a new Iraq."
The forum, which was attended by nearly a thousand people from religious scholars from the two communities discussed field conditions in the country, especially political ones.
Speeches delivered at the forum to express religious scholars Aptdehm Samaha Mr. Saleh Haidari, who conveyed the greetings of the President of the Court of stay Sunni, said in his speech Mr. al Conference on:
"The basic objective of the forum is to activate the national unity between all Iraqis, particularly between the two communities, and that the religious reference and religious scholars have the ability to take lofty goals for the unification of Iraq and we have great hope in the end the team in the country."
...With Mr. Al: "The conference brings us together today is not even a forum or message to the effect that the Declaration contains a series of important points as follows:
1. That brings us to today's declaration Antsaralouhdh Party and sedition.
2. We through Mmeltghana message to the Arab world and international and Arab and Islamic countries and Iraq's neighbors not to deal with Iraq on a sectarian basis, but on the basis of dealing with Iraq all the same trend, because we assure them that dealing with Iraq's sectarian serve their interests with the reality of the new Iraq.
3. Call for cultural battle after victory in the political battle field and against terrorism. This call was directed to all scholars of Islam.
4. Send a letter to the Iraqis calling for a culture of cohesion that our way to victory.
With over Najaf governor Asad Sultan Abu tirelessly in a speech during the Forum welcomed the attendees viewers in the city of science and scientists and was pleased with the guests and wished them success Mmeltkahm nationally.
He said the points on which it considers the subject of discussion on the Iraqi arena:"
1. The importance of the role of the nation's scholars in uniting the nation and collected.
2. We must work to promote a culture of justice to achieve a balance between the sons of the nation.
3. Nscherthagaffh importance of dialogue between the sons of the Islamic nation.
4. Maintaining ties and cohesion of Iraqi society.
5. We have to intensify our information and the media, aimed at building the Islamic nation."
With Sheikh Mohammed Kznie representative of the delegation of scientists in Kurdistan in his speech expressed deep happiness in the city of Najaf and meeting with religious references where special meeting was organized by Imam Sistani...
Michelle Malkin has got the scoop and be sure to click through to all of her links...
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Haider Abbas, a 36-year-old taxi driver, had only a few moments to answer what is often a life-or-death question in this city: Would he drive a passenger home?
The home, on that scorching afternoon last month, happened to be in Adhamiyah, a notoriously dangerous neighborhood where several cabbies had been gunned down. Abbas hadn't been there in two years. But the fare pleaded that it had become safer, so the cabbie reluctantly agreed to go.
"To tell you the truth, I thought I had just traded my life for 5,000 dinars," or $4, said Abbas, who was shocked when he arrived in the traffic-jammed streets of Adhamiyah to see shops open and people strolling in the road. "Then I suddenly realized that security really is returning to Baghdad."
In a city where few residents believe official statements on declining violence, whether from the U.S. military or the Iraqi government, some of the most reliable figures on security improvements can be found on the odometers of Baghdad's taxi drivers.
After years of sectarian warfare whittled down the list of neighborhoods where they could safely work, cabbies are once again crisscrossing nearly all of Baghdad. Every day they assess the constantly shifting boundaries between danger and security, hoping that life will return to normal, but mindful that this is still a city where anyone could be killed at any moment for no particular reason.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
CFP: Al Gore buddy owner of sunken ship that left huge carbon footprint on Antarctic Ocean floor
A widely performed school play has been canceled by Lakota officials after a recent meeting with a local NAACP official.
The internationally acclaimed play - Agatha Christie’s “Ten Little Indians” - was to be performed by students at Lakota East High School this weekend.
But Gary Hines, president of the local NAACP branch, recently complained to Lakota officials that the play, based on Christie’s 1939 mystery novel, was inappropriate for a school production.
Hines said the book’s original title and cover illustration used for its initial publishing that year in England was a racial slur toward blacks and included a cover illustration of a black person and a hangman’s noose.
“The original title was ‘Ten Little (N - - - - - -),’ and it is important to say that because that was the actual title,” Hines said Monday.
The title of the international bestseller was widely changed after 1939, and school theater productions in America have performed the murder mystery play as either “Ten Little Indians” or “And Then There Were None” for decades since.
Hines claims that a lack of racial diversity among Lakota’s students and teachers allowed the play to be chosen despite the history surrounding its original title.
“It’s a lack of diversity knowledge on their part. Diversity is not a way of life in Lakota,” Hines said.
After the October 20th primary election for which only 27.5% of the city's registered voters turned out, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin said he was "disgusted."
In a television interview, Nagin said "it was kind of offensive to me, because here I am bustin' my butt every day and all I'm asking citizens to do is to plug into the democratic process."
It's now reported that Nagin himself was a no-show at the polls in October.
Retailers expected a boost between 4-5% on "Black Friday". They got almost twice that, as shoppers flooded the malls on the day after Thanksgiving, the traditional kickoff of the Christmas shopping season. Consumers shrugged off the credit crunch and the rhetoric of the doom-and-gloom Democrats, who promise that poverty lurks just around the corner.
One might think that this would make headlines -- but despite the AP's report, few of its clients appear to have selected it for the Sunday papers.
67% Prefer Merry Christmas while 26% Opt for Happy Holidays
Thursday, November 22, 2007
As the holiday season begins, 67% of American adults like stores to use the phrase “Merry Christmas” in their seasonal advertising rather than “Happy Holidays.” A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that just 26% prefer the Happy Holidays line.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Sects unite to battle Al Qaeda in Iraq
QARGHULIA, Iraq — Despite persistent sectarian tensions in the Iraqi government, war-weary Sunnis and Shiites are joining hands at the local level to protect their communities from militants on both sides, U.S. military officials say.
In the last two months, a U.S.-backed policing movement called Concerned Citizens, launched last year in Sunni-dominated Anbar province under the banner of the Awakening movement, has spread rapidly into the mixed Iraqi heartland.
Of the nearly 70,000 Iraqi men in the Awakening movement, started by Sunni Muslim sheiks who turned their followers against Al Qaeda in Iraq, there are now more in Baghdad and its environs than anywhere else, and a growing number of those are Shiite Muslims.
Commanders in the field think they have tapped into a genuine public expression of reconciliation that has outpaced the elected government's progress on mending the sectarian rift.
The must enjoy stories like this;
Failing to Win War Votes, Democrats Say They Won’t Back Down
By David Herszenhorn New York Times November 19, 2007
WASHINGTON — Democrats in Congress failed once again Friday to shift President Bush’s war strategy in Iraq, but insisted that they would not let up. Their explanation for their latest foiled effort seemed to boil down to a simple question: “What else are we supposed to do?”
Frustrated by the lack of political progress in Iraq, under pressure by antiwar groups and mindful of polls showing that most Americans want the war to end, the Democrats last week put forward a $50 billion war spending bill with strings attached knowing it would fail.
Like so many of the war-related measures that Democrats have proposed this year, the spending bill sought to set a timeline for redeploying American troops, and to narrow the mission to focus on counterterrorism and on the training of Iraq’s security forces.
And, like so many of the war-related measures that Democrats proposed this year, it was approved in the House only to wither and die in the Senate, where on Friday it fell 7 votes short of the 60 needed to prevent a Republican filibuster — with 45 senators voting to block the measure.
All signs indicate that Democrats will continue proposing such measures as long as Mr. Bush remains in office and troops remain in Iraq. “We are going to keep plugging away,” said Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, chairman of the Armed Services Committee...
"What else are we supposed to do?" How about win the war! Support the troops by giving them the funding they need to continue the stunning turnaround in Iraq.
Friday, November 16, 2007
Santas warned 'ho ho ho' offensive to women
SYDNEY (AFP) - Santas in Australia's largest city have been told not to use Father Christmas's traditional "ho ho ho" greeting because it may be offensive to women, it was reported Thursday.
Sydney's Santa Clauses have instead been instructed to say "ha ha ha" instead, the Daily Telegraph reported.
One disgruntled Santa told the newspaper a recruitment firm warned him not to use "ho ho ho" because it could frighten children and was too close to "ho", a US slang term for prostitute.
"Gimme a break," said Julie Gale, who runs the campaign against sexualising children called Kids Free 2B Kids.
"We are talking about little kids who do not understand that "ho, ho, ho" has any other connotation and nor should they," she told the Telegraph.
"Leave Santa alone."
A local spokesman for the US-based Westaff recruitment firm said it was "misleading" to say the company had banned Santa's traditional greeting and it was being left up to the discretion of the individual Santa himself.
And just in case you missed the London story...
Santa told to slim down for Christmas to 'set a good example'05.11.07
Santa is being told to shift the pounds before Christmas - because the obese saint is failing to set a "good example" for children.
The traditional children's hero, best known for feasting on mince pies left out on Christmas eve, has always sported a bulging midriff.
But shopping centre bosses are giving the well-wisher his marching orders - to the nearest gym - to tackle the increasing problem of obesity.
The revelation comes after a medical report earlier this month stated that by 2050 more than 50 per cent of Brits will be obese.
Bluewater shopping centre in Greenhithe, Kent, has even gone one step further and set-up a Santa boot camp.
Fiona Campbell-Reilly, spokeswoman at the shopping centre, said: "Santa has been around for years, but society has changed and our Santa needs to reflect this.
"Bluewater's Santa Boot Camp is getting Santa in shape and setting a good example to children who idolise him.
"He will still be the same lovable jolly man, but will be fitter and healthier."
Despite Santa burning 600 calories an hour from delivering presents, the problem lies in the tasty mince pies left as a treat.
If he ate every single mince pie left for him by eager children in the UK he would gain an astonishing 721,000 lbs.
Dr Charmaine Griffiths, spokesperson from the British Heart Foundation, said: "The bootcamp would encourage people to get a bit more active - it is a great idea.
"If you are budding santa or a hopeful elf, then we should all be taking steps to being fit and healthier at Christmas.
"Half an hour of exercise, three days a week could make your heart healthier. I think that like most of us, santa could be doing more to make himself that little bit fitter.
"He can have a pie every so often but try to squeeze in a few carrots as well."
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Britain, France Argue Which Is Closest U.S. Ally
By NICHOLAS WAPSHOTT
Staff Reporter of the Sun
November 13, 2007
Not to be outdone by President Sarkozy's amorous overture to President Bush in Washington, Prime Minister Brown of Britain has used the first major foreign policy speech of his premiership to insist that Britain is America's closest ally.
After decades of Anglo-French rivalry, in which France has vehemently deplored the global influence America and Britain have attained and what every president of France since Charles de Gaulle has described as "Anglo-Saxon culture," Mr. Sarkozy claimed during his visit to Washington last week that France, not Britain, is now America's best friend and partner.
And now in Denmark pro-American leader Anders Fogh Rasmussen and his party was reelected;
Denmark's governing coalition, led by Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, has won a general election, but is one seat short of an absolute majority.
With all the votes counted, his Liberal-Conservative led government has taken 89 of the 179 seats in the Folketing, the country's parliament.
Mr Rasmussen could be forced to seek support from a new party headed by a Syrian-born Palestinian immigrant.
Turnout was higher than in the previous poll, held in 2005, at over 86%.
Mr Rasmussen, 54, who won a third consecutive election after the 2001 and 2005 victories was in a jubilant mood.
"Everything indicates that the government can continue," he told his supporters after victory became clear.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
From Drudge:CNN's Wolf Blitzer has been warned not to focus Thursday's Dem debate on Hillary. 'This campaign is about issues, not on who we can bring down and destroy,' top Clinton insider explains. 'Blitzer should not go down to the levels of character attack and pull 'a Russert.'' Blitzer is set to moderate debate from Vegas, with questions also being posed by Suzanne Malveaux... Developing...
About 500 unionized news writers could soon join their creative colleagues on the picket line.
The writers, employees of CBS News television and radio, are expected to overwhelmingly approve a strike authorization. Represented by Writers Guild of America East, the writers were scheduled to vote Thursday.
Student Muriel Gallo-Chasanoff said a staffer told her what to ask at a campaign event for Sen. Hillary Clinton.
GRINNELL, Iowa (CNN) — The college student who says she was told what question to ask at one of Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign events told CNN Monday that she wasn't the only one at the event who was a plant and said "voters have the right to know what really happened."
In an exclusive interview with CNN, Muriel Gallo-Chasanoff, a 19-year-old sophomore at Grinnell College in Iowa — whose story in her campus newspaper has now been widely circulated — said that giving anyone specific questions to ask is "dishonest," and the whole incident has given her a negative outlook on politics.Gallo-Chasanoff, an undecided voter, said what happened was really pretty simple: she says a senior Clinton staffer asked if she'd like to ask the senator a question after an energy speech she gave in Newton, Iowa, on November 6. (Watch Gallo-Chasanoff ask Clinton the question)
"I sort of thought about it, and I said 'Yeah, can I ask how her
energy plan compares to the other candidates' energy plans?'"
"'I don't think that's a good idea," the staffer said, according to
Gallo-Chasanoff, "because I don't know how familiar she is with their plans."
He then opened a binder to a page that, according to Gallo-Chasanoff, had about eight questions on it.
"The top one was planned specifically for a college student," she added. " It said 'college student' in brackets and then the question."
The truth is Hollywood people are massively uninformed. They live in a bubble and, outside what they read in the New York Times and hear on NPR, they know almost nothing about what is really going on in the Middle East. And very few of them are curious to find out, because they assume what they already know is true and they have no impetus to investigate further.
But there is deeper reason for this than mere convenience and received conventional wisdom. These are not curious people because they are highly self-protective. They live a hugely privileged lifestyle, often based to a great degree on luck (and they know it), and this existence could only be threatened by contradictory information. Who wants that – particularly when it would alienate your colleagues, hurt your reputation and cause work problems?
Better to produce movies that validate the orthodoxy, even if they are economic disasters. Your colleagues will be impressed and you might win a prize (De Palma did – at Venice). Most of them are low budget anyway – a piffle. And the distribution system is rigged anyway. The antiwar swill won’t lose that much money because, boring as the films may be, they will be force-fed into the global entertainment machine, grouped in packages with other movies and sold to foreign television distributors to re-emerge as late-night reruns in Albania or wherever on into 2027 and beyond. A minor loss, if any.
And there is another benefit. (Here is where I am really going to make enemies.) Making movies like these or making extreme liberal public pronouncements make you seem like a good guy to yourself, when in your private life you are a miserable, self-serving bastard.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
NBC had hoped to extend its “Green is Universal” environmental campaign to late-night this week. Ed Begley Jr. was lined up to share eco-friendly advice on “The Tonight Show” and guests with the word “green” in their names — like the actor Seth Green and the musician Jackie Greene — were booked on “Late Night With Conan O’Brien.” Those plans have been sidelined.
Monday, November 05, 2007
HENLEY DEFENDS EAGLES' WAL-MART DEAL
Movie & Entertainment News provided by World Entertainment News Network (www.wenn.com)
2007-10-24 20:26:43 -
THE EAGLES star DON HENLEY has defended the band's decision to strike a distribution deal with U.S. supermarket chain Wal-Mart.
The group's new album, Long Road Out Of Eden, will be sold exclusively through the retailers in North America, but the band has been criticised for working with the supermarket giant due to Henley's credentials as a long-time environmental activist.
The new album also includes critical references to American consumerism and big business - with many fans accusing The Eagles of hypocrisy.
But Henley is convinced their relationship with Wal-Mart can help in the fight for green issues.
He says, "You would have thought we made a deal with the devil. We caught plenty of flak. Some of my environmental friends are a little upset because we made this deal. But on the other hand, I have a direct line now to the CEO of Wal-Mart.
"We're certainly making our feelings known in terms of ecological stewardship and some of the practices of big business that are undesirable and wasteful."
So now Don Henley has the CEO's cell phone number. The planet is saved. I know what green issues this deal takes care of for Henley and company...
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Ellison wants to ban photo ID as requirement for voting
By FREDERIC J. FROMMER
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Requiring photo IDs to vote in federal elections would be banned under legislation introduced Wednesday by Rep. Keith Ellison, who said such requirements disenfranchise minorities, the poor, women, elderly and young people.
“While photo IDs seem harmless, they are in fact the modern day poll tax,” Ellison, D-Minn., said in a statement.
Ellison, who serves on the Judiciary Committee, got an important backer for the bill, as the panel’s chairman, Michigan Democrat John Conyers, signed on a co-sponsor…
"Senator Clinton supports governors like Governor Spitzer who believe they need such a measure to deal with the crisis caused by this administration's failure to pass comprehensive immigration reform,'" her campaign said.
Mrs. Clinton's aides said her statement was intended to signal that she broadly supported Mr. Spitzer's goal of awarding driver's licenses to illegal immigrants. Mr. Spitzer initially proposed a blanket program of awarding full-fledged driver's licenses to illegal immigrants; in the face of sharp opposition from the Legislature, he backed off and presented a two-tier program system of awarding licenses to illegal immigrants.
Mrs. Clinton's advisers said that she had not studied either plan, and was not specifically endorsing either of them. [E.A.]