How Irish Crooks Prepare for a Christmas Party

Leave it to the Irish to pull something like this for beer:

DUBLIN, Ireland (AP) — Irish police were hunting for a beer bandit who stole 450 full kegs from the Guinness brewery — the largest heist ever at Ireland's largest brewer.

National police said a lone man drove into the brewery — a Dublin landmark and top tourist attraction — on Wednesday and hitched his truck to a fully loaded trailer awaiting delivery to city pubs.


Police said the raider took 180 kegs of Guinness stout, 180 kegs of U.S. lager Budweiser and 90 kegs of Danish beer Carlsberg. Guinness brews both of those foreign brands under license for sale in Ireland.

Yep, someone's gonna have a heck of a Christmas party.

This is Government of the People, by the People, for the People?

A reader of NRO's Corner blog had a comment, which I believe is worth repeating in its entirety.

What a beautiful primary season it's been. We're entering the finish line, without a single American having had the annoyance of having to cast a single vote in a single primary. Glad all the pundits, pollsters, and big-money backers took care of all that messy "democracy" business for us. You wonder what causes the insanity of pushing primaries forward farther and farther? Some non-beltway, non-money people, crazy as they are, would actually like the chance to pick their candidate. Now, apparently Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, instead of being the starting gate, are actually the finish line.
I can't say it any better than that, so I won't try.


More Bad News for the Nattering Nabobs of Negativism in Iraq

The MoveOnocrats are in for another surprise if this report from the Kuwaiti News Agency gets much coverage here:

BAGHDAD, Nov 27 (KUNA) -- Leading Shiite cleric in Iraq Ali Sistani Tuesday banned the killing of Iraqis, particularly the Sunnis, and urged the Shiites to protect their brother Sunnis.

Sistani bans the Iraqi blood in general the blood of Sunnis in particular. His announcement came during a meeting with a delegation from Sunni clerics from southern and northern Iraq.

The clerics are visiting Najaf to participate in the first national conference for Ulemaa of Shiites and Sunnis.

Sistani called on the Shiites to protect their Sunni brothers, according to Sheikh Khaled Al-Mulla, head of the authority of Ulemaa of Southern Iraq, noting that the Fatwa of Sistani would have positive impacts nationwide.

"I am a servant of all Iraqis, there is no difference between a Sunni, a Shitte or a Kurd or a Christian," Al-Mulla quoted Sistani as saying during the meeting.

Sistani warned the Sunni clerics from the plans of the enemies to plant seeds of discord among the Iraqis.

The visiting delegation voiced relief for the meeting and said they backed Sistani's stance.
In other words, religious coexistence is on its way, perhaps even religious cooperation, in Iraq.

Sorry, Defeatocrats, no religious civil war in Iraq today. Too bad you're so invested in defeat that you can't rejoice at that.

For more on Sistani and his influence both inside and outside Iraq, see NRO's The Tank, whom I owe a tip of the blogging hat for this story.


Another Measure of Our Success in Iraq

Shhhh... don't tell Harry Reid, John Murtha, or any of the rest of the MoveOnocrats...

Iraqis who fled their country are now returning home by the thousands.

Brig. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi, spokesman for the U.S.-Iraqi efforts to pacify Baghdad, said border crossings by returning refugees numbered 46,030 in October alone. He attributed the large numbers to the "improving security situation" resulting from the successful military surge orchestrated by Gen. David Petraeus.

"We are receiving tremendous numbers of displaced families at the borders of Syria and Jordan," says Maj. Gen. Mohsen Abdul Hassan, head of Iraq's department of border enforcement. "We have difficulties dealing with the large numbers. There are long lines of vehicles."

Of course, we all know Iraq is a failure, that there can never be any success there, that Iraqis want us out, etc, etc, etc.

Meanwhile, the citizens of that nation who once fled in terror from terrorists are now voting... with their feet... and returning.

The 22nd Amendment has been Repealed!

...at least that's what Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill and BDS sufferer, seems to think:

"George Bush is on the ballot in 2008," Emanuel said.
Go for it, Rahm... vent your spleen against Dubya. And make a psychiatrist's appointment for 21 January 2009. I think you're going to need it.

DHS Wants to Split Up Chinese Families

Attorney General Mukasey has a chance to show that he's the right man for the job.

DHS is seeking to reverse decades of U.S. policy and reinterpret a 1996 U.S. law in order to return Chinese fathers whose wives have fled forced sterilization or abortion by the Chinese government to Communist China, where they will be separated from their families and face certain retaliation for the crime of fathering an unapproved child. DHS has now convinced the Second Circuit Court of its position, creating a split among the circuits. The matter now rests in the hands of the attorney general, who has previously had discretion to grant asylum to those worthy.
Let's hope Mukasey quickly rules that it's not right to split up these families and send Daddy back to face the Red Chinese.

Some more background... it's not pretty, but it should be mentioned:
Under China’s “one-child” policy (which sometimes permits two children), China requires sterilization for new mothers and forced abortions for women exceeding the limit. The State Department reports that in 2005, in just one province, 130,000 women were subjected to forced abortion or sterilization. According to congressional testimony by Chinese refugees and other interviews with Chinese citizens, women who go into hiding to avoid this routinely have their homes destroyed, or members of their family are imprisoned.

China’s population-control program also requires abortions for all unwed mothers. This is even more intrusive than it sounds, because another component of the 1979 population policy bans marriage for men under the age of 22 and women under the age of 20 — and in some provinces, the age requirement for marriage is as high as 25.

Because of the marriage ban, many young Chinese couples secretly get traditional marriages that are not sanctioned by the state. Yet this carries with it a risk — if the wife becomes pregnant, the state will frequently force her, as an “unwed” mother, to abort.

As a consequence of this policy, the Reagan administration began a policy of accepting, with open arms, women who have fled China to avoid forced abortions or sterilization. His policy also accepted the baby’s fathers, upon whom Chinese law confers equal punishment for the crime of unauthorized breeding. This included both “legal” husbands and “traditional” ones, and even committed partners who fathered the children, because like the mothers they faced political persecution.

President Clinton reversed course, adopting an extremely callous policy that no longer considered forced abortion a form of political persecution. His undersecretary of state for global affairs, former Sen. Tim Wirth (D., Colo.), famously and cruelly equated China’s regime of forced abortions with “family planning” when he argued in 1995 for the deportation of 13 Chinese women who had arrived in the United States aboard the Golden Venture: “[W]e could potentially open ourselves up to just about everybody in the world saying ‘I don’t want to plan my family, therefore I deserve political asylum.” (Emphasis added.)

Clinton’s decision to reverse the policy and deport these women was received with bipartisan outrage. In order to force Clinton’s hand, Reps. Chris Smith (R., N.J.) and Henry Hyde (R., Ill.) passed a new policy into law the following year by slipping it into a larger immigration bill that Clinton wanted to sign. Their amendment, known as Section 601, was intended to protect Chinese mothers and their husbands who fled procreative persecution from being deported to China.

The Hyde-Smith law protects “a person who has been forced to abort a pregnancy” or faces persecution “for other resistance to a coercive population control program.” The first phrase, says Smith, does not explicitly refer to couples, but it was clearly intended throughout the congressional debate, sworn testimony in committee, and in the House report language on the measure, to refer to both mothers and fathers. Both, after all, are subject to the same penalties, and both are being forced to terminate a pregnancy they initiated together. At the very least, the second phrase would appear to apply to both.
So DHS is basically going back to the Clinton interpretation.

Let's hope Mukasey brings them quickly to heel.


Navy Requesting More Fuel for Persian Gulf Forces

With the situation in Iraq stabilizing, this report raises the possibility of a stronger stance with Iran in the not-too-distant future:

LONDON, Nov 23 (Reuters) - The U.S. military has stepped up chartering of tankers and requests for extra fuel in the U.S. Central Command area, which includes the Gulf, shipping and oil industry sources say.

A Gulf oil industry source said the charters suggested there would be high naval activity, possibly including a demonstration to Iran that the U.S. Navy will protect the Strait of Hormuz oil shipping route during tensions over Tehran's nuclear programme.

The U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command (MSC) has tendered for four tankers in November to move at least one million barrels of jet and ship fuel between Gulf ports, from Asia to the Gulf and to the Diego Garcia base, tenders seen by Reuters show.

It usually tenders for one or two tankers a month to supply Gulf operations, which include missions in Iraq.

The MSC, asked for comment, confirmed the tenders and said there was nothing abnormal about current requirements in the Gulf, where it has a large military presence and which is home to the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet.

A fifth hire request was recently cancelled, it said.

Fuels specified to be moved between Gulf ports include JP5, high flashpoint jet fuel, used to power F18 fighters aboard aircraft carriers.

That same "Gulf source" had some idea of why they are calling for more fuel, and given that he's said to have been in the oil business quite some time, I tend to think his thoughts are at least worth considering:

One of the largest commercial tanker hires is on a time-charter basis, the length of time a ship is sought, stipulating a period of 90 days to carry a range of fuels between locations in the Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.

The time charter, which begins in early December and allows for multiple journeys in Gulf waters, is to carry a minimum of 310,000 barrels of jet and marine fuel, some of it JP5.

"What's most interesting is the time-charter in the Gulf. It's a big ship and here we have a commitment for a lot of movement of fuels, backwards and forwards down to the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman," the Gulf source said.

"This confirms there is going to be a lot of activity, possibly a serious demonstration to Iran that the military means to protect the Hormuz Strait," he said.

He pointed out that Saudi Arabia had already promised U.S. forces long-term fuel supplies this year, known as term tenders.

In February, oil industry sources told Reuters Riyadh had raised the amount of jet fuel earmarked for the military from 1.5 million barrels last year to close to eight million in 2007.

So, don't be surprised if we see military maneuvers in the next 90 days or so aimed at showing the Iranians how easily we can reach them, or anything between that and a full-scale invasion.

And don't be surprised if the lefties howl bloody murder if and when it happens.

How Democrats Support the Troops, Part II

Ahh, the good old Party of the Donkey... they whose patriotism we dare not question... they who support the troops while slandering their leaders (both civilian and military leaders)... they're at it again:

Providing veterans' benefits to Filipino service members is only half of the issue.

Perhaps more egregious is how the Democrats offset the cost of the new benefits. Because of House PAYGO rules, any new entitlement spending (such as the Filipino Veterans Equity Act) must be funded by either a corresponding cut in existing spending or matching revenue gains.

In this case, the Democrats on the Veterans Committee voted to save nearly $1 billion by eliminating a $2,200 special monthly payment to veterans who are less than 100 percent disabled, but 60 percent or greater disabled.
Yep, there ya go... they support the Filipino veterans--who never appeared in US uniform, by the way, being soldiers of the Philippines--by cutting benefits to disabled veterans who did wear the stars and stripes, and did so bravely and heroically.

That's our MoveOn-dominated party on the left for ya, folks.

More on Chavez and the Marxist Terrorists

I pointed out in this post how close Hugo Chavez is with the Marxist FALN terrorists in Columbia... here's some more data for you to ruminate on:

In theory, a mediator should persuade two sides to each give up something to achieve a common end. The only one who gave up anything, however, was [Colombian President] Uribe, who watched Chavez cavort with terrorists before TV cameras, giving them a legitimacy in Caracas they never had known.

Even worse, Chavez proved to be acting as an agent of the terrorists. Uribe's sudden cutoff of the mediation effort at a hastily organized press conference last Wednesday suggested disturbing new information.

On Sunday, Chavez confirmed it: "I think Colombia deserves another president, it deserves a better president," he said.

That followed a discussion in a U.S. prison between extradited FARC terrorist Ricardo Palmera, aka "Simon Trinidad," and another mediator and Chavez ally appointed by Uribe, Senator Piedad Cordoba. They discussed "a transitional government" with the terrorist as a bargaining chip for the hostage swap.

On Monday, Chavez repeated what he had in mind to make sure Uribe understood. "Reconciliation is impossible," he said. "We have to wait for a new government in Colombia we can talk with. I hope it arrives sooner rather than later."

Sure sounds like he's supporting the terrorists... what they want is a new government in Colombia, too, one patterned on Marxist ideals... like Chavez's Venezuela, for example.

Good thing his stock seems to be falling, as people like Uribe get wise to him.

Get Ready for the Blood For Oil Meme to Rise Again

Looks like lefties will have to switch memes again... which shouldn't be hard for them, as they have no core beliefs except hatred of George W. Bush.

First, the outgoing meme:

BAGHDAD (AP) - Iraq's government, seeking protection against foreign threats and internal coups, will offer the U.S. a long-term troop presence in Iraq in return for U.S. security guarantees as part of a strategic partnership, two Iraqi officials said Monday.
There goes the "Iraqis don't want us there" meme down the tubes. If the democratically elected and sovereign government asks us to stay, how can anyone say with a straight face that they don't want us there?

However, there's another one coming up... the old, familiar, tired, "blood for oil" meme:

The two senior Iraqi officials said Iraqi authorities had discussed the broad outlines of the proposal with U.S. military and diplomatic representatives. The Americans appeared generally favorable subject to negotiations on the details, which include preferential treatment for American investments, according to the Iraqi officials involved in the discussions.

The two Iraqi officials, who are from two different political parties, spoke on condition of anonymity because the subject is sensitive. Members of parliament were briefed on the plan during a three-hour closed-door meeting Sunday, during which lawmakers loyal to radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr objected to the formula.

Preferential treatment for U.S. investors could provide a huge windfall if Iraq can achieve enough stability to exploit its vast oil resources. Such a deal would also enable the United States to maintain leverage against Iranian expansion at a time of growing fears about Tehran's nuclear aspirations.

So get ready for the great hue and cry that it was all about oil... nevermind that this is just an offer, not a firm deal, and that it is a free and democratically elected Iraqi government that is making the offer with the only valuable resource it has to bargain with. I mean, what else are they going to offer the US for our continued troop presence? Sand?

How the (British) Left Supports the Troops

And you thought it was just an American thing:

Injured soldiers who lost their limbs fighting for their country have been driven from a swimming pool training session by jeering members of the public.

The men, injured during tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, were taking part in a rehabilitation session at a leisure centre, when two women demanded they be removed from the pool. They claimed that the soldiers "hadn't paid" and might scare the children.

The incident has sparked widespread condemnation. Adml Lord Boyce, a former head of the Armed Forces, said last night the women should be "named and shamed".

"These people are beneath contempt and everything should be done to get their names and publish them in the press," he said. "It is contemptible that people who have given up their limbs for their country should be so abused when they are trying to get fit again."

It comes after calls for the public to do more to welcome home troops back from tours of duty and to recognise the bravery of those fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The unpleasant scenes broke out at Leatherhead Leisure Centre in Surrey when the wounded veterans, who are at Headley Court Military Hospital, had to use the 25-metre public pool because the hydro-pool at the defence rehabilitation centre is not big enough for swimming.

Seems like this neighborhood is the British version of Berkley:
There was uproar earlier this year after residents objected to planning permission to convert a home into a six-suite hostel for injured soldiers' families to stay in. The local council later approved the building work.
I guess moonbats live everywhere these days.

Hat Tip: Michelle Malkin


What Fred Really Said

Courtesy Jim Geraghty, a transcript of part of Fred's exchange with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday:

THOMPSON: This has been a constant mantra of Fox, to tell you the truth. And I saw the promo for this bill, and I think it was kind of — for this show, and it was kind of featuring the New Hampshire poll. Let’s put things in context a little bit, to start with.

WALLACE: Well, I don’t know that —- I mean, I don’t know that Fox has been going after you, and I certainly don’t think Charles Krauthammer and Fred Barnes…

THOMPSON: From day one, they said I got in too late, I couldn’t do it.

WALLACE: But there were a lot of people besides Fox who said that, sir.

THOMPSON: Well, but I’m — these are the two you used.


THOMPSON: All right. Well, they said I got in too late, couldn’t do it…


THOMPSON: … wouldn’t raise enough money, and that sort of thing. And that’s their opinion. They’re entitled to their opinion. But that doesn’t seem to be shared by the cross-section of American people. If you look at the national polls, you’ll see that I’m running second and have been running second for a long time. I’m running ahead of a guy who spent probably $50 million more than I have and been running for a year longer. If you look in South Carolina, I’ve either been leading or tied for the lead for a long, long time. I moved from fourth to third in Iowa, ahead of Rudy Giuliani, incidentally.

So you know, they’re entitled to their opinion, but for you to highlight nothing but the negative in terms of these polls, and then put on your own guys, who have been predicting for four months, really, that I couldn’t do it, you know, kind of skews things a little bit.

And there ya have it. Don't believe the spin, believe what he really said.

Romney's Judge Troubles

By now, the buzz is going around fast and furious about a Romney-appointed judge letting a killer go free with no bail after allegations that he'd assaulted two prison guards, and threatened former Governor Romney's life.

My own thoughts on this are that this should be a non-issue. Romney is no telepath nor fortune teller, he had no way of knowing that this judge would ever rule this way. His campaign spokesman says that the judge's record as a prosecutor showed that she would be "a law and order judge," so it really doesn't seem to be a slip on Mitt's part.

However, politics is largely about perception, so this will probably be a big problem for the Romney campaign. The term "Willie Horton" is already being heard in relation to this.

By the way, lest anyone think I am coming around to the Romney camp, think again... I just don't like seeing a campaign accused of something as idiotic as push-polling themselves, or criticized for not being prescient regarding what judges might do in the future.

Bottom line, I'm still behind Fred for the nomination. If he doesn't get it, well, we'll see what happens then.

Columbia Reborn

Speaking of Columbian President Uribe, NRO has a great article (link in the title) about him and his progress in rebuilding the nation after the drug wars of the 90s. Maybe the Iraqis should pay attention.

In what was once the most dangerous neighborhood of this, the world’s most notorious city, a Sunday afternoon is a bustling, joyful affair. The scampering children and people sitting at tiny sidewalk cafes on the narrow streets would be fit subjects for a Colombian Norman Rockwell.

“Look,” says New York Democratic Rep. Gregory Meeks, part of a congressional delegation visiting from the United States, “they’re cooking pizzas, they’re eating ice cream, boyfriends and girlfriends are holding hands — this is amazing, this Medellin! We’re supposed to be dodging bullets.”

The late drug lord Pablo Escobar made this city into one of the most violent on Earth. Men like Sergio Fajardo — the outgoing mayor, a mathematician who is a leader in a citizens’ movement that arose in opposition to the violence — made it into a city that belies its reputation. In 1991, 6,500 people were murdered here; in 2006, 700 were. Medellin’s murder rate is now lower than Baltimore’s.
Okay, I know, that's not specifically about Uribe... keep reading.
Medellin is a microcosm of Colombia. President Alvaro Uribe has forged extraordinary security gains by taking the fight to the country’s hellish brew of left-wing guerrillas, their paramilitary opponents and narco-traffickers. The strength of the main guerrilla group, FARC, is down an estimated 40 percent from its peak, and more than 30,000 paramilitary fighters have been demobilized. Murders have dropped 40 percent from 2002 to 2006, and kidnappings almost 80 percent from 2000 to 2006.
Notice... violence is decreased by taking the fight to the terrorists. Democrats should listen, and listen good... but they won't. Once again, Democrats are standing in the way of helping those in need, in favor of one of their preferred constituencies.
But security is not enough. Colombia is awash in displaced people, chased from their homes by dueling guerrilla armies, and young men who have to be resocialized after lives of violence. They need jobs. That’s why the Colombia-U.S. Free Trade Agreement is so important. It is pending in Congress, where Democratic leaders might let it die in the gravest act of strategic short-sightedness since their attempted rebuke of Turkey.


The congressmen can’t help but be impressed. What holds Democrats back from supporting the trade agreement is union opposition back home. The unions hate the deal even though most Colombia exports to the U.S. already benefit from trade preferences, and the deal would remove duties on U.S. goods going to Colombia. They complain about violence against Colombian union leaders, but attacks against unionists have tracked with general trends of violence — as killings have declined since 2002, so have murders of union leaders.

Rep. Meeks, an advocate for Afro-Colombians, supports the deal. He calls progress in the country “nothing short of a miracle,” and blames the image of the “old Colombia” for limiting the deal’s support. “If you come here,” he says, strolling out into the streets of this revived neighborhood, “it’s a no-brainer.”
Yep, the party that claims to be the champion of the little guy, fighting a bill that would help raise the economic fortunes of people in a very hard-hit country.

Typical. So typical.


Another "Shup Up, Chavez" Moment

This one wasn't a direct "shut up" quote, but the meaning is pretty much the same:

The peace-at-any-price crowd is outraged by the way Colombia's president yanked the right of Hugo Chavez to talk with terrorists. But all Alvaro Uribe did was signal that in diplomacy, results matter.

Middle East peace-process negotiators, take note.

Colombia's president, at the urging of France's Nicolas Sarkozy, last August gave Venezuelan dictator Chavez a chance to mediate the release of 45 hostages held in Colombia's jungle dungeons by FARC, a brutal Marxist narcoterrorist group at war with Colombia since 1964. The French wanted FARC hostage Ingrid Betancourt, a Franco-Colombian citizen kidnapped in 2002, freed. Three American contractors are also on the hostage list.

Who better than the thuggish Chavez? Or so the wisdom went. The radical Venezuelan leader is a hero to the narcoterrorists, who've festooned their Web site with praises for his "revolution." If anyone could persuade them to release hostages, it would be him.

But it didn't take long for Uribe to realize talks with terrorists would go nowhere. So instead of going along, Uribe pulled the plug.

Uribe's move offers lessons in how to deal with terrorists in an era when peace talks go on, emboldening terrorists to act out.

(Colored emphasis mine.)

So, there we have it. Once again, Chavez has had an opportunity to do good, and when he couldn't or wouldn't deliver, he got told to be quiet.

It's also interesting, as I highlighted above, that Chavez is the poster boy for the kind of people who take hostages and keep them for years. Perhaps not the squeaky clean image some people have of him, but truth is truth.


Democrats and the Culture of Corruption, Part VI

Here we go again with the Clintons, money, and corruption:

Three years after the William J. Clinton Presidential Library opened its doors, the list of donors who helped the former president build his $165 million complex remains a secret from the public.

Yet the Blotter on ABCNews.com has learned that the Clinton Foundation sold portions of the list through a data company headed by a longtime friend and donor.

"The fact that they've sold the list and then turned around and said that these names must be kept anonymous completely undercuts their argument," said Sheila Krumholz of the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington, D.C.-based government watchdog group that tracks the influence of money in politics.

An employee of Walter Karl, a subsidiary of the data company InfoUSA, told ABCNews.com that the company made a list of more than 38,000 donors to the Clinton presidential library available for sale to foundations and other nonprofit groups from June 2006 to May 2007. A spokesman for the company would not say how the profits from the sale of the partial list were distributed.

Again, while this is not illegal, it is definitely morally reprehensible, since they'd made a big point earlier about donors being anonymous.

And there's more about InfoUSA, the parent company of Walter Karl, who was chosen to act as the vendor for the mailing list:

Vin Gupta, CEO of InfoUSA, was also on the list of donors giving $1 million or more.

His ties to the Clintons came under scrutiny earlier in the year when a lawsuit filed by InfoUSA shareholders accused Gupta of wasting millions of dollars of the company's money to "ingratiate himself" with the Clintons and other personal friends.

Separately, a New York Times article in May revealed that InfoUSA was involved in an investigation in Iowa for selling mailing lists of elderly Americans to criminals. In response to the investigation, the company released a statement saying, "While InfoUSA can not manage what a client does with the publicly available information InfoUSA provides, the company has a strict policy about not selling data to companies who act illegally."

Gupta has donated and raised millions of dollars for the Clintons' political campaigns and charities over the last decade. InfoUSA spent millions more paying the former president as a consultant and flying him and his wife to events around the country and family vacations in Hawaii and Acapulco, Mexico on the company's private jet, according to the court documents.

InfoUSA officials have stated that the expenses were "legitimate business expenses."

A spokesman for Sen. Clinton said in May that InfoUSA had been reimbursed for her flights, though ethics rules at the time only required the reimbursement be equal to the cost of first-class airfare.

Hmmm... InfoUSA has been reimbursed? The question is, how? Money or cozy deals like selling a list of donor names for the Clintons?

Makes one wonder, doesn't it?


Giving Thanks

I am thankful that people like Chris Hedges are writing for The Nation, and not running it (the USA as a nation, not the magazine):

I will not pay my income tax if we go to war with Iran. I realize this is a desperate and perhaps futile gesture. But an attack on Iran—which appears increasingly likely before the coming presidential election—will unleash a regional conflict of catastrophic proportions. This war, and especially Iranian retaliatory strikes on American targets, will be used to silence domestic dissent and abolish what is left of our civil liberties. It will solidify the slow-motion coup d'etat that has been under way since the 9/11 attacks. It could mean the death of the Republic.
I will put the taxes I owe in an escrow account. I will go to court to challenge the legality of the war. Maybe a courageous judge will rule that the Constitution has been usurped and the government is guilty of what the postwar Nuremberg tribunal defined as a criminal war of aggression. Maybe not. I do not know. But I do know this: I have friends in Tehran, Gaza, Beirut, Baghdad, Jerusalem and Cairo. They will endure far greater suffering and deprivation. I want to be able, once the slaughter is over, to at least earn the right to ask for their forgiveness.
And thank God they have the arrogance to write things like that for public consumption, so that we can see what kind of internal enemies we face.

God bless you all... even the lefties... even you, Mr. Troll, and you know who you are (if you write a kind response to this, it might actually get approved).


Our Friends, the Saudis

Whomever the next President is needs to start re-evaluating our relationship with Saudi Arabia--we know darned good and well that Bush won't in his remaining time in office, even in light of things like this:

But, hey, this is just another day in Saudi Arabia, where religious police trap teenage girls in burning school buildings for shedding the head-to-toe Islamic garments they must wear in the presence of men. Where it's a crime for adult women to drive, vote or hold office. And where polygamy is encouraged, and men in their 60s take 14-year-old brides.

Now this. The 19-year-old rape victim, a Shiite woman, originally received a sentence of 90 lashes from the Islamic court after she was kidnapped, beaten and repeatedly raped. Her crime? Being in the same car with an unrelated male companion.

She only agreed to meet the man after he threatened to tell her father they were having an affair if she didn't join him alone. She subsequently was abducted and raped by seven other men. Then her brother beat her for good measure because the rapes brought shame to the family.

Last week, the Supreme Judicial Council convicted her of unchaperoned car-sitting and hiked the sentence to 200 lashes and six months in prison.

After the West got wind of the barbarous ruling, the Saudi Ministry of Justice defended it by saying that "charges were proven" against the woman. So what's the problem?

Yep, just Saudi justice at work.

And Dubya, for all his good work in Iraq, is cozying up to these folks.


Hemingway Responds

Looks like more people than just your humble blogger have been after Mark Hemingway for his piece which all but concludes that Romney push-polled himself.

He's come out with a defense of sorts (link in the title of this post), but there's one point that's very easily debunked, and so I will take that one first and work on the rest as time permits.

Hemingway says:

And I did not merely speculate — I provided new evidence and I also provided pro-Romney balance as well.
This is very easily taken care of. Hemingway's article covers two pages at NRO, and fully one and one-third of those pages are devoted to "evidence" that Romney was involved... "evidence" like what the mysterious "Amanda," a name which Hemingway seems to believe unique.

Where's the pro-Romney balance? It's a mere three paragraphs, two of which are a mere three lines on my laptop screen. These three small paragraphs also appear on the lower two-thirds of page two, or if you prefer, "below the fold." Here they are:
The Romney defense is plausible, but not everyone is convinced. “Consultants tend to be tribal and work off of referral,” the aforementioned anonymous political consultant advises. “The ones that are whorish tend not to be in business for very long.”

There are a number of mitigating factors outlined on mymanmitt.com that suggest that the Romney campaign may be telling the truth. Western Wats has over 1,500 employees across the country — there’s no evidence that Amanda Earnshaw and other employees are donating to Romney at a rate or contribution level higher then the general population, or doing anything unethical or out of the ordinary to help the Romney campaign. And currently, not a single board member or the CEO of the company is Mormon.

Also, reports describing the calls note that in addition to the anti-Romney queries, questions were asked about John McCain’s military service. The McCain campaign has denied involvement and has asked the New Hampshire attorney general to investigate the incident.
This is "balance," New York Times style. Lead with the damning evidence, then bury any exculpatory evidence below the fold and fence it round with other accusations. If one just skips over the next paragraph, we are reminded:
According to another source at a rival campaign who wished to remain anonymous, there’s speculation that Romney may have push polled himself because his campaign wanted polling data regarding the negative perception of his Mormon faith for internal use. But since they couldn’t do so without causing controversy, they took steps to make it look like McCain.
And then there's this gem of a closing:
The Romney campaign, ultimately, has the power to clarify any misconceptions. If there is a relationship between the two firms, then Alex Gage and Target Point should immediately clarify the extent and nature of the work that it has contracted out to Western Wats to end speculation and exonerate Romney.
Sure sounds like Hemingway views Romney as "guilty until proven innocent," doesn't it? This is again the tactic of MoveOn, DailyKos, and Democratic Underground... just look at their treatment of, say, Blackwater.

All in all, I find his response highly unsatisfactory.


Push-Polling-Gate: UPDATED

Much ado is now being made about the push-polling against the Romney campaign--which specifically targeted his Latter-Day-Saint religion. There are several theories floating around out there, including (but not limited to):

  1. Romney's campaign did it to themselves, to get the issue out of the way. Evidence for this is supplied in the facts that the firm making the phone calls, Western Wats, has done work for Romney in the past, and another firm, Target Point, which appears to be involved has also been hired in times past by Romney. Also in the mix, Western Wats has several employees who have made contributions to the Romney 2008 campaign.
  2. Giuliani's campaign is behind it. Seems that a polling company used by Giuliani, the Tarrance Group, also has connections to Western Wats.
Personally, I find it hard to believe either of the above, though the accusations have been splashed all over the web... I found the following breathless section on National Review Online:
According to Whocallsme.com, on August 16 — almost exactly three months before the anti-Romney calls were made in Iowa and New Hampshire, a user named Bruce reported:
Call from Amanda at Target Point Consulting
66 Canal Center Plaza No. 555
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 535-8505
fax: (703) 535-8517
Caller ID: (801) 623-4621 [Emphasis Added]
Caller: Target Point Consulting
A Western Wats-Target Point connection sets off alarm bells since the Romney campaign has paid Target Point consulting $720,000.

Target Point’s president, Alex Gage, is a pioneer in the direct-marketing data-mining technique known as microtargeting. The Bush campaign spent nearly $3 million on Gage and Target Point’s services in the 2004 election. In the 2008 election cycle, Gage has been working closely with Romney. The Washington Post headlined an article about Gage “Romney’s Data Cruncher” and has elsewhere identified Gage as part of “Mitt Romney’s Inner Circle.”

Adding to the intrigue, Western Wats employs a dialer named Amanda Earnshaw who, according to election records, has made the maximum allowable donation of $2,300 to Romney’s campaign. Further, Federal Election Commission records reveal that Amanda’s husband Seth Hutchings, her father Craig Earnshaw, mother Colleen, and brother Berton have all maxed out donations to the Romney campaign. Craig Earnshaw is active in Romney’s campaign, serving as Utah’s co-chair for the state’s “Rally for Romney” fundraiser on September 28, 2007.
My Lord, we've got her! It's this "Amanda" who is behind it all... she works for Western Wats, and she also gave to the Romney campaign! And it's such an uncommon name that it just has to be the same person!

(disclaimer for those with their undergarments permanently in a twist: the above paragraph is sarcasm and satire.)

Puh-LEEZE! This is the sort of nonsense I, at least, expect from DailyKos, MoveOn, or Democratic Underground, not from National Review. A first name as common as Amanda simply cannot logically be used to prove anything.

As for the Giuliani accusation, that's just as ludicrous. Guilt by association has long since been revealed as invalid.

No, for my money, I go with what Jim Geraghty--also, let it be noted, working for National Review--has said:
The more I hear angry accusations from campaigns, and the more bad blood that is stirred, and the accusations that some campaigns employ bigoted arguments against a candidate, I start wondering... isn't this what some deep-pocketed Democrat would want to see in the GOP primary?
Indeed, as a conjecture this one has good legs under it. If a Democrat wanted to do this and reduce the risk of it being traced back to them--and unlike some of my fellow conservatives, I do admit that there are some pretty smart Democrats--they'd naturally use a company with lots of ties to Republicans, and if they can use one with direct ties to Romney, so much the better.

In short, this whole thing has "Politics of Personal Destruction" written large all over it. Whether it is Mrs. Clinton or one of the Democrats who learned the art from the eight years of Clinton ascendancy has yet to be determined, but it seems to be accomplishing exactly what the Party of the Donkey would want to see right now.

Let me also point out that I am neither a Romney nor Giuliani supporter... just take a gander at the sidebar to see which candidate I support. However, it is clear, from the points above, that if some hyper-partisan wants to make of this a case against Mitt or Rudy, they're gonna have to do a lot better than they have so far.

UPDATE: Well, not so much an update as an explanation of a point and the introduction of a new point that occurred to me after posting this last night.

First off, the "Amanda" thing. Mr. Mark Hemingway, the NRO columnist whose breathless article I excerpted above, seems to be conflating two Amandas. There is the one that works for Western Wats, who donated to Romney, and apparently another one that works at TargetPoint, and called "Bruce" from a Utah number. There is, at least so far, absolutely no evidence that they are the same person. Amanda is far too common a name for there to be any sort of assumed link... now, if the person was named Zaphod Beeblebrox, it could be assumed that they were the same person, but Amanda? It fails the laugh test.

Second, the assumption that Mitt or Rudy had something to do with this also fails the laugh test. In order to believe that, one would have to believe that the campaign--whichever one you fancy as the culprit--had staffers who were unaware that the Western Wats connection would be highly indicative of the campaign's involvement. Stripped of the fancy language--sorry, I get too verbose at times... and there I go again--Mitt or Rudy's people didn't realize that the use of Western Wats would point a huge glowing finger straight at them. I simply cannot believe that two such successful campaigns as Mitt's and Rudy's would have such incompetent people in a position where they could set up such a program. Now, Ron Paul's campaign... maybe. (Ooooh, am I gonna get hate mail for that one... good thing I have comments moderated.)

The more I look at this the more fantastic the accusations against Mitt and Rudy look. From Mr. Hemingway's article, it almost seems like Amanda might have been the person on the "grassy knoll" as well. Such outlandish conspiracy theories belong on the left, not in a heretofore respectable journal of conservative thought such as National Review.

More On the Blindness of our Intelligence Agencies

Here's an interesting piece that sort of dovetails with something I posted just yesterday...

Nada Nadim Prouty, a Lebanese national, infiltrated both the FBI and CIA — even though she lied on her application about being a U.S. citizen. Both agencies failed to catch the fraud in their security checks.

Prouty went on to access secret files about Hezbollah to tip off family members linked to the Lebanon-based terror group, something investigators failed to turn up in their original background check.

So, the CIA and FBI are both unable to even determine which of their applicants is a citizen?

If we don't get on the ball, we are doomed as a nation.


Ya Done Good

Okay, I am a bit late, but the Project Valour-IT Veterans Day Fundraiser is over. The following note appears on the website:

Thank you to all for your amazing efforts in helping us to raise more than $200,000 during our 3rd Annual Veteran's Day fundraiser. No words can express our gratitude. Thank you!
So to all those who donated, whether through this humble blog or others, all I gotta say is, Ya Done Good!

However, even though the Veteran's Day fundraising push is over, the need goes on. If you didn't donate before, or want to donate again, you can do so through this page.

Comments Now Moderated

Because of the actions of one particular troll, who shall remain nameless but who doubtless knows who he is, I am left with two options if I wish to run a "tight ship" as one friend put it:

  1. Ban the entire IP range of the troll's ISP, which is a large one.
  2. Moderate and approve all comments before they appear.
Rather than ban a large segment of the population because of the actions of one person, I've chosen #2. Therefore, it may take some time before comments appear on the blog. However, being a geek, I do have a smartphone, and have verified that I can approve or delete comments using its web browser, so I can take care of it from work as well as from home.

Hopefully the troll will get the message that he is not welcome here and we can remove moderation at some point in the future.

A Russian Speaks About Western Intelligence Services

...and what he says isn't pretty.

The CIA did not call Reagan insane, but spoke mockingly about his “evil-empirism.”

Still, my day came. In the mid-1970s the CIA began to testify regularly in Congress about Soviet Russia and Maoist China. That is, the CIA presented its papers on the subject and answered the questions of members of Congress. The resulting texts were made accessible to the public, and on the basis of them I wrote an article for “Commentary” magazine (September 1978), whence it was reprinted or retold by about 500 periodicals all over the West.

I made it clear to the readers that the CIA presented as intelligence/espionage data what the CIA collected from open Soviet and Chinese texts, i.e., the propaganda data from the totalitarian press of the two countries.

But without Western intelligence/espionage in dictatorships like those of Soviet Russia and post-1949 China, the West is doomed. Surely a dictatorship will not issue true military information about itself, which will weaken its first strike (“by the assassin’s mace”) that is to ensure their victory. Only the Western intelligence/espionage could obtain such data, but here it turns out that the Western intelligence/espionage does not exist. Instead, there are a number of well-paid officials who sit in comfortable offices and are paid good salaries for passing the propaganda of a closed militarized dictatorship for the data, obtained by intelligence/espionage.

(emphasis mine)

So, there ya go. The CIA's main intelligence-gathering function seems to be watching CNN and maybe reading Pravda.

And these are the people that we're supposed to trust with figuring out where the next attack will come from?


NYT: Dems Must Keep At Fruitless Iraq Votes

Looks like the NY Times wants the Democrats to continue looking like total idiots, pushing forward Iraq withdrawal bills that it admits are fruitless.

Courtesy NRO's The Corner (since I refuse to link directly to the NY Times):

News section (Pg. 15): Iraq votes were ‘repeated and fruitless’

… House and Senate Democrats have made some rookie management mistakes in their first year of combined Congressional control. They have angered Republicans with occasional heavy-handed treatment, as well as repeated and fruitless votes on the war.

(“Off for Break, Congress May Still Face Stalemate,” November 17, 2007)

Editorial (Pg. 18): Democrats ‘must keep at it’

Democrats say they will continue to push the president and his Republican allies to concede their failed war policy and change course. They must keep at it.

(“Democrats Find Their Voice,” editorial, November 17, 2007)

So there ya go. The NY Times wants Democrats to "keep at" their "repeated and fruitless votes on the war."

Is Karl Rove running the NY Times now?


All The Anti-Israel Propaganda That's Fit To Show

Looks like another "fake but true" story is unraveling, this time in France:

Suffice it to say here that the iconic image of the child Mohammed al Durah, pictured crouching with his father behind a barrel next to a concrete wall in an apparently vain attempt to shelter from the gun-battle between Israel and the Palestinians that was raging around them before he was allegedly shot dead by the Israelis, served to incite terrorist violence and atrocities around the world after it was transmitted by France 2 at the beginning of the second intifada. Yet it is clear to anyone looking at this in detail that the whole thing was staged, not least from the devastating evidence here which shows the boy raising his arm and peeping through his fingers seconds after the France 2 correspondent Charles Enderlin said he had been shot dead.

After Philippe Karsenty, founder of the French online media watchdog, Media Ratings, accused France 2 of staging the al Durah ‘killing’ and called for the resignation of both Charles Enderlin and France 2’s News Director, Arlette Chabot, France 2 and Enderlin sued Karsenty for defamation, and won. In a disgraceful piece of judicial cronyism after the gratuitous intervention of the then French President Jacques Chirac, the court decided against Karsenty and in favour of France 2 and Enderlin. Karsenty appealed; the judge ordered France 2 to produce the unscreened footage of this incident; today it did so.

And here's a short list of the problems with the footage:

There were many very strange things about this footage which just didn’t add up. When it came to the footage of the ‘killing’ of Mohammed al Durah, the following stood out:

* This sequence was not a continuous narrative but was repeatedly broken up and spliced onto footage of other scenes from the demonstration

* Although the France 2 cameraman had told a German film-maker, Esther Schapira, that he had filmed six minutes of the al Durah father and son under continuous Israeli fire, the footage of them lasted for less than one minute

* There was a camera tripod next to them

* There was no evidence of the boy actually being hit

* At one point, people in the crowd cried out that the boy was dead, while he was sitting up large as life clinging onto his father with his mouth wide open

* After he was said to be dead, he moved his arm (the sequence I have already reported which has been available on the web for years).

Fortunately, it appears that this story is about to end up in the same file as Scott Beauchamp's Baghdad Diarist and Dan Rather's faked Texas Air National Guard memo.

You'd think that journalists, who are supposed to be aware of what's happening in the world, would realize that they just can't get away with this sort of distortion anymore. My gut feeling is that the journalists who are still trying to do things like this live and work in an isolated leftist "bubble" which has a tenuous connection to reality at best.


Saddam's Iranian Bluff

It sometimes happens that one small piece of information can help a lot of other things make sense. Thus it is with this revelation:

Ever since American forces invaded, overran and occupied Iraq in 2003, and discovered no stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, the great lingering question about the war has been why Saddam Hussein would spend an entire decade acting as though he possessed WMDs when he didn’t. Since the ceasefire agreement he’d signed in 1991, in order to remain in power after the first Gulf War, obligated him to get rid of them, why would Saddam intentionally endure crippling United Nations sanctions as he jerked around, and finally ejected, weapons inspectors? Why wouldn’t he just come clean if he had nothing to hide?

The answer, according Ronald Kessler in his new book, The Terrorist Watch: Inside the Desperate Race to Stop the Next Attack, is that Saddam ultimately feared United Nations actions less than he feared an attack from Iran . . . which, he calculated, would be much more likely if the leaders of Iran knew he had no WMDs. Kessler based his conclusions on information obtained by an Arabic-speaking FBI agent named George Piro who debriefed and befriended Saddam after the dictator’s capture in Iraq, during his months of captivity before his eventual execution.

In retrospect, Saddam’s calculus looks altogether logical. He’d fought a brutal stalemated war against Iran in the 1980s and viciously persecuted Iraq’s Shiite majority out of fear they might align themselves with their Shiite neighbor. More alarming still, from Saddam’s standpoint, was the fact that his own military had been decimated by the 1991 conflict with the American led coalition. If Iran did attack, he had no chance in a conventional war.

His last option was a bluff: Since he once possessed WMDs, and the entire world knew it, he pretended he still did. He knew it would antagonize America, as well as the rest of the U.N. Security Council, but he figured that the threat of an American invasion to enforce the provisions of the 1991 ceasefire was less dire than the threat of an Iranian invasion to crush a bitter enemy and take control of Iraq’s oil resources. According to Kessler, “Saddam said that if America thought that he had WMDs, then of course Iran would, and this would fulfill his goal of making sure that Iran did not want to attack Iraq.”

What Saddam never counted on, of course, was September 11, 2001. Kessler’s book should put to rest, once and for all, the notion that Saddam was somehow involved in Osama bin Laden’s plot. The 9/11 attacks were Saddam’s worst nightmare because they changed the risk equation for the United States. Suddenly, the prospect of Saddam hiding WMDs went from being an ongoing nuisance to a mortal dread. What was to stop him from handing them off to al Qaeda?

President Bush decided the risk was intolerable — and the rest, as the saying goes, is history.
So now it all makes sense. All the evidence for Saddam's WMDs was indeed cooked up--by Saddam himself, in a desperate gamble to keep Iran at bay. It must be admitted, he succeeded in that. However, in the long run, his strategy was a dismal failure, since it brought the attention of a nation whose armed forces he could not hope to beat--namely, the USA. In attempting to forestall invasion by one nation, he invited invasion by another. Of course, he's now paid for that mistake with his life.

However, this is good ammunition against the Bush-lied-people-died meme. It would be better if it were reworded to Saddam-lied-Saddam-died.

Another Global Warming Claim Debunked

I'm sure everyone's heard of the claim that the arctic ice is melting too fast because of global warming.

A new study proves differently:

From 2002 to 2006, scientists and researchers from NASA and the University of Washington's Polar Science Center at the Applied Physics Laboratory observed a meaningful ongoing reversal in Arctic Ocean circulation. The cause is atmospheric circulation changes that vary in decade-long periods and the effect is, well, let the scientist who led the study explain it:

"Our study confirms many changes seen in upper Arctic Ocean circulation in the 1990s were mostly decadal in nature, rather than trends caused by global warming," said the University of Washington's James Morison.

In short, it's a cycle, not a catastrophe.

I won't hold my breath waiting for a retraction from High Priest Algore, tho.

The Clinton Quid Pro Pardon

Gotta love how the Clintons have no shame at all:

Three recipients of controversial 11th-hour pardons issued by former President Bill Clinton in January 2001 have donated thousands of dollars to the presidential campaign of his wife, Democratic front-runner Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., according to campaign finance records examined by ABC News, in what some good government groups said created an appearance of impropriety.

"It's not illegal," Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, told ABC News. "But, of course, it's inappropriate and she should return the money. It does raise the appearance that this is payback.

"One can only hope that she wasn't yet aware of who made the donations," said Sloan.

"We have raised over $65 million from over 200,000 people," said Clinton campaign manager Howard Wolfson, adding sarcastically, "I appreciate your bringing the instance of this $5,300 and these three people to our attention."


John Deutch is a different case, having served as President Clinton's CIA director.

Pardoned by President Clinton for charges he had mishandled government secrets -- but before the Department of Justice could file the proper paperwork against him -- Deutch, now a professor at MIT, gave Sen. Clinton the maximum allowable donation, $2,300.

No, it's not illegal, but imagine the howling from the left if, say, Scooter Libby donated to the presidential campaign of a member of the Bush or Cheney families.


Democrats and the Culture of Corruption, Part V

Once again, a Democrat with serious legal and corruption problems is somehow not mentioned in the leftymedia. Gee, I wonder why that could be?

U.S. Representative Alan Mollohan, (D-W.V.), has been under FBI investigation for steering federal money to a web of non-profits he helped create, questioned about suspicious land deals that made him a millionaire, and criticized for taking a European vacation paid for by federal contractors.

Mollohan has also paid the Washington, DC, law-firm of Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans and Figel a staggering $220,000 in legal fees. According to the firm’s website, they specialize in “white collar criminal defense,” and Mollohan has used his campaign account to pay the hefty legal bills.

With all the investigations the MoveOn-controlled Congress is running, do ya think they could spare a few hours to look into this one?

Naah, he's a Democrat.

Political Correctness Chills Christmas

This one shouldn't need much introduction or comment:

THERE'LL be no ho, ho, ho this Christmas. Aspiring Santas have been told not to use the term "ho" because it could be seen as derogatory to women.

Thirty trainees at a Santa course in Adelaide [Australia] last month, held by recruitment company Westaff, were urged to replace the traditional festive greeting with "ha, ha, ha".

Don't these busybodies have anything better to do with their time?


Thank You

I can't say it much better than this:

At the end of the 1954 film "The Bridges at Toko-Ri," based on the Korean War novel by James Michener, the crusty old captain of an American aircraft carrier, watching his pilots take off for another mission from which not all would return, asks rhetorically, "Where do we get such men?"

Where indeed? Thank you all.

Read the whole thing at the link in the title.

King of Spain tells Chavez "Shut Up."

Looks like the King of Spain doesn't like the way Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez talks about Spain and the Spanish government:

Mr Chavez called Mr Aznar, a close ally of US President George W Bush, a fascist, adding "fascists are not human. A snake is more human."

[Current Spanish Prime Minister] Mr Zapatero said: "[Former Prime Minister] Aznar was democratically elected by the Spanish people and was a legitimate representative of the Spanish people."

Mr Chavez repeatedly tried to interrupt, despite his microphone being turned off. The king leaned forward and said: "Why don't you shut up?"

According to reports, the king used a familiar term normally used only for close acquaintances - or children.

Score one for the good guys.

Iraqis Take On Al-Qaeda On Their Own

More signs of progress that Reid, Pelosi, MoveOn, and those of like mind will not care to see:

BAGHDAD - Former Sunni insurgents asked the United States to stay away, and then ambushed members of Al Qaeda in Iraq, killing 18 in a battle that raged for hours north of Baghdad, an ex-insurgent leader and Iraqi police said yesterday.

The Islamic Army in Iraq sent advance word to Iraqi police requesting that US helicopters keep out of the area because its fighters had no uniforms and were indistinguishable from Al Qaeda, according to the police and a top Islamic Army leader known as Abu Ibrahim.

Abu Ibrahim said his fighters killed 18 Al Qaeda militants and captured 16 in the fight southeast of Samarra, a mostly Sunni city about 60 miles north of Baghdad.

"We found out that Al Qaeda intended to attack us, so we ambushed them at 3 p.m. on Friday," Abu Ibrahim said. He would not say whether any Islamic Army members were killed.

Much of the Islamic Army in Iraq, a major Sunni Arab insurgent group that includes former members of Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party, has joined the US-led fight against Al Qaeda in Iraq along with Sunni tribesmen and other former insurgents repelled by the terror group's brutality and extremism.

An Iraqi police officer corroborated Abu Ibrahim's account, but said police officers were not able to verify the number of casualties because the area was still too dangerous to enter.

(emphasis mine)

Then there's this:

Meanwhile, farther east, in Diyala Province, members of another former insurgent group, the 1920s Revolution Brigades, launched a military-style operation yesterday against Al Qaeda in Iraq, the Iraqi Army said.

About 60 militants were captured and handed over to Iraqi soldiers, an Army officer said on condition of anonymity because he was not allowed to speak to media.

Afterward, hundreds of people paraded through Buhriz, about 35 miles north of Baghdad, witnesses said. Many danced and fired their guns into the air, shouting "Down with Al Qaeda!" and "Diyala is for all Iraqis!"

Like the Islamic Army, the 1920s Revolution Brigades includes former members of Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party and officers from his army. Hundreds of 1920s members now work as scouts and gather intelligence for American soldiers in Diyala.

And at Baghdad's most revered Sunni shrine, the Abu Hanifa mosque, voices blasted from loudspeakers yesterday urging residents to turn against Qaeda: "We are your sons, the sons of the awakening, and we want to end the operations of Al Qaeda."

Looks like we're doing good work there... but the Defeatocrats still want us to pull out.

Remember that next November.


Terrorists Support Hillary, Part II

Looks like it's more than just terrorists making pro-Hillary statements... they're also donating money to her, and she's taking it, not returning it as other Democratic campaigns have done.

Some of the donors, in fact, are under active federal investigation for supporting terrorism, money laundering and tax fraud. After the press reported their alleged terror ties in past elections, Democrat Reps. Jim Moran of Virginia and Cynthia McKinney of Georgia had to refund their donations, making national news.

But that hasn't stopped Hillary from pocketing their money. So much for her promise to fly-speck donations for criminal ties following her fund-raising scandal with fugitive donor Norman Hsu.

In the past several months, the Democrat front-runner has received at least $2,000 from M. Yaqub Mirza, M. Omar Ashraf and Omar Barzinji, records show. Federal agents raided the Virginia homes and offices of the Muslim donors after 9/11, as part of a counterterrorism investigation targeting the so-called Safa group, a Saudi-backed conglomerate of Muslim businesses and charities.

It's this sort of thing that makes me glad every time someone predicts that Hillary will be the Democratic nominee... she will not only be absurdly easy to beat, given stories like this, but she will drag the Party of MoveOn right down the toilet.


A Conservative Way of Providing Medicine to the Poor

Health care for the poor does not, I say again, not have to flow from the government. Just ask the people of Warren County, VA:

Warren County, Virginia, at the confluence of the North and South Forks of the Shenandoah River has neither the rolling hills of horse country nor the fertile plains of the Shenandoah Valley.

Of its 36,000 citizens, an estimated 6,000 are uninsured. Typically, when they get sick, the uninsured go to the emergency room, which is about the most inefficient and costly way of delivering primary medical care.

But, thanks to the initiative of some local Christians, the uninsured of Warren County can instead go to the St. Luke Community Clinic for free medical care. In FY 2006, 2,633 uninsured people did just that.

St. Luke Clinic is one of an estimated two thousand Free Clinics around the country, fifty of them in Virginia. In 2006, the total budget of all the Free Clinics in Virginia was about $18 million, which they leveraged to a value in excess of $80 million.

The Free Clinic movement is living embodiment of many conservative principles: the principles of subsidiarity and voluntarism, the spirit of enterprise and of community self-reliance. As health care becomes more and more of a national concern, if people are truly concerned about the less fortunate, there should be a population explosion in the number of free clinics around the country.

Please note, there are Free Clinics and then there are "free clinics":

Free Clinics are private, non-profit organizations that provide medical, dental, pharmaceutical and/or mental health services at little or no cost to low-income, uninsured and underinsured people. These clinics are truly free - both to their clients and to the taxpayers.

Unlike federally-qualified so-called "free clinics", they do not submit receipts to Medicare or Medicaid for reimbursement. St. Luke and the other authentic Free Clinics in Virginia do not submit bills to anybody for reimbursement.

How do they do it? Volunteers.
The small staff includes one part-time doctor, but most of the medical skills come from the volunteer nurses, doctors, labs, and hospitals.
And don't tell the lefties, but the eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeevil pharmaceutical companies help out a lot.

The biggest chunk of the leverage is pharmaceuticals. Every major pharmaceutical company has a free donation plan, or Patient Assistance Program. By maximizing those programs, St. Luke was able to dispense 31,134 prescriptions in 2006. However, every company has different medications, rules, forms, and schedules. The process is so complicated that the clinic employs two staff members work on it only slightly less than full-time. In 2006, the Free Clinics in Virginia provided about $42 million worth of donated medications to all their patients.
This is how you get health care to those with no insurance. Instead of installing a government program, you Americans, among the most generous people on the face of the planet, offer their services for free. The government can help, tho.

All the good intentions in the world would not make a free clinic possible in our litigious society. But that problem has been solved in Virginia, whose example could easily be followed.

With the help of the Virginia Association of Free Clinics, the state recently established the "VaRISK2" liability risk management program. Operating under the Division of Risk Management of the Department of the Treasury, of the Commonwealth of Virginia, the program indemnifies Directors, Officers, employees, and volunteers in a Free Clinic.

Volunteers in private medical clinics received federal tort claim coverage when Senator Dan Coats' 1996 Medical Volunteer Act became law as part of the Kennedy-Kassebaum Health Care Reform Act. Prior to Coats' action, only volunteers in government-funded clinics typically received coverage for liability at the federal level.

And it's that simple. No HillaryCare needed.

WaPo: Islamist = Conservative

Hot on the heels of the Harvard report on media bias comes a shining example, as explained by the Counterterrorism blog:

Regarding Qazi Hussain Ahmed, the November 5 Washington Post views him as "head of a conservative religious party", and reports Qazi Hussain Ahmed's calls against Musharraf as: "It's time to take a stand. It's a now-or-never chance, and people should come out on the streets and throw out this military dictator." The Washington Post reports that "[h]undreds of the party's activists had been arrested as of Monday morning, a party spokesman said". The Washington Post does not identify the organizations or the ideology that Qazi Hussain Ahmed and his political parties represent.

In fact, the "conservative religious party" that Qazi Hussain Ahmed leads is Jamaat-e-Islami (JEI), which is also part of the Muttahidah Majlis-e-'Amal (Council of United Action) (MMA) -- that he also leads. Neither are merely a "conservative religious party", but are Islamist political organizations, with reported support of Jihad by their leaders and some of their members.

Qazi Hussain Ahmed has been reported as a sympathizer and defender of Osama Bin Laden. One media report stated "Qazi Hussain Ahmed has earlier made flattering comments about Osama bin Laden, and his party, Jamaat-e-Islami, also has hailed al-Qaeda members as heroes." Qazi Hussain Ahmed views that the 9/11 attacks were "specially designed to crush Muslims all over the world under this garb".

In his own party's media news ("Jamaat-e-Islami (JEI) Media News"), Qazi Hussain Ahmed "has warned the government that unrest in the country would assume serious dimensions if it assisted the United States or any agency in arrest of Osama bin Laden." In May 2003, South Asia Intelligence Group reported potential links between Qazi Hussain Ahmed, JEI, and Bin Laden: "US intelligence officers posted in Pakistan have reportedly been making detailed enquiries into the likely links of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JEI) of Pakistan headed by Qazi Hussain Ahmed with Al Qaeda of Osama bin Laden".

Regarding Jamaat-e-Islami, the Christian Science Monitor reported that Pakistan's Interior Minister Makhdoom Faisel Saleh Hayat has alleged links between JEI and Al Qaeda stating "[a]ll of the activists and terrorists who have been apprehended in recent months have had links to the Jamaat-e-Islami, whether we have arrested them in Lahore or here or Karachi....[t]hey have been harboring them."

Prior to the Musharraf emergency declaration, the Pakistan Daily Times reported that Jamaat-e-Islami has been petitioning the Pakistani Supreme Court to halt all Pakistani military action in the Tribal Areas.

As GlobalSecurity.org states of Muttahidah Majlis-e-'Amal (MMA) political coalition: "it venomously attacked the Musharraf government for having betrayed the Taliban and sided with the US in its supposed 'war against Islam'. They...speak in favour of the militant groups banned by the Musharraf government Leaders under the MMA umbrella have issued fatwas of death on Americans and have denied the 9/11 attack by Osama bin Laden. The four parties are opposed to the present fiscal system and want it Islamised together with a complete enforcement of 'shariah'."

Now, granted, this may be viewed as "conservative" in Pakistan, which has a long history of being an Islamist haven, but the WaPo article makes no such distinction. By slapping the label "conservative" on this man and his party without explanation, they are at the very least negligent in not clearly explaining their terms, and at worst are trying to conflate the American conservative movement with these Islamoterrorists.

And don't get me started on the "religious" label. That's even worse, lumping all religions in with the radical terrorist wing of Islam.

The Washington Post deserves nothing but scorn for that article.


More Hillary Supporters

Looks like Hillary's recent comments on what she calls "George Bush’s faulty and offensive historical analogies" are gaining her support from at least one area she might not want to advertise:

So if you’re keeping score, Hillary Clinton finds Bush’s historical analogy, comparing Osama Bin Laden to Hitler and Lenin, wrong and offensive. She is joined by the Communist Party USA, who also find the analogy offensive — apparently because Lenin didn’t do anything wrong. The American Nazi Party is, frankly, flattered by the comparison — which it gleefully extends to George Washington for reasons only a mental health professional knows. And everybody involved hates George W. Bush.
So, I can see the updated Hillary ad now... Hillary '08: the choice of terrorists and the Communist Party USA.

Of course, given her own socialistic/communistic views, I guess that will surprise no one except a few DailyKOS readers who don't know any better.


Distorting Giuliani

It should be clear to everyone by now that I am not a Giuliani supporter, but this just couldn't go un-commented on:

The segment revealed, just as with Bush, the media has no problem broadcasting factual errors when targeting Giuliani. Olbermann misquoted Giuliani as saying that Democrats wanted to invite Osama bin Laden to the White House. In actuality, Giuliani didn't say Osama, he said Assad, as in Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, one of the leaders whom Barack Obama did in fact say he would be willing to meet with in Washington with no preconditions within the first year of his administration. Making the incident even more absurd, Olbermann ran the video clip of Giuliani's remarks on his show, and it was clear that Giuliani said Assad. How clear? The transcript appearing on the official MSNBC website for Olbermann's show had Giuliani saying Assad in the video clip.

Nevertheless, Olbermann asked his guest Arianna Huffington to comment on whether the former mayor was being hyperbolic or lying.

"Well, he's lying and also every day he reveals more and more of himself," Huffington said. "And you can see that he really has the soul of a thug and the disposition of a tyrant."

Huffington repeated the false Giuliani-Osama quote, and later in the interview, she added: "He's kind of channeling Rush Limbaugh. He's making the lunatic fringe mainstream."

And Olbermann wondered, "Has it reached a level yet where we should be considering examining whether or not this is compulsive lying that there is something endemic to [Giuliani]? Or this specific purpose driven lies?"

One might ask the same about Olbermann. Even though the AP issued a correction to its story that misquoted Giuliani following a report on AmSpecBlog, as of this writing, Olbermann has not corrected his erroneous segment. His spokeswoman did not return three calls or an email sent from TAS asking whether the news channel planned to correct the error, and if not, to explain its corrections policy.
So, Olbermann slips up with the proof right there in his own show, and he refuses to admit it? Is this guy trying to outdo Dan Rather and The New Republic for sheer unadulterated gall in the face of an obvious error?

Actually, I think it's just more of the same lefty mindset... we're never wrong, we are always right, and those who accuse us of being wrong are part of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy.

Keith, you were wrong. Now, where'd I put that VRWC membership card?


Yes, Virginia, There Is Media Bias.

Yet another study has proven pro-Democrat bias in the media.

Just like so many reports before it, a joint survey by the Project for Excellence in Journalism and Harvard's Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy — hardly a bastion of conservative orthodoxy — found that in covering the current presidential race, the media are sympathetic to Democrats and hostile to Republicans.

Democrats are not only favored in the tone of the coverage. They get more coverage period. This is particularly evident on morning news shows, which "produced almost twice as many stories (51% to 27%) focused on Democratic candidates than on Republicans."

That, of course, is no surprise to anyone who watches or reads the news regularly.

Expect the media spin machine to go into high gear, tho.

Project Valour-IT

There's a new widget on the sidebar for donations to Project Valour-IT. This program purchases voice-activated laptops for severely injured service members... a very worthwhile effort, I think.

In honor of my late father, a Navy veteran, I've joined the "Navy" team, but all donations go into a single fund for members of any branch, so don't worry about that--the teams are just for a friendly competition.

Please donate what you can.

UPDATE and BUMP: For more on what Project Valour-IT does, see this excellent article from National Review Online.