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Saturday, May 20, 2006
 
McCain Gets Back-Handed Endorsement

He's gotta be loving this story:

Senator John McCain of Arizona received a cantankerous reception during his appearance at the New School commencement Friday, where dozens of faculty members and students turned their backs and raised signs in protest and a distinguished student speaker pointedly mocked him as he sat silently nearby.

The historically liberal university has been roiled in controversy in recent weeks over the selection of McCain, a conservative Republican and likely 2008 presidential candidate, to deliver the commencement address.

Some 1,200 students and faculty signed petitions asking the university president, former Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey, to rescind the invitation. Petitioners said McCain's support for the Iraq war and opposition to gay rights and legal abortion do not keep with the prevailing views on campus.


A few more stories like this and McCain may start sewing up his rift with the religious right. And get the dripping sympathy for a twit student:

But Kerrey's remarks were immediately overshadowed by those of Jean Sara Rohe, one of two distinguished seniors invited by the university's deans to address the graduates.

Beginning by singing a wistful folk tune calling for world peace, Rohe announced she had thrown out her prepared remarks to address the McCain controversy directly.

"The senator does not reflect the ideals upon which this university was founded," Rohe proclaimed to loud cheers, with McCain sitting just a few feet away.

She added that she knew what McCain would be saying to the graduates since he had promised to deliver the same speech he gave at Rev. Jerry Falwell's Liberty University last weekend and Columbia University on Tuesday.

"He will tell us we are young and too naive to have valid opinions," Rohe said. "I am young and though I don't possess the wisdom that time affords us, I do know that pre-emptive war is dangerous. And I know that despite all the havoc that my country has wrought overseas in my name, Osama bin Laden still has not been found, nor have those weapons of mass destruction."


No, Jean Sara, you're not too young to have opinions. You're just too young to have opinions that will impress many adults beyond sympathetic New York Times reporters.
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Friday, May 19, 2006
 
Dylan Avery's 115th Dream


"I'd like to thank the members of the Academy, my co-producers, and especially our new President, Nancy Pelosi...."

(Voice in background): "Dylan! Dylan!"


"Vice President Conyers, for convening the impeachment proceedings the day after the new Congress was seated..."

(Voice in background): "Dylan!"


"Huh? Who?"


"It's me, Condoleeza Rice!"


"Dr Rice! What are you doing here?"


"I'm here to warn you--Don't get on that plane tomorrow!"


"But I've got to! My film's been nominated for Best Picture. I'm going to walk the Red Carpet with my new girlfriend, Lindsay Lohan!"


"Well, don't say I didn't warn you!"

(Later)


"May I see your boarding pass and driver's license, sir?"


"But--but you're Marvin Bush!"


"Yeah, I'm in charge of security here at Dulles International Airport. Don't you remember? You mentioned me in your film. Now, may I see your boarding pass and driver's license?"

(Later, on the plane)


"Is this seat taken?"


"Mohammed Atta! You're still alive?"


"Of course I'm still alive. Don't you remember, you even said in your film that my father got a phone call from me on September 12th? I've got somebody I'd like you to meet."


"Hello Dylan."


"Hani Hanjour!"


"I wasn't too happy about what you had to say regarding my flying skills in your movie. But that's okay, you're going to find out just how wrong you are."


"Ohmigod! I gotta call the FBI!"


"Aw, crap, I forgot, cellphones don't work in airplanes."


"If you'll excuse us, we've got some work to do up in the cockpit."


"Aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!"
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Must Read Post of the Day

Our buddy over at Blue Crab Boulevard has a letter from his son in Iraq that is incredibly moving.

I've never tried to curl up in my helmet during a concentrated artillery barrage. I've never rushed a machine gun nest. I've never seen hordes of my enemies advancing relentlessly across an open plain. I've never held the limp body of a friend in my arms and wondered how I still lived while he lay dead. To me, the men (and more recently, women) who have endured these hardships of war are the ones who have truly seen the Elephant.

I have expelled rounds in the direction of my enemies. I have been fired upon. I have cowered in fear before, and embarrassingly, slept through mortar attacks. I have been on three separate convoys that were attacked with improvised explosive devices (the infamous IED of the Iraq War), one of which exploded directly in front of my truck. I have stood over the broken bodies of Islamic contractors, victims of attacks and accidents, waiting for MEDEVAC helicopters and knowing there was literally nothing I could do to stop those men from dying. I have a combat action badge, and I wear the "Screaming Eagle," the famed patch of the 101st Airborne Division, on my right shoulder, denoting that I've been deployed to a combat zone under the aforementioned command.


Terrific post. You did a great job raising him, Gaius!
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Those Wacky Iranians

Juan Cole's going to have a whole lot of 'splaining to do:

Human rights groups are raising alarms over a new law passed by the Iranian parliament that would require the country's Jews and Christians to wear coloured badges to identify them and other religious minorities as non-Muslims.

Uh, you know, that's been tried before.
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Moron Ned Lamont

The New York Times notes his challenge to Lieberman:

Without a national race to focus on, thousands of activists from other states — encouraged by a host of liberal bloggers — have contributed money and volunteered to help the campaign of Ned Lamont, a cable television executive with little political experience who is trying to unseat Mr. Lieberman in the state's Democratic primary in August.

"It's absolute Democratic cannibalism," said John F. Droney, a former Democratic state chairman in Connecticut.


I don't think Lamont stands a snowball's chance. Despite the enthusiastic backing of the netkooks, Lieberman's got over ten times as much money in his campaign account. Lamont has to overcome the association with Kos, who has now supported something like 19 consecutive losing candidates. And even if Lamont were to win the primary, polls have shown that Lieberman could run as an independent and crush the opposition.

But this race is guaranteed to provide lots of entertainment during the summer.
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Rudy's Running

That's the only conclusion I can draw from this story:

Rudolph Giuliani, the former New York mayor considered a potential 2008 candidate for president, headlined a fundraiser Thursday for former Christian Coalition leader Ralph Reed in his run for Georgia lieutenant governor.

The two politicians were effusive in their praise for one another as they entered the Atlanta fundraiser just before noon.

"I just want to say I believe Rudy Giuliani is one of the finest leaders in not only the Republican Party but in either party," Reed said.

Giuliani responded: "We're here to get you elected. It would be a great thing for Georgia."


The Republican field for 2008 is looking stronger every day.
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Thursday, May 18, 2006
 
Lamontos--The Freshmaker!

One of the corniest of the cornball ads has been released by the Ned Lamont campaign. Lamont starts out giving a standard campaign commercial, but in midstream "Screw 'Em" Kos and a couple other liberals break into his house to announce their support for his campaign.

Well, Allahpundit enjoyed it so much that he set it to the tune of the old Mentos ads (dooo dooo dooo dooo dooo dooo dooowahhh!). Funny stuff indeed!
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Impeachment Watch XVI

John Conyers expresses surprise that anybody would think he'd hold impeachment hearings without first holding evidentiary hearings:

But none of these allegations can be proved or disproved until the administration answers questions. For example, to know whether intelligence was mistaken or manipulated in the run-up to the Iraq war, we need to know what information was made available to -- and actually read by -- decision makers and how views contradicting the case for war were treated.

The committee's job would be to obtain answers -- finally. At the end of the process, if -- and only if -- the select committee, acting on a bipartisan basis, finds evidence of potentially impeachable offenses, it would forward that information to the Judiciary Committee. This threshold of bipartisanship is appropriate, I believe, when dealing with an issue of this magnitude.

Just enough reassurance for the moderates and just enough red meat for the partisans.

Carol Platt Liebau points out that Conyers has changed his tune suddenly.

Bombtruck, the new member of the Ankle-Biters, notes that Conyers isn't fooling anybody who's been paying attention. He also points to this artice from last summer:

Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) banged a large wooden gavel and got the other lawmakers to call him "Mr. Chairman." He liked that so much that he started calling himself "the chairman" and spouted other chairmanly phrases, such as "unanimous consent" and "without objection so ordered." The dress-up game looked realistic enough on C-SPAN, so two dozen more Democrats came downstairs to play along.

The session was a mock impeachment inquiry over the Iraq war. As luck would have it, all four of the witnesses agreed that President Bush lied to the nation and was guilty of high crimes -- and that a British memo on "fixed" intelligence that surfaced last month was the smoking gun equivalent to the Watergate tapes. Conyers was having so much fun that he ignored aides' entreaties to end the session.


John Hawkins:

What he really means here is that they won't start the impeachment hearings the moment they get into power. Instead, they'll do some partisan investigations first -- and then trump up whatever charges they think have the best chance of succeeding.

Blue Crab Boulevard's title points out how you can tell Conyers is lying.

Hat Tip: Memeorandum
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Murtha Kerries the Marines

Blackjack Murtha, obviously enjoying his newfound popularity with the idiot brigade, has abandoned his fellow marines. Michelle Malkin has the roundup.

There are details in this story that make me very suspicious.

But the details of what happened that morning in Haditha are more disturbing, disputed and horrific than the military initially reported. According to eyewitnesses and local officials interviewed over the past 10 weeks, the civilians who died in Haditha on Nov. 19 were killed not by a roadside bomb but by the Marines themselves, who went on a rampage in the village after the attack, killing 15 unarmed Iraqis in their homes, including seven women and three children. Human-rights activists say that if the accusations are true, the incident ranks as the worst case of deliberate killing of Iraqi civilians by U.S. service members since the war began.

I'm always a little suspicious of stories that involve US military killing women and children because it seems to play to the moonbat image of our soldiers as bloodthirsty beasts. It's more than a little reminiscent of this:

They told the stories at times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country.

I don't know the story of what happened that day. There are certainly indications in the MSNBC story that the accusations may be true. I'm not sure of the probative value of this:

A videotape taken by an Iraqi showed the aftermath of the alleged attack: a blood-smeared bedroom floor and bits of what appear to be human flesh and bullet holes on the walls.

The video, obtained by Time magazine, was broadcast a day after town residents told The Associated Press that American troops entered homes on Nov. 19 and shot dead 15 members of two families, including a 3-year-old girl, after a roadside bomb killed a U.S. Marine.


Let's hope the story isn't true. But even if it is, it's one instance; anybody trying to find a pattern here is going to need to come up with a lot of similar cases.
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Moron Net Neutrality

The Wall Street Journal weighs in on this story.

All the recent scare-mongering about the coming ruination of the Internet is cloaked in rhetoric about how recent court rulings and regulatory actions by the FCC have undermined certain "protections." This is mostly bluster. Companies like AOL did not migrate from a "walled garden" to a more-open, Internet-centric model because of mandates from Washington but because the alternative was extinction.

Given the impulse on the left to regulate anything that moves, perhaps the real surprise here is that it's taken this long for someone to seriously suggest the Net will wither in the absence of a federal regulatory apparatus. "Don't ruin the Internet" is a slogan with a lot of merit. But it comes with a modern corollary, which is "Don't regulate what isn't broken."


Okay, looks like Chris' take yesterday was right.
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Wednesday, May 17, 2006
 
The Amazing Race Finale--Turning Japanese/T'Tao!

In the first part of the show, teams must travel to an elephant park that opens at 4:00 AM (?). Of course, this acts as a bunching maneuver, as all teams arrive before the opening. They receive T-Mobile Sidekicks with the next clue. Fly to Tokyo!

The Hippies are elated because Tyler speaks Japanese and so they feel confident they can get an advantage. But almost immediately that hope is dashed as they fail to get the first flight, and so must make up almost an hour and a half.

The next task is to go to the Times Square of Tokyo, where they must look for the next clue on one of the video boards. Find Hachiko, a statue of a dog. This does not appear to pose much of a challenge, but by this time the Hippies have passed Ray & Yolanda.

Detour: Maiden or Messenger. In Maiden, teams must carry a woman in a sedan chair to a tea ceremony. In Messenger, they must deliver packages to two office buildings. The Hippies take advantage of their familiarity with the language to choose Messenger, while the other two teams carry the Maiden. It seems to work out well for all concerned, but Ray and Yolanda have clearly fallen behind the other two teams.

Next task is to find the Capsule Land Hotel, a place where you can stretch out in the comfort of a capsule instead of an actual hotel room. Teams are given staggered departure times. The Frat Boys check in first, Hippies next, Ray and Yolanda last.

The next morning they must find their way to Fujiko Highland, an amusement park. There, they have to ride three rides while looking for a man holding a clue. As usual with these segments, the challenge is not that great and everybody sees the clueman the first time through.

The next stop is the Pitstop at Lake Yamanaka. Teams must paddle swan boats out to a a larger boat in the middle of the lake. The Hippies arrive with a slight advantage over the Frat Boys, and manage to maintain that. They win T-Mobile Sidekicks and three years' service. The Frat Boys arrive next, followed by Ray & Yolanda. But... non-elimination leg. They lose their money and possessions.

The finale follows. Teams must fly to Anchorage, Alaska. The Hippies help Ray & Yolanda with some money, but they also beg. Apparently the Japanese think Yolanda looks like Janet Jackson, so they are generous.

Lots of drama about the plane connections, but in the end everybody gets into Anchorage at the same time. The Hippies do manage to convince a hotel clerk to pretend there's no internet access, but it's all in vain as the Frat Boys get their plane by telephone.

So all teams are even as we return to the US. They dash out to SUVs which conveniently include parkas, so there's no real disadvantage to BJ & Tyler and Ray & Yolanda.

Detour: Drill or Deliver. As it works out Deliver is ruled out by weather, so all teams must drill 10 holes through the ice, then move icehouses out to reveal at least two of the holes. The Hippies and Frat Boys start this one neck and neck, but Ray and Yolanda are behind again.

The Frat Boys take the lead here. Next stop is Kincaid Park, where teams are required to find a cluebox on a snowshoe trail. The Frat Boys get out on the course fairly quickly, while the Hippies apparently hose themselves by walking right past the snowshoes twice. Ray and Yolanda continue to slip further behind.

Now teams must fly to Denver, to a cluebox in Boulder, and then return to the Red Rocks amphitheater for the final challenge. They must find the flags of all the countries they visited, then place them in the order they were visited. Although the Frat Boys come close, the Hippies eventually work the puzzle out and dash to the mat, $1 million richer.

Comments: Great and entertaining season. The Hippies are two of the best characters the show has had at least in the three seasons I've been watching. They dominated the competition except, ironically, in two of the three non-elimination rounds. They played fair except for with the Frat Boys, which nobody can blame them. I was pleased to see Monica give a little pout at seeing them win the race. I was very glad not to see the Frat Boys win; they were grating.

Ray's got something going on with his eyes. Not sure if it's a walleye or a lazy eye or a glass eye, but it was noticeable tonight.

As always, check out Eric's terrific Amazing Race recap as well.
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Netroots Candidate Wins High Office

Well, not really. Chris Bowers of MyDD got himself elected to the Pennsylvania Democratic State Committee.

As Dean Barnett points out, he does not handle it with grace and humility:

It is over. We won. I feel like crying. I honestly cannot believe this happened. I accepted Kevin's offer to run less than eight days ago. I will now serve on the Pennsylvania Democratic State Committee. The city, the state, and the nation will change as a result. I promise everyone that.

What, no pledges of changing the world, the universe and everything?

Of course, it wasn't easy; Bowers had to contend with the evil boxes designed by Diebold to prevent netroots candidates from winning:

At around 8:30 am today, I was ready to declare massive voter fraud in my campaign, because both of the machines in my district were not allowing write-in votes. Worried that darker forces had tried to keep Kevin and I from taking office by screwing with our machines, I spent much of the morning on the phone with the board of elections and with committee people in other divisions (precincts) in our ward. Eventually, it became apparent to me that the voting machine problems I was experiencing were not he result of foul play, but instead the result of an apathetic and incompetent election system in Philadelphia that really did not give a rat's ass whether. everyone had the right to vote or not.

Rove sent down the word that Bowers had to be stopped, you see.

And let me close by saying this: we will all win, eventually. With few exceptions, all of the challengers who ran against the party establishment today will prove victorious in the long run. While victories such as mine were rare, all of the progressive and reform defeats will eventually succeed as long as the people who participated in those losses keep trying. If there is one thing the establishment is not prepared for, it is a dedicated group of people who will keep trying to win even after temporary setbacks. Even if our victories are few, our victories will keep multiplying as long as we keep running.

Can't you just hear the music (and Bowers' head) swelling?
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Net Neutrality

I haven't covered this topic so far, but our buddy Chris decided to take a look into it. He opposes Net Neutrality. John Hawkins supports it. I have not done enough reading on the topic to form my own opinion.
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An Impressive Young Woman

I don't usually give kudos to posters over at the Huffpo, but here's an interesting post by a sixteen-year-old girl.

I am the founder of Girls for Girls, International, an organization dedicated to helping young women in developing countries gain access to the education that they need and deserve in order to grow up to be strong and successful women. I am also sixteen years old.

Last Tuesday, Girls for Girls held a really successful fundraiser in support of the Nyaka AIDS Orphans School. We raised over four thousand dollars -- far exceeding our goal for the night. Next year, the students at the Nyaka AIDS Orphans School will be playing basketball on a court that we built. They will be reading books that we've bought and using mathematical sets that we've provided.
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Life Imitates Comic Books

Here's a somewhat wacky story about a new proposal:

The old circus trick of firing a person from a cannon is being considered by the US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) as a way to get special forces, police officers and fire fighters onto the roofs of tall buildings in a hurry.

Of course, way back in 1940, another man had the same idea:



Hat Tip: Neander News.
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Can Republicans Win On "We're Not Nancy Pelosi"?

Joe Gandelman brings up the specter of the Bride of Frankenstein as the Speaker of the House.

It's useful to have a target, but you also have to have a plan. Anyway, I think the better scare tactic is "President Pelosi", which is what she'd be if the Democrats actually impeached Bush and Cheney together. And nobody should doubt that's what John Conyers (who would chair the House Judiciary Committee if the Democrats take over) is planning.
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Lorie Byrd on Sitting It Out

Writing in Townhall, Lorie notes:

There are many now arguing that even if we had to endure two years of Speaker Pelosi or Majority Leader Reid, it would pay off in the long run, perhaps as the first two years of the Clinton administration resulted in the 1994 Republican landslide. Well, this is not 1994. Even two years of control of one branch of the government could do irreparable harm at a time when the outcome of the mission in Iraq and the status of judicial appointments is at such a delicate and critical point.

Disagree, dissent, march, email, telephone the White House and the Congress, heck, even mail a brick, but it doesn’t make sense to completely destroy the man who will be leading the country for two more years, or to destroy the Republican Party unless you are ready to accept the agenda of Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid.

Expressing the opposite view is our old buddy Teflon:

I have been voting GOP my entire life. I voted for George H.W. Bush in 1992. I voted for Bob Dole in 1996. I voted for this president in 2000, and again in 2004. In between, I've voted a straight party line ticket in every congressional race.

In 2006, I will stay home and watch TV.
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Taking A Pass--Updated

I'm not going to criticize either side in the immigration debate, other than to say that I respect the opinions of people on both sides, and so I don't agree with any efforts to disparage the motives of people on the other side of the issue. I know lots of people on both sides whom I respect and I have no intention of refereeing this bout.

I'd rather cover Duke lacrosse and Loose Change.

Update: See also Kitty Myers, who has a good roundup of reactions from the blogosphere.
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Tuesday, May 16, 2006
 
This Is Cool

Blogs with a face.
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Hicks Nix Chicks Pix

Saudi hicks, that is:

King Abdullah has told Saudi editors to stop publishing pictures of women as they could make young men go astray, newspapers reported Tuesday.

In recent months, newspapers have published pictures of women — always wearing the traditional Muslim headscarf — to illustrate stories with increasing regularity.
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Moron Ward Churchill

Report coming out today:

A University of Colorado investigative committee found deliberate and serious misconduct by ethnic studies professor Ward Churchill, including plagiarism, fabrication, and "serious deviation from accepted practices in reporting results from research," according to a report made public today.

But:

Three of the five members of the committee said the transgressions were serious enough that CU could revoke Churchill’s tenure and fire him. But two of those three said the most appropriate sanction would be a five-year suspension without pay.

The other two committee members said they were "troubled by the circumstances under which these allegations have been made," and "believe his dismissal would have an adverse effect on other scholars’ ability to conduct their research." Those two recommended that Churchill be suspended without pay for two years.

Research misconduct encompasses a spectrum of academic wrongdoing - everything from plagiarism to fabrication to falsification.

The committee also said it was concerned about the timing and motives of the investigation, which was launched amid public outcry over and essay Churchill wrote about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The university knew Churchill was a "controversial public intellectual" when he was given tenure in 1991, the committee said in the report.


So controversial public intellectuals have a get out of jail free card for "plagiarism, fabrication and serious deviation from accepted practices in reporting results from research"?
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Operation Soldier Update: Military Appreciation Night at Minor League Ballgame

Our buddy John has some more news from Operation Soldier, the official charity of Brainster's Blog.

Operation Soldier and the Fresno Grizzlies, the AAA affiliate of the San Francisco Giants, are pleased to announce military appreciation night, Saturday May 20th.

The Fresno Grizzlies will take to the diamond against the Iowa Cubs, the AAA affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. First pitch is 7:05pm, at Grizzlies Stadium, Downtown Fresno, CA.

All military personnel current and past, with their military ID can attend the game, free of charge. Simply present your military ID at the gate.

For reserve ticket information, please visit the Fresno Grizzlies Website. Grizzlies tickets available here.

As part of the evenings events, military personnel from WWII to the current war theater in Iraq and Afghanistan, will be honored and recognized prior to the game. Fireworks will follow the game.

The Fresno Grizzlies will be wearing camouflage baseball hats during the game. Those same hats worn by the players will be auctioned off, with proceeds going to Operation Soldier to help with their Patriot Down Foundation and the Brotherhood of The Badge Project.

Please show your support for America’s bravest, the soldiers of our Armed Forces and come out and enjoy a great game, salute the troops, and enjoy a great fireworks show.

Stop by and say hello to Operation Soldier, as we will have a booth in the concourse area, near the concession stands.


In addition, three members of Operation Soldier have returned from a trip to Iraq:

Without a doubt the mission was a success. The trip allowed Operation Soldier to coordinate and address the ever changing needs of the types of police gear that the upstart Iraqi police will need over the next few years. It also allowed Operation Soldier to coordinate and establish channels of communication within the United States Armed Forces that is in charge of administering the gear that is delivered to them to issue to the Iraqi Police Forces.

The mission was such a success, Operation Soldier is putting the final details on yet another trip to take place during the summer of 2006.

Day one in Iraq we had the privilege of being briefed on the role of the Army's 101st Airborne in Salah ad Din province. This is the province that includes Tikrit and is known as the Sunni Triangle. At one point a dangerous place indeed to quickly improving under the direction of Col. Steele and Major Elliott and Major Nage.


If you are in the Fresno area, please plan to attend the Grizzlies' game to show your support for the troops. If you're not in the Fresno area, stop by Operation Soldier and consider making a contribution.
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BDP On the Latest in the Duke Lacrosse Case

A former prosecutor looks at the facts and concludes:

I don't put much stock in the fact that he passed a polygraph test administered by his own expert. That will likely never come out in court, and like anything else paid for by the defense, you are automatically suspicious of it.

What really strikes me is that Evans offered to take a lie-detector test from the beginning. If he agreed to take a test administered by the police then the DA's refusal to let him do so is a big mistake. While polygraphs are not admissible in court, a police-administered polygraph test is something the DA will take into account before charging someone when the evidence is questionable. I'd also like to know if the DA had refused requests by potential suspects to take police-administered lie detector tests in the past.
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Polipundit Loses Its Star

Lorie Byrd resigns from Polipundit due to an edict that all bloggers over there must toe the line on immigration.

I received a lengthy email from Polipundit tonight alerting us to an editorial policy change that included the following: "From now on, every blogger at PoliPundit.com will either agree with me completely on the immigration issue, or not blog at PoliPundit.com."

That's about as dumb an edict as can be imagined in the right-wing blogosphere. Group blogs succeed when they have a general direction, but different voices and different opinions. When you shut out differing opinions on an issue, what are you really doing? You're acknowledging that your stand is not strong enough to withstand vigorous debate.

Lorie's the superstar over at Polipundit; I like the others but it was her intelligent and sharp commentary that made Polipundit a destination blog instead of a jumping off point.

I've been avoiding writing about the immigration issue even though it's obviously the hot topic right now. Basically I think immigrants help the country. Are there problems with illegal immigration? Sure, and I'd support the wall to solve that problem. But I'm not going to bash Mexicans for coming to America in search of a better life. We need more legal immigration (and less illegal immigration). Polipundit (and La Shawn Barber) appear to be saying that if Bush does anything other than deporting all the illegals in this country, they'd rather sit on their hands than support the Republicans. That's their right, but it's our right to tune them out when they do.

See also Dafydd, who delivers a much deserved smackdown to John Hinderaker.

Chris takes the other tack, but responsibly. I don't agree with him on the Constitution Party (third parties never accomplish anything but wounding their closest allies), but he's taking the sane road as compared to Polipundit.
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Klein on the Democrat's Problems in Black and White

Joe Klein points out the easy time the Republicans are going to have making an issue of who would be heading up House committees in a Nancy Pelosi speakership.

The inevitability of race as a subliminal issue in the campaign became obvious as I watched House minority leader Nancy Pelosi, the personification of fluttery uncertainty, trying to defend Representative John Conyers on Meet the Press a few weeks ago. Conyers will be chairman of the Judiciary Committee if the Democrats win control of the House in November, and he has already threatened impeachment hearings against President Bush. This is one of the few scenarios that might rouse the demoralized Republican base from its torpor. It is also likely to alienate independents, who are sick of the hyperpartisanship in Washington and will be less likely to vote for Democrats if the party is emphasizing witch hunts instead of substantive policies. But the ugly truth is that Conyers is a twofer: in addition to being foolishly incendiary, he is an African American of a certain age and ideology, easily stereotyped by Republicans. He is one of the ancient band of left-liberals who grew up in the angry hothouse of inner-city, racial-preference politics in the 1960s, a group "more likely to cry 'racism' and 'victimization' than the new generation of black politicians," a member of the Congressional Black Caucus told me.

Predictably, the libs are blasting Klein for daring to tell the truth. Media Mutters gripes that Rove's first shot against the Democrats comes from Klein.

In April, Klein denied he had ever said that "the left hates America," a comment first reported by media critic Eric Alterman; in fact, as Media Matters noted, Klein has stated that the "left wing" of the Democratic Party has a "hate America tendency."

This is self-evident. Dennis Prager highlighted on his show yesterday that Randi Rhodes refuses to declare the groups we are fighting in Iraq as evil. Never mind that they're willing to kill dozens of Iraqis in suicide bombings; they're opposing the United States and therefor must be considered "good".

Conyers, and Charlie Rangel, and Alcee Hastings will be issues in the fall (as will Pelosi, for that matter). Klein is just pointing out the obvious.
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Monday, May 15, 2006
 
Third Player Indicted in Duke Lacrosse Rape Case--Updated!

Heard it on the radio, here's the AP story:

A grand jury indicted a third member of Duke University's lacrosse team Monday on charges stemming from a woman's allegations she was raped and beaten at a team party earlier this year.

David Evans, a senior and team captain from Bethesda, Md., was indicted on charges of first-degree forcible rape, sexual offense and kidnapping. Two other players were indicted on similar charges last month.


No confirmation yet on whether he was the player whose DNA was reported found on the woman's fake fingernails.

More details here:

Evans' attorney, Joseph Cheshire, said the accuser identified Evans with "90 percent certainty" during a photo lineup. Cheshire said the accuser told police she would be 100 percent sure if Evans had a mustache -- something he said his client has never had.

Evans turned himself in after the news conference. Cheshire said he expected his client to be released later Monday.

Evans, who lived at the house where the party was held, was indicted on charges of first-degree forcible rape, sexual offense and kidnapping. In the past, he had been cited for a noise ordinance violation and alcohol possession.


Update: This article indicates Evans was the one whose DNA showed up on the fingernail.

Now, NBC-17 has learned that the player is not one of the two already accused in the case -- Reade Seligmann, of Essex Fells, N.J., and Collin Finnerty, of Garden City, N.Y. He is, however, a player whom the alleged rape victim picked out in a police lineup with 90 percent certainty.
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Same As The Old Kerry

Ari Berman writes in the Nation of the New John Kerry:

In the past few months Kerry has presented a side of himself very different from the one the public saw during the 2004 campaign. Freed from the grip of consultants, the spotlight of the national media and the Republican attack dogs, he is looser, clearer and more compelling. Call it the Al Gore Effect. At the end of a presidential campaign, losing candidates either retreat, keep up the good fight or attempt the arduous task of redefining themselves. Kerry's both fighting and redefining these days.

Fighting to redefine himself, more likely. Kerry's only hope is the same as Al Gore's: to fly with the left wing and hope that it has more staying power than it did in 2004. He can't be the establishment candidate this time around, so his only hope is to run on the "I hate Bush more than you do" theme.

But he's going to have quite some competition to attract the votes of the BDS folks. Gore and Feingold are both courting those voters. Feingold has the advantage of having done it longer, while Gore has the advantage of not being a Senator and having to make votes that undercut your credibility with the netkooks.
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Rove Indictment Story Another Pony?

Ah, the imminent indictment story by Jason Leopold seems to be not-so-imminent.

Byron York writes about Leopold:

The report came out of the blue on Saturday. Jason Leopold, who has written a memoir, entitled News Junkie, in which, according to the book's promotional material, he portrays himself as a writer "whose addictive tendencies led him from a life of drug abuse and petty crime to become an award-winning investigative journalist," has written wildly unreliable reports about the CIA leak affair before. But still, reporters of every stripe felt they had to check this one out.

I'll go out on a limb here and predict no indictment this month.
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Low-Grade Analysis

Andrew Sullivan prints an email from a wishful thinker:

Feingold (the Dean of '08) will hit Hillary hard and undercut her liberal support-supposedly her rock solid base. Now, I can hear you scream at your screen, "that's just what Hillary wants - a candidate that makes her look less liberal!" Yeah ... but once Feingold exposes that Hillary has been wrong on so many issues Dems care about (Iraq, civil liberties, Iraq, attacking Bush), she'll be reduced to normal size for others to take on. Gore can sit back and watch Feingold do the dirty work and get in as Hillary weakens.

Gore's big advantages: he's been right on the issues, he retains stature among Democrats, and, surprisingly, he'll appear fresh from being away so long. Other than SNL last night, when was the last time you saw Gore on TV (and if you didn't see Gore on SNL...go to Crooksandliars.com for a very good laugh!)?
Gore-Warner is the winning ticket in '08.


The activist base can't stand Hillary, but the activist base pushed Howard Dean in 2004. And while Feingold is beating up on Hillary, where's Al Gore going to get any votes? Gore's only chance is to go after Feingold's supporters, but those are the same kooks who backed Dean in 2004. Getting those folks on board is like inviting Long John Silver to be your ship's cook.
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Sunday, May 14, 2006
 
The Usual Temperate Rhetoric From the Democrats

From Patty Wetterling:

"The goal here is to defeat Michele Bachmann," Wetterling said before the last round of voting. "She's bad for the district. She's bad for America. She's bad for families. She's bad for children. She's bad for everything I've ever believed in."
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If We Connect The Dots, The Terrorists Have Won

And if we fail to connect the dots, the terrorists may hit the jackpot.

Sen. Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) feels differently. "Look at this headline," huffed the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee. "The secret collection of phone call records of tens of millions of Americans. Now, are you telling me that tens of millions of Americans are involved with al-Qaida?"

No. But next time he's flying from D.C. to Burlington, Vt., on a Friday afternoon he might look at the security line: Tens of millions of Americans are having to take their coats and shoes off! Are you telling me that tens of millions of ordinary shoe-wearing Americans are involved with al-Qaida?
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