The Hamas operative killed in the IDF strike in Gaza Friday was a senior official who survived five assassination attempts by Israel, an announcement by Hamas’ military wing the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades stated on Saturday.
Twelve other Palestinians were also injured in the strike, and some of them sustained serious wounds.
The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit confirmed that Israel Air Force jets struck three targets in the Gaza Strip, including a terror hub in the north, a weapons factory in the central Strip, and a smuggling tunnel in the south. All jets returned safely to their bases.
The IDF said the attack came in response to the rocket fired at Ashkelon Friday morning, and stressed that the military would continue to operate against any element threatening the citizens of Israel and its soldiers.
“The IDF holds the Hamas terror organization solely responsible for the occurrences in the Strip and for maintaining calm there,” the IDF statement said.
Such a missile firing by Hamass might look something like this (just add a day care center or apartment building to the picture to deter Israeli reprisals):
And its damage done was something like this:
That no one was hurt was a miracle. That Israel still has to deal with this level of barbarity at any moment is a travesty.
I’ve got it! How we make our millions and give up this useless blogging racket.
The Traitor Tour:
We’ve got aiders and abetters of the Times Square bomber in Watertown; Russian spies in Cambridge; and now the Wikileaker has accomplices in Boston and Cambridge!
Army investigators are broadening their inquiry into the recent disclosure of classified military information to include friends and associates who may have helped the person they suspect was the leaker, Private First Class Bradley Manning, people with knowledge of the investigation said yesterday.
Two civilians interviewed in recent weeks by the Army’s criminal division said that investigators were focusing in part on a group of Manning’s friends and acquaintances in the Boston area. Investigators, the civilians said, apparently believed that the friends, who include students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Boston University, might have connections to WikiLeaks, which made the documents public.
One of the civilians interviewed by the Army’s criminal division, who asked for anonymity so that his name would not be associated with the inquiry, said yesterday that the investigators’ questions led him to believe that the Army was concerned that there were classified documents in the Boston area.
“I was under the impression that they believed that perhaps Bradley had used friends in Cambridge as a mechanism for moving documents,’’ he said.
We’ll buy a duck boat (rechristen it the Beneduck Arnold), and show our clients all the locales of greater Boston’s contributions to the overthrow of the country. (And we can moor the scow in Rhode Island to avoid paying onerous state taxes—don’t ask me where I came up with that brilliant idea!)
In addition to the sights named above, we’ll trundle past Noam Chomsky’s and Skip Gates’ offices, the sites of Sacco’s and Vanzetti’s armed robberies in Braintree and Bridgewater, Barney Frank’s favorite bars, and Ted Kennedy’s birthplace in Dorchester. I can only imagine the frisson the tourists will feel while standing in Harvard Yard among the traitors of tomorrow. Imagine the possibilities of betrayal!
Just as the lame Freedom Trail has a red stripe painted on the sidewalk, we’d paint a yellow streak along the Traitor Tour.
I think you’d be better leading the tours, Aggie, and you’d be quite fetching in starched and pressed Soviet military fatigues and a red beret, if I may say so. I’ll drive.
I know nothing of business models, but at, say, $20 a pop, maybe 50 people per tour, we split a thousand bucks every ride (minus expenses). Run two or three a day, and we’ll be John Kerry rich on no time.
Former Vice President Al Gore will not face prosecution on an allegation of sexual assault from 2006.
The allegation, brought forth by Molly Hagerty, claims Gore sexually abused her during a professional massage at the Hotel Lucia in Portland on October 24, 2006.
The Portland Police Bureau did not recommend prosecution “due to a lack of credible evidence,” according to the Multnomah County district attorney’s office.
“After evaluating the materials submitted by PPB I have concluded that I agree with the assessment that a sustainable criminal case does not exist,” Senior Deputy District Attorney Don Rees wrote in a memo Friday. “Ms. Hagerty’s detailed statement … is insufficient to support a criminal charge given other contradictory evidence, conflicting witness statements, credibility issues, lack of forensic evidence and denials by Mr. Gore.”
Voters know whose hands are at the helm now. And with the elections less than 100 days away, here are the 10 telling signs that blaming bad times on Bush is not a winning strategy:
1. Red regions are gaining; blue are bleeding. Folks are fleeing stricken states in search of jobs. Based on these population changes, eight states in the more conservative South and West are projected to gain one or more U.S. House seats.
2. Republicans are pulling ahead in U.S. House races. With a projected gain of more than 40 House seats in November, Republican candidates also have the financial lead in most of the 15 competitive races in which Democratic incumbents aren’t running. Republicans only need a net gain of 39 seats to take the “damn gavel” away from Speaker Pelosi.
3. Toss-ups are turning red in the U.S. Senate. The GOP is leading or tied in eight Senate races for seats now held by Democrats, and is ahead in all Republican-held districts. More toss-up states on the map are leaning Republican. And the National Republican Senatorial Committee predicts a change in control of the Senate is now possible in just two election cycles.
4. Republicans are winning governorships.
The Republican Governors Association has a record $40 million cash on hand to invest in these races and to promote its national “Remember November” campaign.
5. Republicans are winning state legislatures. Eighty-three percent of all state legislative seats are on the line in November.
6. Republicans are winning on the issues. Voters trust Republicans more than Democrats on nine out of 10 key issues, including the all important economy.
7. Democrats are losing black and Hispanic support. Only 43 percent of Hispanics, a key Democratic voting bloc, are satisfied with Obama’s performance, with the economy a major concern.
8. Democrats are losing men, women, whites, and independents.
9. Democrats are losing the young. Among millennials, who voted 2-to-1 for Obama, the president’s approval rating was 73 percent shortly after his January 2009 inauguration. That number plummeted to 57 percent a year later, and the president now trails a generic Republican among 18- to 34-year-olds.
10. Republican voters are energized; Democrats disinterested. Seventy-two percent of Republicans are certain they will vote in November, compared to 49 percent of Democrats. Democratic Party identification is down from the 8-point advantage in 2009 and the 12-point edge in 2008. And while moderates are peeling away, the more liberal in the party argue Democrats are not progressive enough.
There’s varying amounts of validity to each one of those points. I’d just summarize it this way.
President Obama built an extraordinary coalition across partisan, racial, generational, economic, and social divides—and still garnered only 53% of the vote. Enough to win, more’s the pity, but not enough to run roughshod over opinions and beliefs that conflict with his own. He’s hemorrhaging support among all groups that don’t automatically support Democrats but did support him—independents, elderly, corporate leaders and business people, etc.—and even among those who do automatically support Democrats (Jews).
I still predict he’ll be tough to defeat in 2012, but when his own popularity (such as it is) isn’t on the line, Democrat voters might just stay home and Democrat politicians might just get the whoopin’ they deserve. Here’s hoping.
I honestly can’t tell if this is a defense of the Chevy Volt (it appeared in Mother Jones), or if it’s just piling on:
Edward Niedermeyer goes to town on the Chevy Volt:
For starters, G.M.’s vision turned into a car that costs $41,000 before relevant tax breaks … but after billions of dollars of government loans and grants for the Volt’s development and production. And instead of the sleek coupe of 2007, it looks suspiciously similar to a Toyota Prius. It also requires premium gasoline, seats only four people (the battery runs down the center of the car, preventing a rear bench) and has less head and leg room than the $17,000 Chevrolet Cruze, which is more or less the non-electric version of the Volt.
This is actually not as bad as I feared when Jack Shafer pointed me toward Niedermeyer’s blast. Looks like a Prius? Meh. Requires premium gasoline? The whole point is that it doesn’t use much gasoline in the first place (no one buys a Volt if they do a lot of long-distance driving), so meh again. Seats four people? That’s a drawback, but not a big one for most people. And although headroom and legroom are indeed a bit less than the Cruze, reviewers mostly seem to think it’s pretty adequate.
That leaves that $41,000 price tag. Which comes down to maybe $34,000 after the federal rebate and perhaps a bit less if your state also offers a rebate. Either way, it’s still a whole lot more than $17,000, and you’re not going to come close to making that up in fuel costs no matter how long you keep the thing. The rest of the Volt’s drawbacks may be modest (and you can add limited trunk space to Niedermeyer’s list), but they seem a lot worse when you’re paying 15 grand for the privilege of suffering through them.
Not to worry, though. In the software biz we always say that nothing is ever right until v3.0. So by 2018 or so the Volt should be in good shape. Assuming that General Motors still exists by then, of course.
Got that, Volt customers? Eight more years and they may have a decent product. I would say that’s unacceptable in the private sector—but this is GM, which is anything but!
In the meantime, enjoy that crappy legroom, piss-poor seating, and obscene price (regardless of taxpayer sponsored rebate).
It’s the perfect car for dropping your kids off at school and buying stamps at the post office on the way home (groceries not so much). Of course, such trips don’t use much gas to begin with—and the battery must be recharged from oil/gas/coal-powered grid—so I’m not sure how much carbon you’re keeping out of the atmosphere.
But a Chevy Volt with an Obama or Coexist bumper sticker should put you in good stead with your neighbors—and that’s priceless.
An Iranian official says cigarettes smuggled into Iran have been tainted with pig blood and nuclear material as part of a Western conspiracy.
The semiofficial Mehr news agency quotes Mohammad Reza Madani from the Society for Fighting Smoking as saying contraband Marlboros have been contaminated with pig hemoglobin and unspecified nuclear material.
Madani claims Philip Morris International, which sells Marlboro outside the US, is “led by Zionists” and deliberately exports tainted cigarettes.
He provided no evidence or information about the confiscated cigarettes.
Friday’s report also gave no details on how the contamination was discovered.
Pig Blood and the Nuclear Material would make a great name for a band. Their single might be “I Smoked You, Babe.”
Iranian TV Report Exposes “Zionist” Companies – Coca Cola, Pepsi, Marlboro, Hugo Boss, MacDonald’s and more
Who you calling a descendant of apes and pigs, bitch?
You know what they say Pepsi stands for, don’t you? Pay Every Penny to Save Israel.
Mrs. BTL asked, rhetorically, if these people really didn’t have anything better to do. As that might be setting up a few more uranium-refining centrifuges, I’m glad they’re wasting their time tracking down Arnold-infused fissionable fags.
But the sanctions must be working. Isn’t paranoia symptomatic of some kind of malnutrition or vitamin deficiency?
The NY Times is so sweet and encouraging when it comes to terrorism. Here is the headline:
New Trouble for Terrorist Who Helped Prosecutors
Doesn’t it feel as though the poor terrorist is being put upon? I mean really, hasn’t he had troubles enough?
Nine years ago, an Algerian man charged in the failed “millennium plot” to blow up Los Angeles International Airport took an unusual step: he pleaded guilty in Federal District Court in Manhattan and became the rare convicted Islamic terrorist to cooperate with the United States government.
Facing a possible sentence of more than 100 years in prison, the Algerian, Abdel Ghani Meskini, testified as a prosecution witness in two trials and helped to convict two other conspirators in the plot, which was to coincide with the millennium celebrations in the United States.
With the government endorsing leniency, Mr. Meskini received a short sentence, and in 2005 he was released. He moved to Georgia, got a job, paid thousands of dollars in restitution and tried to build a new life.
But Mr. Meskini, 42, was recently rearrested, accused of violating the terms of his release by committing new offenses. The authorities say that in 2007 he possessed a handgun and that last year he asked people to buy him an AK-47 assault rifle. He even sent an e-mail to one person with a photograph of the weapon he wanted, the government says.
That’s a darn shame. The guy was starting over, and now look at what’s happened. Is this George Bush’s fault?
Mr. Meskini has not been charged with new crimes; rather, federal probation officers have referred the allegations to the judge, John F. Keenan, who sentenced him in 2004. If he is found to have violated the terms of his release, he could be sentenced to additional years in prison.
The United States attorney’s office in Manhattan would not comment on Mr. Meskini’s case. On Thursday, prosecutors notified the judge that they intended to introduce evidence against him that was obtained in a search authorized by the nation’s secret foreign intelligence court. [Ah, so it is Bush's fault! And Obama's fault! He should have gotten rid of that pesky law. - Aggie]
Mr. Meskini’s lawyer, Mark S. DeMarco, said of his client: “He has lived a law-abiding life since his release.”
Mr. DeMarco added: “The government is not alleging any attempt by Ghani to get back into terrorism. I can say that without question.”
The lives of cooperating witnesses who are given a second chance can be rocky, especially for those who have not known lives outside of crime.
It is the tough environment they find themselves in, no doubt.
A notorious example is Salvatore Gravano, the Mafia underboss known as Sammy the Bull, whose testimony helped to convict John J. Gotti, the head of the Gambino crime family. Prosecutors pushed for leniency for Mr. Gravano, who had admitted a role in 19 killings, and he received a five-year sentence. But in 2000, after his release, Mr. Gravano was charged in Arizona with being part of a multimillion-dollar drug ring, and he received 20 more years in prison.
Before Mr. Meskini’s arrest in the millennium plot, he lived the life of a con man and thief — “a fraudster,” as one prosecutor described him in court. Once an officer in the Algerian Army, he later testified that he used false identification to cash stolen checks. In 1994, he decided to leave Algeria, and he slipped into the United States as a stowaway on a boat to Boston.
He supported himself by using fraudulent passports and Social Security cards and opening bank accounts under false names to obtain credit cards and checks.
You know, there are towns in Massachusetts, Sanctuary Cities, which would welcome this gentleman. Amherst, MA, home to UMass, has offered to take Guantanamo detainees. Perhaps the answer is to send him to college?
I would be the last person to argue that black people are more corrupt than white people. In fact, I’d give credence to the position that they couldn’t get away with shenanigans because they’re under more scrutiny.
The back-to-back trials of a pair of black lawmakers represent an unprecedented use of an ethics adjudication system that has rarely been used by House members accused of breaking House rules…
POLITICO first reported earlier this week that the committee was expected to unveil its charges against Waters before leaving town for the recess.
Her decision to go to trial appears to have postponed the release of the committee’s formal charging document, called a “Statement of Alleged Violation.”…
Members of the Congressional Black Caucus have complained that the OCE has unfairly and disproportionately targeted them, and many have signed onto a legislative effort to de-fang the office.
[A] person close to the Rangel tells POLITICO the embattled Democrat “doesn’t give a damn about what the president thinks about this” and won’t step down…
One member of the Congressional Black Caucus, also speaking on condition of anonymity, expressed bitterness that the president would turn publicly on Rangel, a decorated Korean War combat veteran.
“Charlie Rangel has served our nation with honor and distinction for more than four decades — before I was born and the President was a twinkle in his parents’ eye,” the CBC member said of a career in public service dating back to Rangel’s days in the Army.
I certainly know nothing about the validity of the charges against either Waters or Rangel, but if the Democrat-controlled Congress sees fit to press ahead with these investigations against high-profile African-American congressmen, I won’t stand in their way.
“I think Charlie Rangel served a very long time and served– his constituents very well. But these– allegations are very troubling,” Obama told Harry Smith in an interview to be aired on the “Early Show.” and first broadcast on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric.
“And he’ll– he’s somebody who’s at the end of his career. Eighty years old. I’m sure that– what he wants is to be able to– end his career with dignity. And my hope is that– it happens.”
Nice career you got there, Charlie. Shame if something happened to it.
I would note that the “veteran defense” was used for the late John Murtha, too. When he slandered our GIs over… was it the Haditha incident…? his defenders cited his military service as an absolute defense against any critics. John Kerry, who by the way served in Vietnam, also employed it.
If Reagan was the “Teflon President”, I guess these are “Kevlar Kongressmen”.
This isn’t just me talking. More and more Democrats are talking this way, too:
The tally of House Democrats calling on Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) to resign his seat in Congress stood at eight as members adjourned for the August recess late Friday. That number includes Rep. Mike Arcuri (D-N.Y.), the first Democrat from Rangel’s home state to call for his ouster.
And so far, every House Democrat who has called for Rangel’s ouster faces a viable Republican challenger this fall.
President Obama waded into the national race debate in an unlikely setting and with an unusual choice of words: telling daytime talk show hosts that African-Americans are “sort of a mongrel people.”
The president appeared on ABC’s morning talk show “The View” Thursday, where he talked about the forced resignation of Agriculture Department official Shirley Sherrod, his experience with race and his roots.
When asked about his background, which includes a black father and white mother, Obama said of African-Americans: “We are sort of a mongrel people.”
“I mean we’re all kinds of mixed up,” Obama said. “That’s actually true of white people as well, but we just know more about it.”
The president’s remarks were directed at the roots of all Americans. The definition of mongrel as an adjective is defined as “of mixed breed, nature, or origin,” according to dictionary.com.
Obama did not appear to be making an inflammatory remark with his statement and the audience appeared to receive it in the light-hearted manner that often accompanies interviews on morning talk shows.
Thanks for trying to explain and justify the president’s remarks—and for looking up mongrel in the dictionary, couldn’t have done that myself!—but the president was speaking out of his black/white/all kinds of mixed up a**.
White people don’t know their ethnic heritage? He’s not serious, is he? I realize he’s half white, but if he so misunderstands people of pallor, I wish he’d stop trying to speak for them.
And all credit to James Taranto (again) for putting “mongrel” in context:
Future Sen. Robert Byrd, in a 1945 letter: “Rather I should die a thousand times, and see old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels.“
Of course, this president has already referred to himself as a “mutt”. We wouldn’t disagree, though we might have chosen “cur” or even “pussy… cat”.
PS: Now we really know what Jesse Jackson meant when he complained about Omoeba “talking down to black people”.
Just in case you forgot:
“See, Barack’s been talking down to black people … I want to cut his nuts off.”
Just be sure to bring the right tool for the job, Jesse. I’d suggest nail clippers.
Here’s the lead paragraph of a New York Times story from Washington:
Senate Republicans on Thursday rejected a bill to aid small businesses with expanded loan programs and tax breaks, in a procedural blockade that underscored how fiercely determined the party’s leaders are to deny Democrats any further legislative accomplishments ahead of November’s midterm elections.
Wow! Who knew Republicans were so calculating, so conniving, so… evil? Besides the New York Times, that is? And Democrats?
But when you read the story, you find out that the GOP blocked the bill because the Democrats refused to consider amendments on topics “including the estate tax, nuclear loan guarantees, border security and the expiring Bush tax cuts”:
Senator George LeMieux, Republican of Florida, who helped draft the bill, said Democrats had taken a bipartisan measure and created a partisan fight over it.
“This small-business bill should pass, and it should pass with relevant amendments,” Mr. LeMieux said. “Before I am a Republican, I am a Floridian and an American, and this bill is good for our country.”
With tensions running high, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Democrat of Rhode Island, noted that “if just one” Republican had voted with the Democrats–a pointed reference to Mr. LeMieux–the bill would move forward.
Mr. LeMieux shot back, “Half the truth is no truth at all.”
We can thank the Times for telling us what to think because who has time to think for himself?
BTW, speaking of Democrats speaking half-truths or no truths at all, didja see Anthony Weiner’s hissy fit yesterday? You haven’t seen such over-the-top histrionics since the last eight year old was denied his Play Station:
Who cares what was really going on, that was the most entertaining rant I’ve seen since Howard Dean’s “I Have a Scream” speech.
In short, the story of Anthony Weiner and the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act is a parable of how obstruction, political brinksmanship, and an aversion to putting principle over politics – by both parties – resulted in institutional gridlock of both comic and tragic proportions.
Make no mistake, the Zadroga Act is very popular on both sides of the aisle: It has 115 co-sponsors in the House, including 15 Republicans. The bill would set aside money to pay the health-care costs for first responders to the 9/11 attacks in New York City, many of whom deal with respiratory issues caused by the dust and debris that day.
Yet on Thursday, only 12 Republicans voted for the bill, and it failed.
Ahead of elections, parties tend to slowly abandon actual achievement in favor of forcing the opposition to take a “poison pill” – forcing a vote that might prove to be embarrassing, and thus good campaign fodder.
In this case, Republicans decided earlier this week to introduce an amendment to the Zadroga Act that would prevent any first responders who were illegal immigrants from collecting the health benefits.
There had been no serious discussion previously about whether any 9/11 responders were illegal immigrants. But getting Democrats to vote in favor of benefits for any potential illegal immigrants would anger voters in conservative districts. Voting against it would anger Hispanics – a key Democratic constituency.
Republicans wanted to set up a lose-lose situation for Democrats.
Of course, there were also many conscientious objections to the bill by Republicans, arguing that there was already a fund for these responders and that the bill, as written, encourages waste and fraud and adds to an already enormous deficit.
Yet the math suggested the bill, without any amendments, had more than enough votes to pass.
So the Democrats responded in kind.
Instead of allowing Republicans to tack on controversial and potentially damaging amendments, the majority employed a procedure to preclude any new amendments. The caveat: Now the Zadroga Act needed a two-thirds majority to pass.
In essence, Democrats made their own “poison pill” out of the bill. The two-thirds threshold forced Republicans either to willingly eat humble pie or to oppose the bill and be open to charges that they were abandoning the heroes of 9/11.
In the end, the Zadroga Act fell 35 votes short of the two-thirds majority, and a bill supported in all likelihood by a majority of Americans and without doubt by a majority of the House itself was defeated.
And the shouting began.
So, the Republicans don’t look so great, the Democrats look worse, and the bill itself was possibly unnecessary and superfluous.
Charles Krauthammer is making a point about how Iran is feeling the heat of international condemnation—but he makes another point, as well:
President Ahmadinejad has a penchant for the somewhat loony, as when last weekend he denounced Paul the Octopus, omniscient predictor of eight consecutive World Cup matches, as a symbol of decadence and purveyor of “Western propaganda and superstition.”
But for all his clownishness, Ahmadinejad is nonetheless calculating and dangerous. What “two countries” was he talking about? They seem logically to be Lebanon and Syria. Hezbollah in Lebanon has armed itself with 50,000 rockets and made clear that it is in a position to start a war at any time. Fighting on this scale would immediately bring in Syria, which would in turn invite Iranian intervention in defense of its major Arab clients — and of the first Persian beachhead on the Mediterranean in 1,400 years.
The idea that Israel, let alone the United States, has the slightest interest in starting a war on Israel’s north is crazy.
What’s crazy is to think that Israel can trust anyone else—anyone!—with its own defense. The UN was “supposed” to patrol southern Lebanon to make sure Hezbollah (which occupies Lebanon) didn’t rearm. Heck, they passed a whole resolution on the subject.
To miss one missile is a tragedy; to miss 50,000 missiles is an utter joke. A deadly, genocidal joke. Which is the UN’s stock and trade.
With two wars raging and an economy in turmoil, President Obama took his case to the couch at ABC’s “The View”.
When asked why he chose that particular arena, the president joked, “I was trying to find a show that Michelle actually watched.” But it’s not just the First Lady who’s tuning in.
According to Nielsen Media Research 79% of “The View”’s audience is female, a demographic that’s started to cool on the president.
Fox News/Opinion Dynamics polling shows Mr. Obama averaged a 59% approval rating among women in 2009, but seven months into 2010, that’s dipped 14 points to just 45%.
That’s tough news for a party that is used to benefitting from the gender gap, a phenomenon political analyst Larry Sabato says surfaced in the 1980 presidential election. “It exists in almost all elections, ranging from five to eight percentage points,” according to Sabato.
When that fellow noted that President Obama needed more black people around him, I commented, you mean like Bush? And noted all of his African American cabinet members and advisers.
Same goes with Republicans and women:
Sabato says the timing couldn’t be better and that “Republicans have recruited lots of women.” In South Carolina, there’s gubernatorial nominee Nikki Haley. In California, Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman are in high profile races. Sabato says the GOP knows what’s at stake in going after female voters. “They’ve looked at demographic figures,” Sabato adds, “they understand that moving forward into the 21st century, the Republican party can’t be perceived as a white, male party.”
In this case, perception has absolutely nothing to do with reality.