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Showing posts from May, 2010

Al Qaeda loses another number 3 leader

NY Times:

The operational leader of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan was killed in an American missile strike in Pakistan’s tribal areas in the last two weeks, according to a statement from the terrorist group issued late Monday that American officials believe is correct.

The militant leader, Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, an Egyptian, was a top financial chief for Al Qaeda as well as one of the group’s founders, and was considered by American intelligence officials as terrorist organization’s No. 3 leader behind Osama bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri, another Egyptian. “His death will only be a severe curse by his life upon the infidels,” Al Qaeda said in a statement issued to jihadist Web Sites, which was translated by the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors statements by jihadists. A United States official said late Monday that American intelligence analysts believed the statement from Al Qaeda was accurate. They said the death of Mr. Yazid marked a significant setbac…

Canada shows how to avoid mortgage crisis

Washington Times:

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Canada and its banks were barely touched by the epic 2008 financial crisis that nearly brought down the U.S. banking system and led to the biggest recession since the Great Depression. That has led the International Monetary Fund and World Economic Forum to showcase Canada for having the healthiest banking system in the world.Despite the geographical proximity and cultural similarities to Canada, the U.S. Congress and Obama administration have largely shunned lessons that could be learned from the neighbor to the north.The ingredients of Canada's success are not secret or complicated: One is keeping conservative, even old-fashioned lending standards, such as requiring substantial down payments and proof of income for home loans. Canadian banks also set aside high levels of capital reserves — going beyond international banking standards — so they can weather losses on defaulting loans and recessionary storms from the south....Canadian bank losses we…

A deadly Islamist PR stunt off coast of Israel

Melanie Phillips:

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Gaza’s markets are full of produce, thousands of tons of supplies are travelling into Gaza every week through the Israeli-controlled border crossings, and there is no starvation or humanitarian crisis. It was always obvious that the flotilla was not the humanitarian exercise it was said to be. Here is footage of the IDF offering to dock the Marmara -- the main flotilla ship -- at Ashdod and transfer its supplies and being told ‘Negative, negative, our destination is Gaza’.And now we can see that the real purpose of this invasion -- backed by the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH), a radical Islamic organization outlawed by Israel in 2008 for allegedly serving as a major component in Hamas’s global fund-raising machine -- was to incite a violent uprising in the Middle East and across the Islamic world. As I write, reports are coming in of Arab rioting in Jerusalem.The notion – uncritically swallowed by the lazy, ignorant and bigoted BBC and ot…

Iran has fuel for two nukes

NY Times:

In their last report before the United Nations Security Council votes on sanctions against Iran, international nuclear inspectors declared on Monday that Iran has now produced a stockpile of nuclear fuel that experts say would be enough, with further enrichment, to make two nuclear weapons. The report, by the International Atomic Energy Agency, a branch of the United Nations, appears likely to bolster the Obama administration’s case for a fourth round of economic sanctions against Iran and further diminish its interest in a deal, recently revived by Turkey and Brazil, in which Iran would send a portion of its nuclear stockpile out of the country. When Iran tentatively agreed eight months ago to ship some of its nuclear material out of the country, the White House said the deal would temporarily deprive Iran of enough fuel to make even a single weapon. But Iran delayed for months, and the figures contained in the inspectors’ report on Monday indicated that…

Opposition to abortion not necessarily about the law

William McGurn:

During the health-care summit earlier this year, Vice President Joe Biden was roundly mocked for saying, "I don't know what the American people think." He was, however, showing a refreshing modesty. Especially when compared with those who believe the American people don't know what they think—or cannot possibly mean what they say when they tell us what they do think.Gallup provoked some of this reaction when it released new data early last month on American attitudes toward abortion. Asked to rate various behaviors and social policies (e.g., embryonic stem-cell research, adultery, the death penalty) as either "morally wrong" or "morally acceptable," 50% called abortion wrong, as against only 38% who said it was acceptable. Even more contentious was the finding, for the second year in a row, that slightly more Americans consider themselves "pro-life" than "pro-choice" (47% to 45%).The response to this…

Islamic religious bigots attack hospital in Pakistan

BBC:

About eight people have been killed after gunmen attacked a hospital in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore.Dressed in police uniforms, up to four gunmen briefly seized hostages at the hospital, before escaping. Dozens of people wounded in Friday's attacks on mosques in the city were being treated in the facility at the time of the assault. The authorities said they were pursuing the suspects after one was wounded in an exchange of gunfire with police. The gunmen were said to have failed in an attempt to reach a captured militant, injured in the mosque attacks, who was being treated at the hospital.
...
This is a far more egregious operation than the Israeli action to enforce a blockade that people were deliberately trying to break. If they wanted to deliver the "humanitarian" supplies they just needed to let the Israelis inspect them first. Instead they attempted to attack Israeli troops on one of the boats and as a result some people were killed and other…

Attack on Israeli troops on Gaza ships

The peace protesters do not look too peaceful here. It should be noted that this was the only ship where there was a violent confrontation with the Israeli troops. You can find more about the video here.

The courage to reject Islam

Charles Moore:

In a way, this book is the opposite of Barack Obama's famous memoir Dreams from My Father. The future President of the United States wrote of how he had tried to understand all of the non-American bits of his background, especially the Kenyan family of his father. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, on the other hand, is an African brought up in Africa. She comes from Somalia, and has also lived in Ethiopia and Kenya. Her fame derives from the fact that she boldly and absolutely rejected the Muslim faith in which she grew up. She sought asylum in Holland and became, for a time, a politician there. She collaborated with Theo Van Gogh, who was later murdered by an Islamist fanatic, on a film called Submission, about Islam's oppression of women. For her apostasy, a capital offence in the eyes of all the schools of Islamic law, she is threatened with death. She has to have personal protection at all times. Now she lives in the United States, and this book, which follows he…

Ballons over North Korea spread truth into hermit kingdom

CNN:

Park Sang Hak and his family jammed 150,000 sheets of paper, dollar bills, DVDs and tiny AM/FM radios inside bags attached to giant inflatable helium balloons. They launched them into the sky where they floated 200 km (124 miles) across the border to North Korea.The message: Kim Jong Il is lying to you.Renewed worldwide pressure on Pyongyang has given urgency to North Korean defectors living in Seoul who hope to reach North Koreans.The balloons are the weapons in breaking Kim Jong Il's spell, say the Fighters for Free North Korea. The group, made up primarily of North Korean defectors, says if North Korea can't get any messages from the outside world, then outside world must deliver those messages in.How? The giant helium balloons carrying the garbage bags of propaganda, which can fly 200 kilometers over the border, straight into the heart of Pyongyang.It's the heart of Kim Jong Il's regime that these defectors hope to strike, by destroying the illusi…

Afghan girls beaten for trying to escape pedophile marriages

NY Times:

The two Afghan girls had every reason to expect the law would be on their side when a policeman at a checkpoint stopped the bus they were in. Disguised in boys’ clothes, the girls, ages 13 and 14, had been fleeing for two days along rutted roads and over mountain passes to escape their illegal, forced marriages to much older men, and now they had made it to relatively liberal Herat Province.

Instead, the police officer spotted them as girls, ignored their pleas and promptly sent them back to their remote village in Ghor Province. There they were publicly and viciously flogged for daring to run away from their husbands. Their tormentors, who videotaped the abuse, were not the Taliban, but local mullahs and the former warlord, now a pro-government figure who largely rules the district where the girls live. Neither girl flinched visibly at the beatings, and afterward both walked away with their heads unbowed. Sympathizers of the victims smuggled out two video re…

Norks strategy on the cheap

NY Times:

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the attack was evidence, the officials say, of how North Korea has compensated for the fact that it is so bankrupt that it can no longer train its troops or buy the technology needed to fight a conventional war. So it has instead invested heavily in stealthy, hard-to-detect technologies that can inflict significant damage, even if it could not win a sustained conflict. Building a small arsenal of nuclear weapons is another big element of the Northern strategy — a double-faceted deterrent allowing it to threaten a nuclear attack or to sell the technology or weapons in order to head off retaliation even for an act of war like sinking South Korean ships. In an interview last week, Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that the joint training exercise with South Korea planned just off the country’s coast in the next few weeks represented only the “near-term piece” of a larger strategy to prevent a recurrence of the kind of shock the So…

Development funds flood Afghanistan province

Washington Post:

In this patch of southern Afghanistan, the U.S. strategy to keep the Taliban at bay involves an economic stimulus.

Thousands of men, wielding hoes and standing in knee-deep muck, are getting paid to clean reed-infested irrigation canals. Farmers are receiving seeds and fertilizer for a fraction of their retail cost, and many are riding around on shiny new red tractors. Over the summer, dozens of new gravel roads and grain-storage facilities will be constructed -- all of it funded by the U.S. government. Pumping reconstruction dollars into war zones has long been part of the U.S. counterinsurgency playbook, but the carpet bombing of Nawa with cash has resulted in far more money getting into local hands, far more quickly, than in any other part of Afghanistan. The U.S. Agency for International Development's agriculture program aims to spend upwards of $30 million within nine months in this rural district of mud-walled homes and small farms. Other U.S. in…

Gitmo supporters defy administration in Congress

Washington Times:

He has already missed his own self-imposed deadline, and President Obama's plans to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, suffered more setbacks last week when lawmakers on both sides of the Capitol took steps to block him.On Friday the full House voted 282-131 to prevent Mr. Obama from transferring any of the detainees being held at Guantanamo to the United States, while the Senate Armed Services Committee passed a bill Thursday stopping Mr. Obama from buying a new prison to house the detainees."We can't stop every terrorist from coming to the United States but we can stop the ones that are coming from Guantanamo," said Rep. Randy J. Forbes, the Virginia Republican who offered the amendment in the House that prohibits any detainee from being moved to the U.S....A White House official said Friday they are still pursuing the process."Congress has requested further information from the administration before granting fu…

Pro death cult group resist Israeli blockade, 10 killed

NY Times:

The Israeli Navy raided a flotilla carrying thousands of tons of supplies for Gaza in international waters on Monday morning, killing at least 10 people, according to the Israeli military and activists traveling with the flotilla. Some Israeli media reports put the death toll higher. The incident drew widespread international condemnation, with Israeli envoys summoned to explain their country’s actions in several European countries. The criticism offered a propaganda coup to Israel’s foes, particularly the Hamas group that holds sway in Gaza, and damaged its ties to Turkey, one of its most important Muslim partners and the unofficial sponsor of the Gaza-bound convoy. The killings also coincided with preparations for a planned visit to Washington on Tuesday by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The Israeli Defense Forces said more than 10 people were killed when naval personnel boarding the six ships in the aid convoy met with “live fire and light w…

Saudi money supporting Afghan enemy war effort?

Times:

Millions of dollars of Saudi Arabian money have flowed into Afghanistan over the past four years, the country’s intelligence officials say, with the sponsorship of terrorism its most likely use. According to members of the Afghan financial intelligence unit, FinTraca, the funds, totalling more than £920 million, enter from Pakistan, where they are converted into rupees or dollars, the favoured currency for terrorist operations. “We can trace it back as far as an entry point in Waziristan,” said Mohammed Mustafa Massoudi, the director-general of FinTraca in Kabul. “Why would anyone want to put such money into Waziristan? Only one reason — terrorism.”
...... the flow of Arab funds to the Taleban poses a strategic obstacle to the counter-insurgency campaign. It also suggests that al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the offshoot, still has a potent and far-reaching financial ability. Although Saudi Arabia — the home of the bin Laden family — is considered a key ally …

Cuomo and the housing crisis

Buffalo News:

Andrew Cuomo promised to "transform the lives of millions of families across our country" when as HUD secretary he announced his historic plan to increase home ownership. Eleven years later, many experts think that much-heralded transformation played a role in the devastating subprime mortgage meltdown and the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. "They should have known the risks were large," said Edward J. Pinto, former chief credit officer at Fannie Mae. "Cuomo was pushing mortgage bankers to make loans and basically saying you have to offer a loan to everybody." Pinto argues that Cuomo, now running for governor of New York, helped create the framework for the subprime crisis by pushing unrealistic and irresponsible affordable housing goals as head of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.... The debate over Cuomo's culpability in the subprime crisis has its roots in his eight-yea…

How low can it go?

From Tony Harnden, Telegraph:

Barack Obama's credibility hits rock bottom after oil spill and Sestak scandal

I still think he can go lower and probably will.

Unintentionally funny URLs

Telegraph:

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Experts Exchange – a site where programmers can trade advice – is found at www.expertsexchange.com La Drape – a British company selling high-end quilted bedspreads – is listed at www.ladrape.co.uk American Scrap Metal – a scrap metal recycling firm – has its website at www.angelfire.com/alt/americanscrapmetal Speed of Art – a collective or art designers – are online at www.speedofart.com Therapist Finder – a directory for therapy services – can be located at www.therapistfinder.com
There are some more at the above link. Let me know if you have trouble decoding these.

Pakistan hints at attacks on North Waziristan

Dawn:

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has hinted at extending the scope of the military operation to North Waziristan by declaring: “Action will be initiated wherever the government’s writ is challenged.”

Without directly referring to recent reports that the military high command had agreed, in principle, with the Obama administration to launch a full-scale operation in North Waziristan, Mr Gilani said: “Armed forces are present wherever militants and terrorists are present, but a regular operation will be extended where it is most necessary.”

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I think they will attack, but it will be on their schedule which means it should not be expected in the coming weeks, but possible in the coming months. Actually now would be a good time militarily, because many of the Taliban have gone to Afghanistan to fight there. Catching them with their forces depleted would be a good strategic move.

Sticky rice morter helds great wall together

Telegraph:

Workers built the Ming dynasty sections of the Great Wall about 600 years ago by mixing together a paste of sticky rice flour and slaked lime, the standard ingredient in mortar, said Dr Zhang Bingjian. The sticky rice mortar bound the bricks together so tightly that in many places weeds still cannot grow. However, there was widespread resentment against the Wall in the south of China because the Ming emperors requisitioned the southern rice harvest both to feed the workers on the Wall and to make the mortar...."The organic component is amylopectin, which comes from the porridge of sticky rice that was added to the mortar," he said."The inorganic component is calcium carbonate, and the organic component is amylopectin, which comes from the sticky rice soup added to the mortar. This amylopectin helped create a compact microstructure, [giving the Great Wall] more stable physical properties and greater mechanical strength," he reported in the jou…

Blame global warming

From the LA Times:

Northern California ski resorts still open
Skiing in late May can only be the result of global warming. It is just weather and not climate change. Are their any other excuses for colder than normal weather these days?

Iran training enemy in Afghanistan

Reuters:

Afghan insurgents are being trained inside Iran and given weapons to fight security forces, the commander of U.S. and NATO forces said on Sunday, joining a rising drumbeat of criticism of Iran's role in the country.

General Stanley McChrystal said coalition forces were working to stop Iran from giving material help to the Taliban who have stepped up the campaign to force foreign forces out of Afghanistan in a nine-year conflict."The training that we have seen occurs inside Iran with fighters moving inside Iran," he said at a news conference in response to a question on Iran's influence. "The weapons that we have received come from Iran into Afghanistan."...

For now the US has no plan to punish Iran for these acts of war. It looks like they will get away their perfidy.

The Mexican invasion of Arizona

Washington Post:

Along a rugged stretch of the Mexican border here in southern Arizona, U.S. authorities captured 687 illegal immigrants in a 24-hour period last week, three times the number captured near San Diego. During the past eight months, agents have apprehended 168,000 migrants along this sector of the border. The border crossers are so determined, and so impervious to a long-running buildup of federal agents and technology, that few here think President Obama's recent decision to dispatch 1,200 National Guard soldiers and $500 million will make much difference. "I doubt it, frankly," said Don Severe, a vocal opponent of illegal immigration who favors stronger measures, including certain incarceration. "It sounds good, but what are they going to do? We have a very serious problem." Arizona, home of a controversial new law that makes it a state crime to be in the country illegally, has become the leakiest portion of the nearly 2,000-mile …

Obama and the deficit

George Will:

Barack Obama, an unbeliever genuflecting before the altar of frugality, is asking Congress, as presidents do, to give him something like a line-item veto. Coming in today's context of his unrelenting agenda of expanding government, his proposal constitutes a counterfeit promise to get serious about controlling spending and the deficit. His purpose is to distract the public while Democrats enact something like Stimulus III.

...
The much maligned Tea Party Movement deserves credit for getting Obama to at least pretend he is interested in controlling spending. With polling showing that voters are concerned about the deficit and the spending, Obama finds the subject hard to ignore, but he is not willing to do anything serious like rescind his health care monstrosity or not spend the remaining stimulus money. He could cut back on the 20 percent spending increases he gave to most government programs in his first year. What we are getting instead are some poll driven p…

Al Qaeda Gitmo alums considered low level before becoming terror leaders?

From Reuters:

Most at Guantanamo are low-level fighters: report
You have to think that those already released who are recidivist were considered even less of a threat before they were released. Now they are terrorist leaders in Yemen or Afghanistan.

Israel says ME nuke non proliferation plan flawed

Washington Post:

Israel on Saturday sharply criticized an action plan on nuclear weapons agreed to by the United States and 188 other countries, rebuffing its most novel proposal -- a conference in 2012 to discuss ridding the Middle East of weapons of mass destruction. The action plan stressed the "importance" of Israel joining the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty but did not mention Iran's expanding atomic program, the Israeli government noted. The agreement, reached a day earlier, had put U.S. officials in an awkward position: Rejecting it would have spelled failure for a month-long conference on the NPT, which has curbed the spread of nuclear weapons for 40 years. But accepting it created a new source of tension between the allies, just days before a visit to Washington by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. In a statement Saturday, the Israeli government called the plan "deeply flawed," adding that "it ignores the realities of the Middle …

Sniper's kill from 1.28 miles away, new computerized scope in 2011

Joseph Goldstein:

If the Taliban fighters had bothered to look up, they would have seen small white nicks on the face of the boulder behind them. Nicholas Ranstad had been using it for target practice.But they didn't notice. Ranstad could take his time.It was January of 2008. For months, Ranstad, a 28-year-old Army specialist from Florida, had lived in a small hut 1.28 miles away from the rock with a group of snipers. Part of their mission was to keep an eye on a road crew working in this corner of Kunar province, in northeastern Afghanistan. The Taliban was executing the laborers to discourage any Afghan from cooperating with American-supported construction.Ranstad had been shooting at the boulder and other natural targets in the ravine. For each shot, he'd jot down each variable - the wind, temperature, time of day and accuracy - in a spiral notepad snipers called the "dope book."Through the scope, Ranstad could see the four Taliban, all armed and wearin…

Top kill fails, on to next try at stopping Gulf blowout

NY Times:

In another serious setback in the effort to stem the flow of oil gushing from a well a mile beneath the Gulf of Mexico, BP engineers said Saturday that the “top kill” technique had failed and, after consultation with government officials, they had decided to move on to another strategy.

Doug Suttles, BP’s chief operating officer for exploration and production, said at a news conference that the engineers would try once again to solve the problem with a containment cap and that it could take four to seven days for the device to be in place. “After three full days of attempting top kill, we now believe it is time to move on to the next of our options,” Mr. Suttles said. The abandonment of the top kill technique, the most ambitious effort yet to plug the well, was the latest in a series of failures. First, BP failed in efforts to repair a blowout preventer with submarine robots. Then its initial efforts to cap the well with a containment dome failed when it becam…

Israel stations subs off Iranian coast

Sunday Times:

Three German-built Israeli submarines equipped with nuclear cruise missiles are to be deployed in the Gulf near the Iranian coastline.The first has been sent in response to Israeli fears that ballistic missiles developed by Iran, Syria and Hezbollah, a political and military organisation in Lebanon, could hit sites in Israel, including air bases and missile launchers.The submarines of Flotilla 7 — Dolphin, Tekuma and Leviathan — have visited the Gulf before. But the decision has now been taken to ensure a permanent presence of at least one of the vessels.The flotilla’s commander, identified only as “Colonel O”, told an Israeli newspaper: “We are an underwater assault force. We’re operating deep and far, very far, from our borders.”Each of the submarines has a crew of 35 to 50, commanded by a colonel capable of launching a nuclear cruise missile.The vessels can remain at sea for about 50 days and stay submerged up to 1,150ft below the surface for at least a week.…

Libya turns al Qaeda radicals into opponents of the religious bigots

Washington Post:

His life as a militant began with a call to holy war. It ended inside a prison in his native Libya. In between, Sami al Saadi orchestrated attacks against Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi, moved in Osama bin Laden's inner circle and befriended Mullah Omar, the Taliban leader. Released from prison in March after he renounced violence, Saadi and other top leaders of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group are now waging an ideological battle to de-radicalize extremists and discredit al-Qaeda. "Let's leave Libya's dark chapter behind us," Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam said the day Saadi was set free. Libya, itself a former sponsor of terrorism, has joined a small but growing number of Arab and African nations that are using religion-based rehabilitation programs to isolate al-Qaeda and inoculate Muslims from bin Laden's narrative. Scores of militants have been released under the program, and U.S. officials say they are watching to see whe…

Women Marines 'engage' Afghan women

NY Times:

Two young female Marines trudged along with an infantry patrol in the 102-degree heat, soaked through their camouflage uniforms under 60 pounds of gear. But only when they reached this speck of a village in the Taliban heartland on a recent afternoon did their hard work begin.

For two hours inside a mud-walled compound, the Marines, Cpl. Diana Amaya, 23, and Cpl. Lisa Gardner, 28, set aside their rifles and body armor and tried to connect with four nervous Afghan women wearing veils. Over multiple cups of tea, the Americans made small talk through a military interpreter or in their own beginner’s Pashtu. Then they encouraged the Afghans, who by now had shyly uncovered their faces, to sew handicrafts that could be sold at a local bazaar. “We just need a couple of strong women,” Corporal Amaya said, in hopes of enlisting them to bring a measure of local commerce to the perilous world outside their door. Corporal Amaya’s words could also describe her own daunting…

Jamaican drug thugs used IEDs and cross dressing gunmen to resist arrest

Sunday Telegraph:

Stung by allegations of summary executions and other abuses, the Jamaican authorities have published pictures of devices found in the Tivoli Gardens area of the city. Explosives jacketed with metal fragments were found attached to barricades and on approach routes into the waterfront slum district, some of them operated by control wires. They said the slum was festooned with explosive booby traps intended for soldiers and police sent in to arrest him.

Gunmen were also said to have disguised themselves as women. "They were very well organized, they knew what they were doing," said Colonel Rocky Meade of the Jamaican Defence Force. "We encountered very sophisticated defensive layouts." Heavy fighting lasting some 12 hours followed the start of the operation to seize Coke, who is accused by the American authorities of masterminding a criminal empire stretching from Kingston to the streets of New York. Washin…

Greek government not paying for medicine

BBC:

The world's leading supplier of the anti-diabetes drug insulin is withdrawing a state-of-the-art medication from Greece. Novo Nordisk, a Danish company, objects to a government decree ordering a 25% price cut in all medicines. A campaign group has condemned the move as "brutal capitalist blackmail". More than 50,000 Greeks with diabetes use Novo Nordisk's product, which is injected via an easy-to-use fountain pen-like device. A spokesman for the Danish pharmaceutical company said it was withdrawing the product from the Greek market because the price cut would force its business in Greece to run at a loss. The company was also concerned that the compulsory 25% reduction would have a knock-on effect because other countries use Greece as a key reference point for setting drug prices.
...International pharmaceutical companies are owed billions in unpaid bills. Novo Nordisk claims it is owed $36m (£24.9m) dollars by the Greek state.
...
No one should…

Afghans fight invasion of Pakistan Taliban

NY Times:

After five days of fighting, the Afghan border police, supported by American helicopters, repelled a force of Pakistani Taliban who appeared to have crossed the border to try to carve out a new haven in Afghanistan’s Nuristan Province, according to Afghan officials. Meanwhile, in Paktia Province in southeastern Afghanistan, the Taliban ambushed a joint force of Afghan National Police and NATO soldiers, killing at least five Afghan police officers, provincial police officials said. The attacks not only indicated that the summer fighting season had begun, but also provided a reminder of the permeability of Afghanistan’s rugged border, which is difficult for NATO vehicles to patrol but well traveled on foot and donkey by insurgents who know their way over the high mountain passes. In Nuristan, the fighting in the Barg-e-Matal district ended with two border police officers dead, three wounded, at least three houses burned and at least 25 Taliban dead, said …

Support for more troops on border to stop illegals

Rasmussen Reports:

Sixty-seven percent (67%) of U.S. voters say military troops should be sent to the Mexican border to prevent illegal immigration. A new Rasmussen Reports nationwide telephone survey finds that just 18% are opposed and another 15% are not sure. A majority of Democrats, Republicans, and unaffiliated voters all support the concept of using the troops to stop illegal immigration. President Obama recently announced that he is sending troops to the Mexican border, but the stated purpose is to prevent the spread of drug-related violence. The new survey also finds that just 26% of voters believe the U.S. Department of Justice should challenge the legality of Arizona's new law in federal court. Fifty-six percent (56%) oppose such a challenge, and 18% more are not sure. Earlier polling found that most Americans trust the Arizona state leaders more than leaders in Washington, DC on the topic of immigration. The Obama administration has been highly critical…

Another Alabama election ad to remember

Les Phillips is running for Congress and he distinguishes himself from President Obama.



Hat tip to Gail Collins.

Deficits--The Tea Party effect

NY Times:

Deficits finally matter.

After years of citing national security, social necessity and economic crisis as sufficient justification to pass costly legislation without paying for it, members of Congress are getting cold feet about continually adding to the national vat of red ink. In the House, the leadership was forced this week to jettison popular health insurance subsidies and cut a major tax-and-spending measure in half in a desperate effort to round up votes from moderate and conservative Democrats. In the Senate, 26 Republican senators balked at an emergency war funding bill — an almost unthinkable position for them in the past — complaining that it was bloated and irresponsible. Both measures ultimately passed as Congress made a messy pre-Memorial Day exit. But lawmakers say they appear to have reached a turning point when it comes to routine deficit spending. The new attitude could reshape the way Congress does its fiscal business the rest of this year an…

US plans for attack in Pakistan

Washington Post:

The U.S. military is reviewing options for a unilateral strike in Pakistan in the event that a successful attack on American soil is traced to the country's tribal areas, according to senior military officials.

Ties between the alleged Times Square bomber, Faisal Shahzad, and elements of the Pakistani Taliban have sharpened the Obama administration's need for retaliatory options, the officials said. They stressed that a U.S. reprisal would be contemplated only under extreme circumstances, such as a catastrophic attack that leaves President Obama convinced that the ongoing campaign of CIA drone strikes is insufficient. "Planning has been reinvigorated in the wake of Times Square," one of the officials said. At the same time, the administration is trying to deepen ties to Pakistan's intelligence officials in a bid to head off any attack by militant groups. The United States and Pakistan have recently established a joint military intell…

Your chance to vote against Congressional spending

Go here to vote against one of five programs.



I voted to reform Fannie and Freddie.