Barack Hussein Osama . . . Er, Obama's Stupid Name

Allahpundit is afraid that some of us on the right will continue to 'very stupidly' refer to Barack Hussein Osama's middle name . . . well I gotta tell ya, it is just very hard to get around the most unfortunate name held by a presidential candidate ever. I mean, his name is just one letter off from containing the names of America's two greatest enemies since the end of the Cold War. That is some weird karma going on right there.

Just ask Ted Kennedy how hard it is to wrap your brain around that name - he kept referring to Barack as 'Osama' just like Mitt Romney did. Maybe it's just that peculiar Massachussetts accent. Or the chow-dah.

B.O. should have changed his name to something a bit less ethnic and more anglo-american, like say . . . John Wilkes Booth, perhaps. Osama Obama could have then avoided this embarrassing misuse of the race card: “But I have no doubt that there will be some of that, trying to make me into this foreign, you know, odd clearly black - person. And to scare people.”

Um . . . Osama bin Laden isn't black, really, but don't let that get in the way of a great narrative.

Quote Of The Day

'Speaking at the Thompson Center Arms in Rochester, NH, the Republican senator from Arizona [John McCain] told workers: “I will follow Osama Bin Laden to the gates of hell and I will shoot him with your products.”'

Now that is the kind of pandering I can get behind.

(h/t Don Surber via Drudge)

D.B. Cooper Found?

Okay, we aren't supposed to root for the crook, but the D.B. Cooper story is just so cool . . . it's like pulling for Hannibal Lector at the end of Silence of the Lambs (admittedly an extreme example).

In 1971 D.B. Cooper (not his real name) grabbed a $200,000 ransom and stepped off the back of a 727 over the Cascades in Washington state and disappeared into history. Yes, he had a parachute.

HotAir points to a UPI article with this claim:

In an upcoming article, Lyle Christiansen, 77, claims his late brother, Kenneth, was able to elude federal authorities after committing the sensational crime 36 years ago, The Tacoma (Wash.) News Tribune said Wednesday.
I hope it isn't true - this is a much better story if it remains unsolved.

Israel Kills Two Child Terrorists

. . . but that is not how the press is reporting it. Instead, we get headlines like this: Palestinian Children Killed In Gaza, as it was reported by Al-Jazeera. So the press, in its usual anti-Israeli bias, tries to make it seem like two innocent babes were licking ice creams cones when Israelis just suddenly attacked.

Far from being innocent children, according to Xinhua, the two boys, aged 12 and 13, were being used as child soldiers to fire rockets against Israel:

GAZA, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- Two Palestinian children were killed on Wednesday night during an Israeli army artillery shelling on northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun, paramedics and witnesses said.

The witnesses said the two children tried to pull back a rocket launcher from an open area in the outskirts of the town, adding they suddenly heard a huge explosion in the area.

Only later in the report do we find that, surprise, the Israelis struck in response to a Palestinian rocket attack that started the whole bloody affair. Of course it is the Palestinian cult of terrorism that is responsible for this, but the press yet again irresponsibly covers for them, and bends over backwards to blame Israel for defending itself.

One can only wonder if the Palestinians didn't send these children out to die on purpose just to create these headlines.

Did Bob Kerrey Commit Hsuicide Too?

Well, you have to wonder now why he isn't running for senate:

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Democrat Bob Kerrey said Wednesday that he won't enter the race to replace retiring Sen. Chuck Hagel.

The former senator and governor cited family and unfinished plans at New School University, where he is president, in his decision not to run for the Republican Hagel's seat.

But, "I got much closer to saying yes than I thought I would," said Kerrey, 64.

Kerrey personally brought Norman Hsu in to serve on the board of the New School when Kerrey was president there. His relationship with Hsu was a personal one, in addition to a financial one, and this was bound to raise embarrassing questions for Kerrey in his senate race, as well as raising the visibility of the Hsu issue on the national stage as well.

Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning is now in a great position to fill this senate seat with a real Republican, now that both Chuck Hagel and John Kerrey are out of the way.

Harry Reid Blames Cali Fires On, You Guessed It, Global Warming

. . . and then he denies he said it, mere moments later.

First he said this:

As you know, one reason that we have the fires burning in Southern California is global warming. One reason the Colorado Basin is going dry is because of global warming.

Then this, several questions later:

Question: Senator, on the California fires, you said that the reason the fires are burning in California is global warming?

Reid: No. Here's what I - I didn't say the reason the fires were burning in Southern California was global warming...

Listed to the Q & A with reporters and see for yourself if Harry Reid has not lost his mind.

(h/t Duane Patterson)

Crooks And Liars Screws The Pooch

The eponymously-named Crooks and Liars blog is having a terrible week. They were caught living up to their liars moniker by whitewashing Pete Stark's offensive comments from last Tuesday, and then pretended to wonder why the right was so upset with him. They claimed a 'coding error' was responsible for the mistake (I was thinking they would go for the 'its satire' angle, but they proved to be more creative in their dissembling). They also posted a poll asking whether Stark should apologize which went about 82% against them, stating that Stark should indeed apologize, and then laughably claimed that Charles Johnson instructed his minions to game the poll. A perusal of the LGF posts on the matter shows he clearly did no such thing.

Ever fearful of comments that might intrude upon their comfortable liberal bubble, they scrubbed away any hint that anyone in America could ever disagree with them, and replaced such comments with snotty editorials, and then closed the comments sections in the posts about Stark's comments and Johnson 'manipulating' the poll.

Well done John Amato. Lie, lie about the lie, send criticisms down the memory hole, and then fail to mention that, oops, Stark apologized for his remarks you 'modified' in order to claim they were not offensive. It says everything about your integrity and your grasp of basic blog ethics.

Pete Stark Does The Right Thing

Rep. Pete Stark needs to be applauded for apologizing for his remarks about President Bush sending troops to Iraq to have their "heads blown off for the president's amusement." He initially dug in and, with nutroots support, refused to back down. But sanity prevailed, and Stark did the right thing. He should be rewarded for turning toward civility, and not castigated for his intemperate remarks. The right should not engage in smug triumphalism here: this should instead be a 'teachable moment' for leftists everywhere instructing them that the American people respect and value dissent, but draw the line at unreasoned hatred. Accusing the President of sending troops to their death for his own amusement is indeed hate, Stark has realized that, and has retreated from his malignant opinion.

His extremist followers need a good lesson in decency, and Stark should be encouraged to set a good example.

Some Call It Islamo-fascism

Christopher Hitchens certainly does:

Does Bin Ladenism or Salafism or whatever we agree to call it have anything in common with fascism?

I think yes. The most obvious points of comparison would be these: Both movements are based on a cult of murderous violence that exalts death and destruction and despises the life of the mind. ("Death to the intellect! Long live death!" as Gen. Francisco Franco's sidekick Gonzalo Queipo de Llano so pithily phrased it.) Both are hostile to modernity (except when it comes to the pursuit of weapons), and both are bitterly nostalgic for past empires and lost glories. Both are obsessed with real and imagined "humiliations" and thirsty for revenge. Both are chronically infected with the toxin of anti-Jewish paranoia (interestingly, also, with its milder cousin, anti-Freemason paranoia). Both are inclined to leader worship and to the exclusive stress on the power of one great book. Both have a strong commitment to sexual repression—especially to the repression of any sexual "deviance"—and to its counterparts the subordination of the female and contempt for the feminine. Both despise art and literature as symptoms of degeneracy and decadence; both burn books and destroy museums and treasures.

How Dumb Would You Have To Be To Fall For This?

TOKYO, Oct. 19 — On a narrow Tokyo street, near a beef bowl restaurant and a pachinko parlor, Aya Tsukioka demonstrated new clothing designs that she hopes will ease Japan’s growing fears of crime.

Show Urban Camouflage Deftly, Ms. Tsukioka, a 29-year-old experimental fashion designer, lifted a flap on her skirt to reveal a large sheet of cloth printed in bright red with a soft drink logo partly visible. By holding the sheet open and stepping to the side of the road, she showed how a woman walking alone could elude pursuers — by disguising herself as a vending machine.

Somehow, I think conceal-carry would be a better solution than this for preventing crime.

(h/t Never Yet Melted)

How World War IV Comes About

Fareed Zakaria is quite possibly the most overrated pundit in the country. His articles for Newsweek are masterpieces of the obvious, with a grasp of foreign affairs about as superficial as Madeleine Albright's (that is, about as deep as a wading pool).

Even when he actually has a handle on the facts, he fails to come up with any meaningful conclusions:

Here is the reality. Iran has an economy the size of Finland's and an annual defense budget of around $4.8 billion. It has not invaded a country since the late 18th century. The United States has a GDP that is 68 times larger and defense expenditures that are 110 times greater. Israel and every Arab country (except Syria and Iraq) are quietly or actively allied against Iran. And yet we are to believe that Tehran is about to overturn the international system and replace it with an Islamo-fascist order? What planet are we on?

This is definitely pre-911 thinking at work here, a failure to recognize that we live in an age of asymmetrical and political warfare, where the size and strength of a traditional military doesn't mean nearly as much as it did during the Cold War.

Here is a quite plausible World War IV scenario for the unimaginative Zakaria: Iran launches a nuclear attack upon Israel on the very first day it is able to do so, Israel retaliates. The Arab nations and the larger Middle East line up to attack Israel, and its puppetmaster the United States. Terrorist attacks erupt against innocents throughout Europe, causing our NATO allies to stand up with us. Pakistan threatens to use its nuclear arsenal in defense of Islam . . . and so it goes.

That, Fareed Zakaria, is the planet we live on, and it didn't take much effort to come up with that scenrio.

In fact, wow, let's come up with some variants! Russia takes sides with Iran, as does China. China uses this conflict as cover to take Taiwan. Iran uses the conflict as cover to take Bahrain. Hugo Chavez decides to get involved and cuts off oil supplies. India decides that nuclear cooperations with the U.S. isn't such a bad idea after all. Turkey decides it is a great time to teach the Kurds a lesson. The world polarizes, and dimwits like Zakaria scratch their heads and wonder how it all came to be.

Violence Down 70% In Iraq

Drudge linked to a Reuters article detailing a 70% drop in violence in Iraq since the Surge came up to speed at the end of last June.

There are still pockets of violence in the country, and the article points to a localized rise of violence in Nineveh province, which is where much of al-Qaeda fled to after being beaten to pulp in the Surge.

The temptation here is to credit the Surge and General Petraeus for this success but, not to take anything away from them, the real slogging grunt work of taking on al-Qaeda has been going on ever since the fall of Baghdad, and we are now seeing the lagging results of those efforts. Today's success stories - and they are pouring in daily from Iraq now - were made possible during those times when things didn't look quite as bright.

There were a lot of us who were saying all along that things were not nearly as grim in Iraq as the press tried to portray it, and we can pat ourselves on the backs now for hanging in there and not giving up. It is the leftists who are, once again, on the wrong side of history.

Hey Hillary, I guess you can stop 'suspending your disbelief' now.

Thank You, Democrats

The Democratic Party 'leadership' pushed a bill last week condemning the genocide of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire, which infuriated our Turkish allies. This increased tension was one cause of recent worldwide oil price hikes, as doubts about Turkish willingness to help stabilize Iraq grew.

These higher oil prices now "help Iran mitigate the effects of any new sanctions" according to a New York Times article on the resignation of Iran's 'moderate' nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani.

The Iranian economy is in tatters, and high oil prices are the only thing sustaining it, as well as sustaining the mullahs nuclear ambitions. Irresponsible and short-sighted political stunts like those attempted by the Democrats last week are godsends to these tyrants, but the Dems are blissfully unaware of the implications of these actions. In their myopia, they think that only Bush will pay the price, and they don't care about the collateral damage suffered by others in the process. This is the same myopia that drives the anti-war movement: anything to punish or embarrass Bush and cause our defeat, but who cares if it results in a genocide of Iraqi innocents?

Now the Dems' purposely ill-timed Armenian genocide bill is only one small factor in worldwide oil prices, and alone is not determinative of the recent rises. You cannot say it will be a major cause of the Iranians achieving their nuclear ambitions, which seems assured at this point. Small as it was however, it was a factor in the mix. It is yet another drop in the steady drip of division and disaffection that keeps our nation disunited, weakens our resolve, and gives aid and comfort to our enemies.

It is time for Democrats to pay heed to the unintended/intended consequences of their 'get Bush' policies, and realize that ultimately it is the American people that pay the price.

Betty Casey Wins Limbaugh Smear Letter Auction

Betty B. Casey is the winner of the Limbaugh Smear Letter auction on eBay, which ended with a $2.1 million winning bid.

Betty B. Casey is a noted philanthropist and supporter of the arts, particularly the Washington Opera, and donated prime real estate to the Salvation Army when objections to a planned mayoral mansion for D.C. killed the plan. She has also donated $6,900 to Barack Obama's campaign, as well as to the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Thank you Betty for donating to this worthy cause, and poking these silly politicians in the eye.

Do Awards Mean A Damn Thing Anymore?

According to Chris Matthews is about to receive some prestigious award I've never heard of called the Reeves Award for, get this:

"excellence in writing or speaking about Churchill's life and times, or for applying his precepts and values to contemporary issues among the English-Speaking Peoples," according to the affair's invitation.

Well sure this makes about as much sense as giving the Nobel Peace Prize to Yassir Arafat, the man who perfected the suicide bomb vest (but oddly and sadly never tested the prototype himself). After all, it was Chris Matthews who wrote Jimmy Carter's notorious 'malaise speech' which was of course downright Churchillian in placing the blame for America's failed leadership squarely where it belongs: on the American people themselves.

Jack Shafer gushes a little bit here about Matthews:

Legendary. Supporter of democracy. Learned reporter. Distinguished. Prolific. All of these words may capture Matthews' character, but not as well as do flighty, braying, shameless, and opportunistic. It's a shame that nobody gives a Sammy Glick Award. Matthews would be a cinch.

One wonders why they awarded it to Matthews - after all, Rosie O'Donnell has lots of time on her hands these days and, wow, have you read any of her haiku? Churchillian doesn't begin to describe them.

Limbaugh Smear Letter at $851,000

I was surprised when it passed $100,000 . . . with 20 more hours to go on the eBay auction of the letter from Harry Reid and 40 other senators asking Clear Channel to condemn Rush Limbaugh, can a cool million be next?

Turning the cheap politics of personal destruction into a huge windfall for a needy charity.

Only in America.

Is Pelosi Working On Impeaching Bush?

God I hope so, that would be monumentally dumb politics for the gang that can't shoot straight:

Congresswoman Diane Watson (D-Culver City) spoke in front of an audience of some 150 activists from various LA antiwar organizations at an Iraq Town Hall meeting in Los Angeles on Sunday, October 14th hosted by California Assembly Majority leader Karen Bass and the ‘47th Assembly District People’s Council’ at Hamilton High School.

The audience responded angrily when Watson responded to a call for the impeachment of President Bush by saying, “We simply don’t have the votes.” After groans and boos and at least one cry of “At least do something!”, Watson went on to say, “Right now, Speaker (Nancy) Pelosi is working very quietly and very effectively, behind the scenes. "We need 285 votes to uphold an impeachment, and so far we have 260 members telling us they support impeachment.”

Sounds like nothing more than a lame attempt to placate the petulant adolescent base of the Democratic Party.

Via Jeff Goldstein.

Vote For Giuliani, It's The Moral Thing To Do

If you are pro-life, you can do no better than Rudy Giuliani as your candidate for president.

Consider that even if James Dobson himself were elected president, he could not sign legislation outlawing abortion - it would simply run aground on the Roe v. Wade precedent. All he could hope to do is appoint Supreme Court justices that adhere to a strict constructionist philosophy of constitutional interpretation, that might be able one day to overturn Roe. You cannot impose an anti-abortion litmus test on judicial nominees, because no nominee will ever state, in advance, that they will vote to overturn abortion precedents.

Rudy Giuliani has promised to do just that, appoint justices who believe in strict constructionism in the mold of Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. Neither Mitt Romney nor Fred Thomspon could promise to do more for the pro-life view of things.

Consider what would happen if the evangelicals listened to James Dobson's horrible advice and considered voting for an independent candidate who, as I have just pointed out, can do no more for the pro-life movement than Giuliani has already promised to do. They will elect Hillary Clinton, and probably ensure that she appoints one or two SCOTUS justices within the first two years of her administration. Overturning Roe v. Wade will be put off for another generation at least, and if the sheer number of abortions is an ethical concern for you, ask yourself if you can sleep well knowing that your wasted vote ensured that millions more unborn human beings were murdered because you helped elect Hillary Clinton.

Not to mention that evangelicals will never be forgiven by the rest of the Republican Party for putting Hillary into the White House. You want all of that on your head? Then go ahead and pay heed to Dobson's destructive and extremely short-sighted advice. But don't say you weren't warned.


A 17-year-old high school student died from a new 'superbug', causing Beford County, Virginia to sanitize all 21 of its school buildings.

This superbug called MRSA, or Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, has also been a big topic in the news today because of an article in JAMA just released today (but embargoed - sorry, no link) stating that "based on 8,987 observed cases of MRSA and 1,598 in-hospital deaths among patients with MRSA, we estimate that 94,360 invasive MRSA infections occurred in the United States in 2005; these infections were associated with death in 18,650 cases."

I have a friend who nearly died from MRSA, was uninsured, and had multiple operations to control the infection and fix damage to his hand, all told costing the State of Illinois over one million dollars. How did he get MRSA? He didn't wash his hands. Ever. MRSA is extremely preventable, even in the hospital where it is of course most commonly found, by simple hygiene.

There is nothing so 'super' about this bug that a little soap and common sense can't take care of.

Big Hitter, The Lama

In honor of Bush meeting the Dalai Lama today, I present you with the immortal commentary of Carl Spackler:

Hillary Clinton: I'd Pay Blood For Oil

Hillary Clinton's incomprehensible foreign policy ideas ramble on.

She chastised Barack Obama for his naieve willingness to enter discussions with America's enemies without preconditions, but now she is willing to do just that with Iran. Clinton stated that as soon as she is elected president she "would immediately open a diplomatic negotiation with Iran over all issues that we disagree with them on."

Yet at the same town hall meeting in South Carolina in which she made this faux pas, she also declared that Iranian actions to cut off oil supplies would invite military action:

"I will make it very clear to the Iranians that there are very serious consequences attached to their actions," Clinton said. The presidential candidate spoke at a town hall meeting with 300 people at a high school in a Democratic stronghold in early voting South Carolina.

The New York senator, responding to a question, said blocking oil shipments "would be devastating to the world economy."

If the U.S. took military action as a result, she said, "I would hope that the world would see that was an action of last resort, not first resort. Because we need the world to agree with us about the threat that Iran poses to everyone."

I am so torn here, do we cheer her or boo her for this? Is it possible, as Charles Krauthammer points out, that Hillary Clinton as president, may lurch into doing the correct thing albeit for the wrong reasons? Her willingness to take on the Iranians over oil is obviously not the product of any understanding of security issues, as her willingness to negotiate with the Iranians without preconditions shows. She is just tossing this out there because it tested well in focus groups, or because it sounded good to her at the time. It is clearly not the product of serious foreign policy analysis.

Graeme Frost: Poster Child For Government Overreach

The debate over SCHIP is apparently not going the Democrats' way, according to a new USA Today/Gallup poll. Some of the poll findings:

• 52% agree with Bush that most benefits should go to children in families earning less than 200% of the federal poverty level — about $41,000 for a family of four. Only 40% say benefits should go to families earning up to $62,000, as the bill written by Democrats and some Republicans would allow.

• 55% are very or somewhat concerned that the program would create an incentive for families to drop private insurance. Bush and Republican opponents have called that a step toward government-run health care.

Americans want those with real needs to be taken care of, but building up programs like SCHIP to include those who can afford insurance is seen for what it is: a transparent ploy to increase dependence on government, pave the way for full socialism in health care, and a step closer toward ruining the world's finest health care system.

This poll seems to bode ill for Hillarycare as well. I hope Hillary makes it the centerpiece of her national campaign, it is a loser of an issue.

Quote Of The Day

. . . on why the military gets it, and the 'intellectuals' don't:

Ironically, the real debate over ideas when it comes to Iraq appears to be taking place in the one institution generally (and unfairly) considered a graveyard for lateral thinking: the U.S. military. If there is a community of people that has tried to grasp the reality of Iraq in practical ways, in all its complexities, and that has climbed the steepest of learning curves in the past four years, it is the armed forces. That's not to say that soldiers are or should be a model for how all Americans approach Iraq; but in its quest to understand the conflict environment better, the military has had to immerse itself in the sociology of Iraq like no other. And because of that, its intense discussions of the war, by rarely descending into flagellation or self-flagellation, remain alive with opportunity. The topic remains Iraq, not parochial American disputation over Iraq.

Americans Think Global Warming Is A Big Nothingburger

'Big nothingburger'. A fourth grader must have invented that puerile phrase. I promise never to use it again.

Anyway, the WaPo is reporting that less than 1% of Americans think global warming is their number one issue going in to the 2008 presidential elections, and ranked fourth-lowest among 23 issues according to a Pew Research poll. The article also reports that only 33% of Americans even consider global warming to be their top environmental concern.

Geez, it isn't like we aren't being constantly beaten over the head about this issue. It's odd that the more hysterical and alarmist the press gets over this, the less the public seems to pay attention. My guess is that the environmentalists have cried wolf, oh, about forty times too often, and now no one believes a damn thing they say.

Shouldn't The Nobel Prize Be About Accomplisments?

Robert Mayer of Publius Pundit emailed me about a post of his suggesting, incredibly, that the Nobel Prize should be awarded for actually accomplishing something important:

My suggestion is that the Nobel Committee, if it really wants to prevent future wars that occur because of climate change, the environment, water, or what have you, is to offer the peace prize up as much like the X Prize which has shot the space tourism industry into orbit. For example: the $1.5 million dollar prize will go to whoever can develop a new desalination process that is cheaper and more effective than those currently in existence. Trillions of dollars in economic losses due to Al Gore's prescription is ridiculous compared to the $1.5 million it would take to unleash human potential all over the world in developing new technologies to deal with these problems.

Norman Borlaug won the Nobel Prize in 1970 for developing high-yield strains of wheat that saved millions from starvation. This is an actual achievment, unlike the speculation that Al Gore's specious work on global warming might one day prevent conflict.

Do results even matter these days? It seems too many people are satsified with nice intentions and good vibes.

For The Moonbat Who Has Everything

Sam Kimery has invented something called the 'Fox-blocker', a little device that plugs into the back of your television that blocks Fox programming. It is hard to say exactly who this is intended for: liberals who cannot help themselves and might be tempted to click on Fox by 'accident'? Hippie parents who think they can save the world by keeping their children tightly sealed inside the cocoon? Hard to say; Kimery himself admits he doesn't even use his own invention.

Kimery claims to have received death threats over his invention. Putting aside the unlikely possibility that this is actually true, if you are issuing death threats to a whining liberal over this, you are not a conservative, nor even a wingnut. You are pathetic.

By the way, I came across the link about the Fox-blocker via the comments at a ThinkProgress post highlighting a Fox news piece that dared suggest that General Petraeus, fighting for democracy and the people of Iraq, is more deserving of the Nobel Peace Prize than junk science huckster and hypocrite Al Gore.

Fox sure does have some nerve.

Rush Limbaugh Has The Last Laugh (And How)

Rush Limbaugh is in possession of the original letter, signed by 41 Democratic Senators (including Hillary Clinton), sent to Clear Channel CEO Mark Mays asking him to condemn Limbaugh for the fraudulent 'phony soldiers' controversy.

Limbaugh has placed the letter up for auction on eBay, proceeds to benefit the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Society.

There is a poetic kind of justice in all this.

Which Came First: Islam, or Repression?

Frederic L. Pryor has conducted a study that seems to show that "in all but the poorest countries, Islam is associated with fewer political rights." The abstract of the study can be found at the Middle East Quarterly.

Note that Pryor does not say that Islam causes a lack of political rights, but is associated with it. This makes it a chicken-or-egg question: is there a lack of political rights in these countries because of Islam, or does Islam find a foothold in such nations because of that nation's geography and history?

I remain unconvinced that Islam and democracy are incompatible, and Pryor even points to several democratic nations that are both Muslim and poor, such as Bangladesh and Mali. For those of you who want to argue the incompatibtility of Islam and democracy, I am not sure this study helps you much.

Eid Mubarak, Indeed

Today is the Muslim holiday of Eid, which marks the end of Ramadan. The advent of this holiday also marks the end of the vaunted-yet-failed Ramadan Tet offensive, which by any measure has been a complete failure for al-Qaeda. Militarily, the only way AQ could win would be to inflict severe casualties upon the Coalition forces, but this never materialized. In fact, Coalition deaths went down during Ramadan: according to Iraq Coalition Casualty Count, coalition deaths this month average 1.42 per day, the lowest since March, 2006. Last month saw an average of 2.3, which was the lowest since June, 2006.

The other, and more important, half of the Ramadan Tet offensive was the campaign in Washington to have The Surge declared a failure and measures passed to force our troops out of Iraq. This was an equally dramatic failure for AQ, as the anti-war left tripped over itself with its embarassing 'Betray Us' ad and actually bolstered the pro-victory cause. Thanks to the crypto-patriots at We love you!

Update: The insurgents are too cowardly to fight real men, so they planted a bomb in a cart on a playground, killing two boys. The Reuters article tries hard to tie this attack to some kind of revenge for a previous attack by U.S. forces which regrettably killed some civilians as well as some al-Qaeda. AQ retaliates to U.S. attacks by killing Muslim children. Oh, that will show them alright!

Pentagon Paying Big Bucks To Retain Elite Troops

Yeah, I'd be willing to pay higher taxes for this sort of thing:

In addition to being proficient with weapons, many of these troops have advanced education, the ability to speak the languages of the Middle East and other regions, and the cultural awareness that comes with living among the local populations.

Pay them what they are worth. An idea whose time has come.

Shi'ites Turning Against Mahdi Army

The Coalition Forces continue to benefit from the abject cruelty and rapacity of its adversaries in Iraq. Just as the Sunni have turned against their erstwhile 'saviors' in al-Qaeda, the Shia are now turning against their own Mahdi Army, and in a big way, too. This story is almost a kind of statement against interest for the knee-jerk anti-war New York Times, so you know it's got to be true.

This seems to be a typical anecdote of why the Mahdis are losing hearts and minds:

two accomplices shot and killed a woman named Eman, a divorced mother, in front of her house, residents said. The fighters said she was a prostitute, but shortly after her death they brought tenants to rent her house.

It seems like maybe we are winning in Iraq by default.

Gore Finally Beats Bush

Al Gore has won his inevitable Peace Prize. Alfred Nobel's Peace Prize is intended for "the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between the nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses".

How on earth does Al Gore's work on global warming qualify under these terms? Answer: it doesn't. Just remember, these same folks also awarded this same prize to Yassir Arafat, the Godfather of terrorism. Who will they give the Nobel Peace Prize to next year, Hugo Chavez? It is obvious that the prize now goes to whomever is internationally recognized as a 'liberal darling' as Rob Port puts its, not to whomever really deserves it.

After all, George W. Bush has saved 50 million+ people, Muslims no less, from the clutches of two of the most horrid regimes in recent history, Saddam Hussein's Iraq and Afghanistan under the Taliban. Even your most hardcore dyed-in-the-wool liberals will tell you its a 'good thing' Saddam is gone, and yet Bush gets zero recognition for these tremendous human rights victories. Not since FDR was in office has an American president done so much for human freedom.

Just goes to show you that the Nobel Peace Prize is about as authentic a recognition of achievment in the field of peace as a winning lottery notification via email. Perhaps even less.

P.S. I had forgotten that Hugo Chavez actually has been nominated for the prize before.

P.P.S. Woah, I didn't know that Joseph Stalin and Benito Mussolini had also been nominated.

Update: I see the prize committee has issued a press release on its rationale for awarding the prize to Gore:

Indications of changes in the earth's future climate must be treated with the utmost seriousness, and with the precautionary principle uppermost in our minds. Extensive climate changes may alter and threaten the living conditions of much of mankind. They may induce large-scale migration and lead to greater competition for the earth's resources. Such changes will place particularly heavy burdens on the world's most vulnerable countries. There may be increased danger of violent conflicts and wars, within and between states.

Got that? Global warming might cause conflict sometime in the future. I hereby award the prize committee the Ken McCracken Square Peg In Round Hole Prize.

Only Ron Paul!!1!!1! Can Save Us From MEDIOCRACY

These poor fools don't realize that Charles Johnson probably relishes emails like this one:

You, the owner of this site, are a pathetic human being. Maybe Ron Paul decimates his opponents in your polls because he’s the only candidate who cares about the American people. I ‘m not even American but I can tell you most who come across Paul’s message outside of your country realize he’s the only guy that can save your country from it’s inevitable slide into mediocracy [sic].
I think the emailer meant 'mediocrity' and not 'mediocracy' . . . or did he? What an amazing neologism 'mediocracy' is. Rule by the mediocre! Note how it could also apply to the media.

Carter Tortures US Some More

The ever-helpful Jimmy Carter is at it again, now claiming that the United States tortures prisoners.

In an interview with CNN, Carter said the United States "has abandoned the basic principles of human rights."

"I don't think it. I know it," he said.

How does he 'know it', one wonders. Carter is not privy to the procedures or operations at Guantanamo Bay, nor any other detention facility. We all know Carter does not have divine insight - his presidential administration proved that. So why does he present things as facts that he could not possibly know? Because any slander against the U.S. is to be instantly believed without question, apparently.

Carter doesn't know that we torture prisoners, because we don't. The linked article also says "the New York Times reported Oct. 4 that the Justice Department had issued secret memorandums in the past clearing the use of "harsh interrogation techniques," including head-slapping, simulated drowning and frigid temperatures." Head-slapping, simulated drowning (I expect they mean waterboarding here) and frigid temperatures simply are not torture. They do not cause permanent or even temporary physical or psychological injury.

Yet Carter has a large podium on which to speak, and the world listens to what he says (God only knows why). The world hears 'torture' and thinks the U.S. is drilling holes in peoples feet, or applying blowtorches to their skin. They don't have the facts presented to them, and people like Jimmy Carter create a woefully distorted image about how the U.S. treats detainees. He is doing tremendous harm to our image and our relations throughout the world by recklessly claiming we torture prisoners when nothing of the kind is happening.

Congraulations Jimmy Carter, you are both our worst president ever, and our worst ex-president ever.

I Haven't Left The Republican Party, The Republican Party Left Me

Well I still consider myself a nominal Republican. But just barely. National security, the Iraq War and the GWOT are priority number one for me, so what am I gonna do, vote for Democrats? (insert boisterous laughtrack here). I am one of perhaps three or four people in the nation who actually thinks President Bush is doing a great job in the War on Terror. I prefer the grape Kool-aid, by the way.

But other than that, the Republican just suck out loud. Why? Because they have become Democrats.

Being corrupt like Democrats - Duke Cunningham was a particularly egregious offender here. Right up there with Dan Rostenkowski.

Spending money and bloating the federal budget - whatever happened to smaller government? Gratuitously increasing the size of government in order to pander to certain voting demographics is a sleazy Democratic tactic, it should be beneath the dignity of any self-respecting Republican, but apparently it is not. We did not need the Medicare expansions, No Child Left Behind, more farm subsidies and bridges to nowhere.

Defying the obvious will of the American people in order to shove a shamnesty bill down our throats - excusing illegal behavior and ignoring national security in order to suck up to a minority demographic. Again, behavior befitting pandering Democrats.

Kicking the can down the road - not taking Social Security reform seriously, to our eventual ruin. They are sharing the Democrats' "don't worry, be happy" attitude towards this looming entitlement catastrophe.

Not fighting Democrat slanders - the Republicans just let the press and the Democrats get away with blaming President Bush for the entirety of Hurricane Katrina, in a state with a Democratic governor and a city with a Democratic mayor. It all became Bush's fault somehow, and the Republicans never pushed back. And while the conservative blogosphere has done an awesome job of defending victory in the Iraq War, the administration and Republican congresscritters have dropped the ball time and again in making the case.

Acting like they are entitled to rule - treating Congress like some country club birthright, succumbing to arrogance and a culture of sleaze that used to be the hallmark of Congress when Dems ruled the place for 40 years. When you think you are entitled to something, you don't work hard to keep it.

No wonder the Republicans are starting to lose elections. Why vote for Democrat-lite, when you can vote for the real thing?

Damn Right They're Being 'Swiftboated'

The left is claiming that Graeme Frost is being 'swiftboated'.

Frost was trotted out by the Democrats as their 12-year-old poster boy for SCHIP, which is the new hot potato on Capitol Hill. The Democrats claimed that Frost represented 'working class families' but . . . it turns out that the kid goes to a $20,000 a year private school, and his dad is not a 'woodworker' but a well-to-do construction entrepreneur.

Funny how the left's definition of 'swiftboating' differs from that of the right's. I wonder why the left tries to use the term swiftboating at all - after all, many of the charges the swifties made against John Kerry turned out to be true. So much so, that Kerry was forced to recant his little 'Christmas in Cambodia' fable. So apparently the real defintion of swiftboating means to "use facts to prove a falsehood" and that being proven a liar constitutes an unfair smear. It's as if they are propounding the "we're liberals" defense: they can lie about anything they like and it is okay . . . because they are liberals and they have a right to claim the moon is made of green cheese if it suits them and how dare you suggest otherwise.

Well the right isn't swiftboating Graeme - he is only twelve years old and he actually is innocent in all this, but the Democrats unfairly "sent out a boy to do a man's job" as Mark Steyn put it. The right is swiftboating, i.e., pointing out the blatant dishonesty, of Graeme's parents and his Democrat handlers. The Democrats' modus operandi of late, from smearing Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh, to calling General Petraeus a traitor before he had even opened his mouth, is so shot through with dishonesty that they must think it is working. It is time to put a stop to it, and if the Republicans can show how dishonest Frost's parents and the Democrats are on this, no amount of claiming that the Republicans are 'mean-spirited' is going to work. They are set up for yet another Betray Us backfire on this. Sure the American people are sympathetic to the healthcare needs of working families, but they are not at all sympathetic to a campaign of lies to gin up support for it. This is why this Republican 'attack' is not at all a diversion from the SCHIP debate, but rather is exactly on point: should the federal government be in the business of insuring folks that can actually afford it themselves? The Frost family is actually an argument for the Republican side of the debate, and this is why the left is so anxious to shield them from any scrutiny.

Sorry, sending out a kid and putting words in his mouth does not automatically shut down debate in this country. The Democrats, however, are naturally acting as if that is exactly how policy should be conducted. Just have a child deliver the address and watch the give and take of politics just magically disappear. It reminds me of Hillary Clinton's claim that health care is an issue that is 'beyond politics', meaning that all debate needs to cease immediately. The Democrats would have emotion trump the democratic process.

Republicans And Other Smart People Don't Trust The Media


But to be more specific, here's 101 reasons why.

Rathergate still tops them all in my opinion.

Hillary Gets The All-Important McGovern Endorsement

The Nation thinks this will clinch Iowa for Clinton. Not sure why, she is already ahead there by 29% compared to 23% for Edwards and 22% for Obama. Besides, McGovern didn't carry Iowa in '72, I don't see that the state has any particular attachment to him. McGovern, the most anti-war candidate ever, probably has a special cache with the extreme left however, and his endorsement may mean that all is forgiven regarding Hillary's pro-Iraq War vote (and failure to recant). In any event, the Nation reports that McGovern is all squishy now over Hillary's views on the war:

McGovern does not cut Clinton a lot of slack for her 2002 vote to authorize Bush to attack Iraq. The former senator bluntly declares that it was "a mistake to support that war at any time."

But McGovern argues that there are few "mistake-free" candidates and says that Clinton has moved toward what he sees as a "pretty good" position on the war. "She knows that's its gotta be ended," the former senator says. "She said if by any chance Bush were to continue the war that after 2008 she'd terminate it. That's about all you can expect."

While it might help Hillary a little in Iowa, an endorsement by McGovern would be a slight drawback during the general election, except . . . no one really takes losing prez candidates seriously, especially those who lose in a landslide. I only bring this up at all because it seems like strange bedfellows, and I have this odd fascination with George McGovern. I agree with virtually nothing he stands for, but I like him as a person, he seems like a decent, honorable and straight-up guy. Real old school, we could use more of that.

Carter Kisses Up To Yet Another Tyrannical Regime

Jimmy Carter is using his gravitas to defend the Sudanese government against charges of genocide:

"There is a legal definition of genocide and Darfur does not meet that legal standard. The atrocities were horrible but I don't think it qualifies to be called genocide," he said. Washington is almost alone in branding the 4 1/2 years of violence in Darfur genocide. Khartoum rejects the term, European governments are reluctant to use it and a U.N.-appointed commission of inquiry found no genocide, but that some individuals may have acted with genocidal intent. Carter, whose charitable foundation, the Carter Center, worked to establish the International Criminal Court (ICC), said: "If you read the law textbooks ... you'll see very clearly that it's not genocide and to call it genocide falsely just to exaggerate a horrible situation I don't think it helps.

Carter is either ignoring, or is ignorant of, the fact that as many as 200,000 have died in Darfur at the hands of the Janjaweed, and have depopulated much of the region. This is what it looks like:

darfur conflict.jpg

I don't know what 'law textbooks' Carter thinks will refute applying the term 'genocide' to Darfur, but the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide seems to cover the Darfur situation pretty clearly:

...any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Perhaps Carter is the one who isn't being helpful here.

Update: Eric Reeves at The New Republic slams Carter for turning a blind eye to genocide, saying that Carter is engaged in "some ghastly quid pro quo he hopes to arrange with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir," and that "In short, it seems doubtful that Carter has read the textbooks he claims to have read, or the vast body of human rights literature on Darfur--or even the Genocide Convention itself. If he had done any of these things, he would not speak so ignorantly."

U.S Had Radiological Weapons Program

The Associated Press has finally received heavily redacted freedom of information copies of documents from the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project, in which planners considered uses for radiological weapons. That is, the U.S. investigated potential 'dirty bomb' uses for radioactive materials, including large-scale area denial and assassinations.

The AP article mentions that an "unknown assailant used a tiny amount of radioactive polonium-210 to kill Kremlin critic Alexander Litvinenko in London", and that Polonium is precisely the type of attack the Special Weapons Project foresaw.

The whole premise and the project itself is a rather Strangelovian exercise to be sure, but it came about in the depths of the Cold War, at a time when people were not at all creeped out by anything and everything radioactive. Calling something 'atomic' meant is was new! and modern! and not poisonous and evil. It is not at all surprising that the military looked into this realm of warfare - it would only have been surprising it they hadn't.

Horror In Congo

Allahpundit (or one of Michelle Malkin's other goons at HotAir) calls this "the worst thing you'll ever read" and indeed it may be - the New York Times is reporting the shockingly high numbers of rapes occurring in Congo, perpetrated by in part by criminals on the run from the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

According to the United Nations, 27,000 sexual assaults were reported in 2006 in South Kivu Province alone, and that may be just a fraction of the total number across the country.


“The sexual violence in Congo is the worst in the world,” said John Holmes, the United Nations under secretary general for humanitarian affairs. “The sheer numbers, the wholesale brutality, the culture of impunity — it’s appalling.”


According to victims, one of the newest groups to emerge is called the Rastas, a mysterious gang of dreadlocked fugitives who live deep in the forest, wear shiny tracksuits and Los Angeles Lakers jerseys and are notorious for burning babies, kidnapping women and literally chopping up anybody who gets in their way.

United Nations officials said the so-called Rastas were once part of the Hutu militias who fled Rwanda after committing genocide there in 1994, but now it seems they have split off on their own and specialize in freelance cruelty.

Call in the United Nations! Er, wait . . . the UN, which has a permanent mission to the Congo, failed to stop peacekeeping soldiers from engaging in widespread sex crimes there, including prostitution of underage girls. It is a scandal that the NYT calls 'The Worse UN Scandal'.