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Saturday, January 21, 2006
 
Fun Time-Waster

If you like logic and mazes, you'll probably enjoy this (requires Java). I was able to get the first six done, but once the double goals came out I was lost.
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Moron the WaPo Comments

Radioblogger has the transcript of an interview Hugh Hewitt did with Jim Brady of the Post. It's generally pretty good, but this part seems a bit off:

JB: Well, I mean in this case, there was very much a concerted effort to...when Deborah wrote her column on Sunday, a lot of the bloggers on the left side of the spectrum really...they got together and they said let's go to the Post blog and tell them how unhappy we are with this column.

HH: Was there an epicenter of that effort?

JB: It looked like it was in a bunch of different blogs. I mean, it certainly was getting a lot of attention on Atrios and Daily Kos, and some other places. So I mean there did seem to be...you know, it wasn't a campaign in the sense of a really organized campaign, but it was kind of a grass roots campaign to...


Oh, please! Grass roots means from the bottom up. It's kind of a lefty buzzword that implies extra legitimacy to ideas and campaigns that originate with "the people". But of course Atrios and Kos are not "the people" they are the big swinging units of the left-wing blogosphere. And Media Matters (which employs Atrios) was also beating the drum on this story. Is David Brock part of the grass roots?

Note also about the supposed lack of profanity:

JB: Yeah. I don't know how you protect from that, other than to build the best system you can to try to make it difficult for them to creat trouble. And I think one of the things we've learned in the last couple of days is we haven't made it difficult enough. We had profanity filters that weren't working, and some other issues.

I suspect that the profanity filters did weed out a lot of the worst posts; it's hard to believe that nobody dropped an f-bomb in this set of posts.
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Daunte Culpepper Asks for a Raise

This is called lousy timing.
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Friday, January 20, 2006
 
Osama Bin Fatso?

Our buddies over at Ankle-Biting Pundits do a comparison of Michael Moore's comments and those of Bin Laden.
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Old Friend, New Digs

Our buddy Mr Ugly American invites you to check out his new location. You'll find intelligent commentary on the political scene as well as some pop culture focus on the series "24". I saw the opening two hours on Sunday but missed Monday's action.
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More Proof Hillary Will Be the Nominee

Molly Ivins comes out against her nomination.

Enough. Enough triangulation, calculation and equivocation. Enough clever straddling, enough not offending anyone This is not a Dick Morris election. Sen. Clinton is apparently incapable of taking a clear stand on the war in Iraq, and that alone is enough to disqualify her. Her failure to speak out on Terri Schiavo, not to mention that gross pandering on flag-burning, are just contemptible little dodges.

Hillary couldn't ask for a better non-endorsement than Ivins.
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Thursday, January 19, 2006
 
What A Shock--Lefty Commenters Foul-Mouthed and Unsubstantive--Updated

(Welcome Instapundit readers! I am in the process of reading some more about the issue at this post, which claims that no foul language was used, simply substantive arguments, and will update as appropriate--See Update Below)

One of the more amusing knocks that we hear about the big conservative blogs like Power Line, Instapundit and Michelle Malkin is that they don't allow comments. Of course there are multiple reasons why, but a big one is that the other side is incapable of debating without engaging in vituperative hate speech.

Jim Brady, the executive editor at washingtonpost.com, notified users of the post.blog that the public comment feature had been suspended "indefinitely" after "a significant number of folks" posted personal attacks, profanity, and hate speech.

Attempts by E&P to reach Brady have been unsuccessful so far. It seems likely the move is related to controversy in recent days over Sunday’s Post column by ombudsman Deobrah Howell. She has been heavily criticized by some political Web sites and bloggers for writing that indicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff gave money to both political parties, when most research shows he only gave directly to Republicans.


“Records from the Federal Elections Commission and the Center for Public Integrity show that Abramoff’s Indian clients contributed between 1999 and 2004 to 195 Republicans and 88 Democrats. The Post has copies of lists sent to tribes by Abramoff with specific directions on what members of Congress were to receive specific amounts.”

More news on a surprising recipient of Abramoff money at The Nose on Your Face.

Update: Although Kokonut Pundits claims that the arguments against the WaPo were substantive and non-abusive, a look over at WaPo Lies, which has copied the comments for posterity reveals that this is not the case. Check out some of these delightful substance-free comments:

Fun is fun but I must disclaim any marital relationship to this Debora Howell person. As I hear it she is the remarried famous first wife of the late comedian, Sam Kennison who referred to her by the pet name of, "LYING LITTLE BITCH! AAARRRRGGG!"

It's ever so obvious when you think about it. Is it not? ;-)

Yours Truly,
Thruston Howell III

Posted by: Thurston Howell III | Jan 15, 2006 9:01:27 PM |


are you bought and sold, or can you be a paid shill for our side too

i'm sure we can all scrape together enough at least for some new one-piece, past the floor, negligees for your 'ghostwriting' over at chickenshit poopy-pants meadea

Posted by: tofubo | Jan 15, 2006 8:56:01 PM | Permalink


The polite posts imply Ms Howell is a shill; the impolite ones are worse:

Debbie wouldn't be 'doin' it if her pimp bosses at the WaPo didn't demand it. The WaPo is the disease... The WaPo..... a shill for the RNC and Emperor BushCorp.

NeoConservativism, the PNAC.... a disease infecting America. Are You Infected?

Posted by: Dr. RDW | Jan 15, 2006 9:03:51 PM | Permalink


how much is Deb Howell being paid to whore for the rpublicans??? get the facts, not the spin....

Posted by: unbelivable | Jan 15, 2006 9:04:29 PM | Permalink


Mr Snitch addresses the silly argument that the WaPo was engaging in censorship by purging these foul comments and more with his usual aplomb.
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The Reality-Based Community? Part LXVI

Is Paul Craig Roberts a Nut? And has Human Events gone crazy?

Mr. Roberts was associate editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page from 1978 to 1980, and from 1981 to 1982, he was assistant secretary of the treasury for economic policy. He was also a former Townhall columnist.

And he's also a moonbat of the first order today. He writes in Human Events (normally a pretty solid conservative publication), a column on the "stolen" election of 2004.

It's the usual paranoid drivel about how the exit polls were right and the vote counts were wrong, that Diebold changed the votes somehow:

The pre-election statement by Diebold's CEO that he would work to deliver the election to Bush was apparently no idle boast. In five states where the new "foolproof" electronic voting machines were used, the vote tallies differed substantially from the exit polls. Such a disparity is unusual. The chances of exit polls in five states being wrong are no more than one in a million.

But they were wrong, and even the exit polling firms agreed that they were wrong. In fact, they were ridiculously wrong in some cases. One exit poll had Kerry winning Pennsylvania by 20 points, and New Hampshire by 17. There was a zero percent probability of those results; to use the odds that Roberts quotes, it was less than one in a million chance. And in the end, Kerry took Pennsylvania by 2.5 points and New Hampshire by 1.5.

The other thing that nobody on the left ever mentions, is that non-exit polling had pretty consistently been projecting the actual results in the days leading up to the election. If you look at Gerry Daly's page on Pennsylvania 2004, the last three polls had Kerry by 1,4,and 1 point respectively. The same with New Hampshire; polling had shown Kerry winnning a tight race, which is exactly what happened. Ohio was more of the same; the last four polls had shown Bush winning. So the outlier, the result that doesn't fit here, is the exit polling result.

Anyway, Paul Craig Roberts has clearly snapped. Get this wacky call to arms at the end of the Human Events piece:

Miller directs our attention to Bush's high-handed treatment of dissenters. If electronic voting machines programmed by private Republican firms remain in our future, dissent will become pointless unless it boils over into revolution.

Roberts also writes regular columns at Justin Raimondo's Antiwar.com. You may recall me writing about Raimondo's rather bizarre conspiracy theories regarding 9-11 and the Israelis.

I don't have a clue as to what Human Events Online was thinking when they accepted this absurd column.
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The Return of the Abdrabbohs

Remember Fatina Abdrabboh? She was the young woman who wrote a rather silly column in the New York Times about how everybody was staring at her hijab one morning at the gym, but that her faith in America was restored when she dropped her keys on the treadmill and the gentleman behind her was kind enough to pick them up and hand them to her. Miracle of miracles, it was Albert Gore!

Well, the last name of Abdrabboh is back in the news today. Debbie Schlussel, writing in Front Page Mag discusses some of the plaintiffs in the ACLU's lawsuit attempting to find out who was wiretapped by the NSA:

I'm referring to ACLU lawyers Noel Saleh, Mohammed Abdrabboh, and Nabih Ayad, the ACLU Plaintiffs named in the yesterday's Complaint, attorney William Swor, a member National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and Nazih Hassan -- all named in the lawsuit. They are exactly the kind of people whom the federal government should be watching, but probably isn't. One of these men admitted to funding Hezbollah, one was accused of tampering with a witness, and a third signed a document contradicting statements he made in the lawsuit. Not to mention, one of these men engaged in exactly the same "spying" (on me) that he now opposes when done by the NSA.

Abdrabboh is heavily involved with the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, which openly praises Hezbollah -- the terrorist group that murdered over 300 U.S. Marines and civilians in Lebanon. In the West Bank, Abdrabboh made a career of legitimizing Palestinian terrorists in his work for Al-Haq, the Palestinian version of the ACLU (only worse, if that's possible). In work for the United Nations, he co-authored a report on the "Syrian Golan." (The Golan is in Israel.) Clearly, this man has a political agenda, not friendly to the United States or our key Mideast ally.

Spying? Taping phone calls? Abdrabboh doesn't have a problem with that either, when he's the one doing it. On September 7, 2004, the same day he filed his phony grievance against me, Abdrabboh had one of his friends, a man identifying himself as "Casey Khalil" call me and try to entrap me in a taped phone call. But it didn't work. The man, whose number came up as "Khalil Companies" on my caller ID, claimed he was a client of Abdrabboh for his mortgage company's problems with the State of Michigan and wanted information on him.

The ACLU lawsuit claims:

88. The Program has inhibited communications between Mr. Abdrabboh and his family and friends because he is less candid about his political views and avoids saying things that are critical of the U.S. government over the telephone or through email.

Puh-leeze. Abdrabboh is a vocal member of the Michigan Civil Rights Commission, appointed by Michigan's left-wing Democrat governor, Jennifer Granholm. There was a meeting of his commission since the NSA program was disclosed in The New York Times, and he is as vocal as ever. All of these attorneys had a press conference in Detroit, yesterday, upon the filing of the suit. Contrary to being silenced, they couldn't seem to shut up.


Okay, let's see if we can connect the dots. Bingo.

“My mom told me I have to stay indoors,” says daughter Fatina, who explains that her parents were afraid for her physical safety right after the attacks. “And I was like, ‘I have to go to class.’ She goes, ‘No, you’re not going to class. You’re staying inside.’”

That’s because the headstrong college junior refused to take off her traditional Muslim head covering.

“Taking off your scarf is not gonna do anything but satisfy ignorance,” says Fatina. “And it doesn’t help anybody. It just satisfies them.”

“You know, I have unwavering loyalty to my country,” says son Mohammed. “And it just kind of hurts that people who would never question it before Sept. 11 seem to have a different attitude now.”

A proud Arab-American and a lawyer, Mohammed is disturbed by the fact that more than 1,000 men — mostly Middle Eastern — have been detained by U.S. authorities. He has more than 20 new clients now who have all been “invited” in for questioning.


Hat Tip: Ankle-Biting Pundits

Okay, so Fatina and Mohammed are brother and sister.
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Chalk One Up for Michelle Malkin

I doubt if I was one of those who publicly disagreed with her back in September for her criticism of FEMA Director Michael Brown but I did feel that the charges were overblown and that FEMA was not an agency of first response, but a group that came in and quickly helped smooth things out after the emergency had ended.

Turns out Brownie agrees that Brownie deserves some of the blame. Okay, we will bow to his superior knowledge. And to Michelle's. We get hit with noise constantly about how Republicans have done something wrong, and 99% of the time it's BS. But 1% of the time it's an Abramoff or a Brownie, something that can't be sloughed off with a roll of the eyes. Kudos to Mrs M for recognizing quickly that this was a real problem and not another cry of wolf from the liberal media.
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Wednesday, January 18, 2006
 
Moron Ted Kennedy

Texas Songbird has a terrific post on Ted's membership in a men's-only club.

I commented on a thread over at Polipundit yesterday about "underrated" blogs that I was uncomfortable with the concept of underrated, but one smaller blog that more people should be reading is Texas Songbird.
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Newly Noted

Check out Church & State, the blog of Nathan Bradfield. He's got a nice, smooth writing style, solid conservative beliefs and interesting and varied posts. Worth the trip.
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James Webb Disagrees With Me On Murtha

Which is of course his privilege. I don't agree with a lot that Webb has to say in this column, but he does point out one outrage that both Republicans and Democrats can join together in decrying:

One of the most regrettable examples comes, oddly enough, from modern-day Vietnam. The government-run War Remnants Museum, a popular tourist site in downtown Ho Chi Minh City, includes an extensive section on "American atrocities." The largest display is devoted to Bob Kerrey, a former United States senator and governor of Nebraska, recipient of the Medal of Honor and member of the 9/11 commission.

In the display, Mr. Kerrey is flatly labeled a war criminal by the Vietnamese government, and the accompanying text gives a thoroughly propagandized version of an incident that resulted in civilian deaths during his time in Vietnam. This display has been up for more than two years. One finds it hard to imagine another example in which a foreign government has been allowed to so characterize the service of a distinguished American with no hint of a diplomatic protest.


I agree with Webb; the US government should raise some sort of diplomatic protest over that exhibit.
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Not Too Smart

Here's a good example of Bush Derangement Syndrome.

So I thought about it and decided that I feel this way because my life under Bush is impacted on almost every possible level, and on some levels that shouldn't even be possible.

Some ways are obvious, like the price of gasoline at the pump. Bush doesn't control the price per gallon, but I know he can, because Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter did it. I see red every time I fill my tank, knowing that most of my paycheck this week is making oil companies rich off their record profits this year.


Lots of foolishness in that last paragraph. For starters, on a real (that is, inflation-adjusted) basis, gas prices are lower now than they were when Jimmy Carter was in office in 1980.

Second, whom is she kidding when she says "most of my paycheck this week"? I fill up maybe 1-2 times a week; that's $60 tops. Unless she really drives a lot and has an old beater, and makes a terrible income at a part-time job, I have a hard time believing that over 50% of her income is going to pay for gas.

Other ways he impacts my life are more subtle. Like the fact that my granddaughter goes to school an hour early every day to keep up with the No Child Left Behind fiasco.

This little elementary student gets up at the crack of dawn, and has to be driven to school before the bus run, so she can be tutored to prepare for the tests or programs mandated by the federal government. My sister, who works for the Buffalo school system, says the program is costing the city schools a fortune. That impacts all of us, not just me.


How exactly is the program costing the city schools anything? Teachers aren't paid by the hour, they draw a salary. And I thought liberals liked the idea of schools having more hours; Janet Napolitano, Arizona's Democrat governor, is proposing to make kindergarten an all-day affair.

There's more, but it's equally lame. She bemoans the loss of her beloved Amtrak, which means that she must be the only person in American riding the rails on long trips.
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Methinks They Doth Protest Too Much

So does Howard Kurtz.

Of course, politics ain't beanbag, and Murtha, as a 37-year Marine vet, must be accustomed to hostile fire. The Purple issue, in fact, has come up in some of his past campaigns. But now it's getting national play -- and sparking a liberal backlash.

Arianna Huffington is appalled:

"Last week, President Bush said that he would welcome 'an honest debate about Iraq' -- as long as 'the tone of this debate is respectful.' Oh, really? Then he should start by denouncing the despicable smear campaign being launched against Jack Murtha. The attacks, calling into question the military record of a decorated 37-year war veteran, and launched on the eve of Murtha's powerful appearance on '60 Minutes', are a vile, noxious, and blatantly obvious attempt to keep the press and the public from engaging in that 'honest debate about Iraq.'

"They are the lowest form of character assassination -- cranked out by the GOP attack machine with ruthless efficiency (and almost comical predictability). A belly flop into the Beltway sewer that degrades a political culture already so befouled it might seem beyond further degradation. But then we get this effluvium -- and the stench hanging over our democracy becomes unbearable. Bush must make it clear, immediately and in no uncertain terms, that, as a country, we need zero tolerance for this contemptible attempt to shove the reputation of a man who put his life on the line for his country into the media wood chipper.

"If Mrs. Alito cried over some of the questions asked of her husband, what should Mrs. Murtha do, slit her wrists?"


I'm with Blackfive mostly:

Look, like with John Kerry, I'm more concerned about what the guy did after the war than during the war 40 years ago -- especially, when the man is in a position of power and influence.

"Supposedly, there are 'differing' accounts of heroism about John Murtha when he was in Viet Nam. There are always differing stories of combat . . . ask anyone who's been in combat.

"John Murtha needs his chops busted, but attacking Murtha's service record is callous and craven in my opinion.


I disagree with the last bit, though. Murtha and his fans have used his service as a defense against charges of him being a cut and runner. The main thing I found interesting about the original CNS story on this was the way Murtha's wounds migrated over time.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on May 12, 2002, reported that "Marine Corps casualty records show that Murtha was injured in 'hostile' actions near Danang, Vietnam, on March 22, 1967, and May 7, 1967.

"In the first incident, his right cheek was lacerated, and in the second, he was lacerated above his left eye. Neither injury required evacuation," the Post-Gazette reported.

But an Oct. 26, 1994, article in the Herald-Standard quoted Murtha as describing two different injuries.

"I was wounded in the arm with shrapnel from a bullet that hit the motor mount of a helicopter. In the other, my knee was banged up and my arm was banged up when a helicopter was shot down from a very few feet," Murtha told the Herald-Standard.

A June 1, 1967 report in the Johnstown Tribune-Democrat quoted a letter that the newspaper indicated was sent by Murtha to his wife that same year. The letter apparently detailed yet another version of how Murtha qualified for one of his Purple Hearts. According to the Johnstown Tribune-Democrat, Murtha's injuries involved his being "struck in the ankle" by a "shot that ricocheted off the helicopter."


There may be nothing to it; maybe the cheek and the eyebrow injury were all one incident. Maybe somebody at the Johnstown paper was mistaken and wrote down "ankle" when he was told "elbow". These things happen. But you know how it is; when there are conflicting stories out there, people are going to wonder what the truth is.

Crazy Politico also has a good take on the Kurtz article.
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Tuesday, January 17, 2006
 
The Bad News Is That The Encouragement Came From Karl Rove

Tom Daschle, talking about a possible run for President:

"I have received a lot of encouragement," Daschle said in an email today to the Argus Leader.
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Impeachment Watch V

David Corn (of all people) writes that impeachment would be an exercise in futility.

Still, I don't see a public impeachment campaign that targets this Republican-controlled Congress as the best use of political time, energy and money.

Meanwhile a lot of particularly inattentive bloggers are claiming that a recent Zogby Poll shows 52% of Americans in support of impeachment. But if you read the poll question carefully, the 52% seems a little loose:

"If President Bush wiretapped American citizens without the approval of a judge, do you agree or disagree that Congress should consider holding him accountable through impeachment."

Note particularly that the question mentions only American citizens. If the question read, "American citizens with connections to Al Qaeda", how many would agree? And the word "consider" is clearly intended to boost the number of yes responses; the question should have been worded "...do you agree or disagree that he should be impeached".

Also check the demographics:

Responses also varied by age, sex, race, and religion. 74% of those 18-29 favored impeachment, 47% of those 31-49, 49% of those 50-64, and 40% of those over 65.

So the majority solely arises from the 18-29 cohort, which of course is the least likely to vote and the least sophisticated politically.

Lots of woofing about how "only" 38% of Americans agreed with impeaching Clinton back in August and September of 1998; forgotten is the fact that when the Lewinsky story first broke, a solid majority favored impeachment if Clinton were found guilty of lying under oath.
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Proof Al Gore Will Not Be the Nominee in 2008

Cenk Uygur's endorsed him. If that's not enough, check out the comments on that post.
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Maybe The Irish Were Right?

There's an old gag that every Irishman claims to have been descended from kings of antiquity. According to genetic researchers, many of them may be right.

GENETICISTS have identified Ireland’s most successful alpha male. As many as one in 12 Irish men could be descended from Niall of the Nine Hostages, a 5th-century warlord, according to research conducted at Trinity College Dublin.

Niall, who was head of the most powerful dynasty in medieval Ireland, may have left a genetic legacy almost as impressive as Genghis Khan, the Mongol emperor who has 16m descendants after conquering most of Asia in the 13th century.

Researchers at the Smurfit Institute of Genetics at Trinity estimate there could be as many as 3m men worldwide descended from Niall. The highest concentration of his progeny is in northwest Ireland, where one in five males have inherited his Y chromosome.

The High King at Tara from 379 to 405, Niall founded the dynasty Ui Neill, which means descendants of Niall, who ruled Ireland until the 11th century. He reputedly made raids on the coasts of Britain and France, including one that netted St Patrick, then a slave called Succat, who was brought to Ireland.


My family comes from northwest Ireland. Brainster--the descendant of kings!
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Thanks to John Hawkins!

For including Brainster's on his list of the most underrated blogs in the righty blogosphere. You know how it is; while I appreciate the recognition, that's a list that I hope not to qualify for next year! Be sure to check out the other blogs on that list as well; I was familiar with several of them but there's plenty of good reading out there, and more all the time.
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No Kidding, Ted

Responding to the revelation that he belongs to a men-only club:

Meanwhile, Kennedy admitted to Hiller that he himself probably couldn’t pass Judiciary Committee muster.

“Probably not . . . probably not,” Kennedy said.
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Monday, January 16, 2006
 
You Should Have Seen the One that Got Away

Obvious joke.
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Witch, Girlfriend of Vampire, Fired From Bus Driver Job

An obvious case of discrimination, you say? Well, you're probably right according to the law:

Carpenter says its religious discrimination. Attorney Larry Leventhal, who has done a fair amount of work in civil and human rights, says Carpenter may have a case.

"She may be able to challenge the firing based on first amendment freedom of religion if she can show that that interferes with the spiritual force in her life," Leventhal says.
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Gore Speaks--Updated



(Pic lifted from Junkyard Blog)

Predictably, it's awful.

In keeping with the MLK-Day theme, Gore brings up the wiretapping of Martin Luther King.

This campaign continued until Dr. King's murder. The discovery that the FBI conducted a long-running and extensive campaign of secret electronic surveillance designed to infiltrate the inner workings of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and to learn the most intimate details of Dr. King's life, helped to convince Congress to enact restrictions on wiretapping.

The result was the Foreign Intelligence and Surveillance Act (FISA), which was enacted expressly to ensure that foreign intelligence surveillance would be presented to an impartial judge to verify that there is a sufficient cause for the surveillance. I voted for that law during my first term in Congress and for almost thirty years the system has proven a workable and valued means of according a level of protection for private citizens, while permitting foreign surveillance to continue.


Amazing how they came up with a "Foreign" Intelligence and Surveillance Act in response to a case of domestic wiretapping, eh? And to think that it was only ten years after MLK's death that the law was enacted!

Gore brings up the ridiculous statistic on Abu Ghraib often cited by liberals:

Over 100 of these captives have reportedly died while being tortured by Executive Branch interrogators and many more have been broken and humiliated. In the notorious Abu Ghraib prison, investigators who documented the pattern of torture estimated that more than 90 percent of the victims were innocent of any charges.

This is so completely goofy as to defy common sense. I would love to see the documents that say that 90% of the "victims" at Abu Ghraib were innocent of any charges. I mean, are we talking about OJ Simpson innocent?

Indeed, the only way that this stat makes any sense is if you believe in the Ted Rall caricature of our soldiers; that they are drooling sadists just looking for a chance to torture some Ayrabs for the fun of it.

Update: Here's a source for the 90% figure cited in the comments by DDT.

Report: 70%-90% held in error in Iraq
By Alexander G. Higgins
The Associated Press
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 05.11.2004
advertisement
GENEVA - Some 70 percent to 90 percent of Iraqi detainees were arrested "by mistake," according to coalition intelligence officers cited in a Red Cross report disclosed Monday.


But of course, that is 70-90% of Iraqi detainees everywhere, not just those at Abu Ghraib, and of course there is no distinction made as to the amount of time the people were detained, as this passage makes clear:

While many detainees were quickly released, high-ranking officials in Saddam Hussein's government - including those listed on the U.S. military's deck of cards - were held for months in solitary confinement.

And also get the hedging on "innocent":

It was unclear what the Red Cross meant by "mistake." However, many Iraqis over the past year have claimed they were arrested by American forces because of misunderstandings, bogus claims by personal enemies, mistaken identity or simply for having been at the wrong place at the wrong time.

And where does this information come from? According to this post by Kevin Drum it comes from "Certain CF (coalition forces) military intelligence officers" estimate.

So to reiterate, the Red Cross says an unknown number of military intelligence officers estimated that 70-90% of all Iraqis detained at any time and for any length of time before about March 2004 were arrested by mistake. From which Al Gore concludes that over 90% of those "tortured" at Abu Ghraib were innocent.

The President has also claimed that he has the authority to kidnap individuals in foreign countries and deliver them for imprisonment and interrogation on our behalf by autocratic regimes in nations that are infamous for the cruelty of their techniques for torture.

But as we have talked about in the past, this practice of "extraordinary rendition" actually began in what administration, class? That's right, the Clinton Administration.

Beginning around 1995, the Central Intelligence Agency inaugurated a form of extradition sometimes referred to as "extraordinary rendition," in which captured foreign terrorism suspects have been transported by the U.S. to third countries for interrogation and prosecution.

There's more, much more, but it's typical Gorespeak: half blather half insomnia cure. See Ankle-Biting Pundits for more. Reliapundit also has a good post up on this.
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Was Miers a Reaction to the Gang of 14?

John Hawkins argues that the Gang of 14 deal led to the Harriet Miers debacle.

Oh yeah, leaving the filibuster alive hasn't caused any problems whatsoever -- if you forget about a woman by the name of Harriet Miers! Undoubtedly, the filibuster threat helped intimidate Bush into selecting Miers and if not for an almost unprecedented revolt by the base, she'd have been the one on the Supreme Court instead of Alito.

Moreover, of course the Democrats haven't filibustered Alito. It's because they know the GOP has the votes for the nuclear option and they'd rather just keep their powder dry rather than waste it on a futile attempt to stop Alito. But, what if the GOP loses 2 or 3 seats in the 2006 elections and no longer can muster the votes for the nuclear option? Well, then expect Harry Reid and Company to use the filibuster again if another justice on the SCOTUS retires in Bush's term.


John's wrong about Miers, but probably right about the Gang of 14. I don't see why Bush could not have nominated Alito or Luttig or McConnell or Rogers-Brown; under the rules of that agreement they would not have been subject to a filibuster. John seems almost to be trying to find a way to forgive President Bush for the Miers' pick; a noble sentiment but the fact remains that the pick was baffling. I supported her nomination on the principle that the president had the right to pick whom he wanted, but there is no denying that it was not a stellar choice.

As for the Gang of 14, the jury remains out. It did get some of Bush's nominees through and if the Democrats could filibuster their way out of the Alito nomination I don't think there's any doubt they would. Arguably, the deal does not help the Republicans because it took the nuclear option off the table. We can argue that the Republicans unilaterally disarmed and that the moment the Democrats get control of the Senate they will drop the bomb.
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While I'm Searching for Something to Say

Go check out My Take on Things for an excellent pre-emptive strike on Al Gore.
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Sunday, January 15, 2006
 
Bye-Bye, Indy

It was a stunning game, not so much for the thought that Indy could lose, but that they could be dead and buried so many times in the game yet still have a chance to win or tie late in the fourth quarter. I'm sure to Steeler fans it was like watching a horror movie, where the villain gets shot with a silver bullet, cut in half with an axe, and burned to ashes only to rise again. To be forced to go for it on fourth and 16, with only about 90 seconds to go, and to be sacked, what are the odds you'll have a chance to win the ballgame? Tradesports had it down under 1. It rose following the fumble to over 60, then settled back down to about 40 before Vanderjagt's kick, when it zeroed out.

Kudos to Peyton Manning for having the guts to wave the punting team off the field on fourth & two with his team down by 18 points. It was a good risk, and Manning made it pay off with a quick touchdown two plays later. I'm sure there will be plenty of speculation about Manning and Dungy though during the off-season.

On the Bears and Panthers, I gotta pick Carolina. But take the points!
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Halftime Indy-Pitt Thoughts

Didn't get to predictions on this game, but I would have taken the Colts. Pittsburgh and Roethlisberger look terrific so far. As of halftime the Colts are down to 40 on Tradesports.

Update: Midway through the 3rd quarter the Colts are down to 22.
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Iran Amok?

Looks like the crisis with Iran is about to bubble over. The Scotsman takes the nothing will work line:

OPTIONS FOR ACTION

LAND INVASION

With UN approval out of the question, the US would probably have to go it alone, with even loyal ally Britain a non-starter. US forces are already overstretched in Iraq, and with Congressional mid-term elections approaching, there is no stomach in Washington for another foreign military adventure.

AIR STRIKES

More feasible than a land invasion, but the preferred option of only a small group of neo-conservatives in the US administration. The model would be Israel's successful air attack on Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor in June 1981. But the political fall-out in the Arab world would be immense.

SANCTIONS

The official preferred option of the US and the European Union. But likely to be stalled in the Security Council by Russia and China. Could be counter-productive since Iran would react by cutting off oil supplies to the West. Another option is limited sanctions against Iran's leaders, such as travel restrictions and the freezing of bank accounts.

SPORT

Iran could be banned from international sports events. Conservative MP Michael Ancram has called for the Iranian team to be expelled from this year's World Cup. Any such ban would create outrage among the football-crazy Iranians. FIFA, soccer's governing body, said last month that it would not expel Iran.

COMPROMISE

Still on the cards despite the bellicose noises coming from Tehran. The Iranians have a reputation for saying no when they mean maybe. A possible deal could involve Russia making nuclear fuel which could be used only for peaceful purposes on its own territory as part of a joint venture with Iran. Would need a face-saving formula to satisfy Iran's national pride.


Gotta love that; the biggest problem with all the solutions is how to placate Iran. I suspect strongly that the Israelis already have a plan that is just awaiting the orders.

Bill Kristol says that's being escapist:

This is not a history lesson about Iraq. These are today's headlines about Iran, where the regime is openly pursuing its ambition to become a nuclear power. "But this time diplomacy has to be given a chance to work," the doves coo. "Maybe this time Israel will take care of the problem," some hawks whisper. Both are being escapist.

Doves profess concern about Iran's nuclear program and endorse various diplomatic responses to it. But they don't want even to contemplate the threat of military action. Perhaps military action won't ultimately be necessary. But the only way diplomatic, political, and economic pressure has a chance to work over the next months is if the military option--or various military options--are kept on the table.

Meanwhile, some hawks, defenders of the Iraq war, would prefer to deal with one challenge at a time. They hope we can kick the can down the road a while longer, or that a deus ex machine--a Jewish one!--will appear to do our job for us.


Ann McFeatters buys into the Scotsman's notion:

The Bush administration's options are not cause for optimism. The president, for a multitude of good reasons, is uninterested in military action. He advocates diplomacy, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has been diligent in trying to persuade Russia that a nuclear Iran could destabilize the entire continent.

So far Russia has agreed only to "abstain" when the International Atomic Energy Agency votes on whether to ask the Security Council to take economic action against Iran. Russia, which sells weapons to Iran, has no interest in closing such a lucrative avenue. Ditto for China, which also craves Iranian oil and markets.

This has the feel of a slippery slope. If the United States is unable to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear power, other countries will follow. The entire geopolitical world will shift. Our children will become slaves to fear.


Michelle Malkin says we are on the brink.

My simple question: Do Americans understand the gravity of the situtation? I fear not. Once again, we are ill-served by a short-sighted, narcissistic, Bush-deranged news media far more interested in playing "gotcha," selling fish-wrap, and serving as Democrat Party adjuncts than keeping readers/viewers informed of the world's biggest threats.

Indeed all one has to do is look over at the Huffpo for evidence of this. Among the current top 20 blog posts, only this one concerns Iran. There are several posts on how the Democrats should stop Alito, a couple on the ridiculous Stephen Frey book, a bunch of the usual griping about President Bush, and a few on New Orleans.
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