Stunning news from Expatica's German edition (bolds are mine; because of its brevity, the entire report is included here):
Germans say al-Qaeda no longer organizing strikes
18 May 2006
DUESSELDORF - Al-Qaeda's hierarchy in western Europe has vanished and the terrorist network's leadership has largely ceased direct management of attacks, a senior German police intelligence officer told a trial court this week.
She said the al-Qaeda leadership now mainly relied on video and internet proclamations to inspire Islamists in the western world to act on their own.
Germany's BKA federal crime agency had no evidence of Islamists swearing an oath of loyalty to Osama bin Laden since 2001 to become al-Qaeda members. The only terrorist to have done so since that date was Abu-Musab al-Sarqawi, the Jordanian who mounts attacks in Iraq.
The Associated Press is reporting (hat tip to Drudge) that actress and liberal activist Susan Sarandon has endorsed Jonathan Tasini, a long-shot challenger to Hillary Clinton in the New York senatorial race. According to the article: “Sarandon has been a harsh critic of Clinton's vote on the war, telling a British television interviewer last month that Clinton had ‘crumbled under the pressure of the moment.’ She also told ITV1 that she wasn't enthusiastic about a Clinton presidential candidacy.”
The article continued:
“Announcing Sarandon's endorsement, Tasini called the 59-year old Academy Award winner a ‘passionate advocate for human rights, justice and civil liberties’ and said he was ‘honored’ to have her support.
"'She has never wavered when the call has come for people to stand on the front lines in support of progressive principles that affect the lives of so many people in our country,’ Tasini said.”
So, is this indeed an ominous portent for Hillary’s future with the Hollywood left? Hardly. Sarandon’s views on Sen. Clinton have been all over the map recently:
In this morning's special "Situation Room" covering General Michael Hayden's confirmation hearings for his appointment as CIA Director, CNN national security correspondent David Ensor said that Hayden could expect questions "about really the most fundamental point for a top intelligence officer. This one, who's been so loyal to the president, when the chips are down and the intelligence doesn't fit what the president wants it to fit, will he speak truth to power?"
Speak truth to power? That vague, usually meaningless catchphrase is a favorite of many liberals. Dan Rather speaks truth to power. Cynthia McKinney speaks truth to power. John Kerry speaks truth to power. And now CNN national security correspondent David Ensor anticipated questions about speaking truth to power.
On tonight's Hardball, Rep. John Murtha claimed that Marines in Iraq stormed a house and intentionally killed innocent women and children in response to the murder of a fellow Marine. According to Chris Matthews, the Marine Corps is currently investigating this incident. It goes without saying that this is an outrageous allegation to make--especially without any proof--and one would think that Murtha, a former Marine himself, would give the benefit of the doubt to our Marines before making wild accusations. Then again, it's been awhile since Murtha has basked in the glory of the MSM spotlight.
If I'm to believe The New York Times, former Qwest CEO Joseph Nacchio is a hero for not allowing the National Security Agency to have records of phone calls:
Mr. Nacchio learned that no warrant had been granted and that there was a "disinclination on the part of the authorities to use any legal process," said the lawyer, Herbert J. Stern. As a result, the statement said, Mr. Nacchio concluded that "the requests violated the privacy requirements of the Telecommunications Act."
..... Qwest was the only phone company to turn down requests from the security agency for phone records as part of a program to compile a vast database of numbers and other information on virtually all domestic calls. The program's scope was first described in an article published on Thursday by USA Today that led to an outpouring of demands for information from Congressional Republicans and Democrats. The article said that AT&T, BellSouth and Verizon had agreed to provide the information to the security agency.
Incredibly, the article makes no mention of a "little" problem Mr. Nacchio is facing these days:
It's that time of the week again and since Wednesday was Scott McClellan's last day on the job, we figured we'd use this photo for the weekend captionfest. Original AP wording: "Press Secretary Scott McClellan passes out brownies to members of the press during the flight back to Washington on Air Force One, Wednesday, May 10."
Prosecutors believe they have DNA evidence to tie a third Duke lacrosse player to the alleged attack on a 27-year-old exotic dancer, news outlets in Durham reported Thursday.
The local ABC affiliate, citing sources, reported that the third player is the same person who was identified with "90 percent" certainty by the alleged victim in a photo lineup. That lineup was conducted by police weeks after the March 13 off-campus lacrosse team party where the alleged incident took place.
The Denver Post reports that among Joe Nacchio's other problems, he was the first Qwest CEO to refuse to help the NSA analyze phone records in the pursuit & deconstruction of terrorist networks. Even as,
"This is a case where (Qwest) showed some independence and courage," said Phil Weiser, a University of Colorado law professor who specializes in telecommunications issues.
In 2002 he chaired the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee, a group of industry executives who advised President Bush. He also chaired the Network Reliability and Interoperability Council, an advisory panel on emergency communications networks and homeland security to the Federal Communications Commission.
CAVUTO: You don't negotiate with someone who's crazy, right? I mean, you would never have accepted a letter from Slobodan Milosevic, right? Neither would Bill Clinton, right? I mean, crazy is crazy is crazy...
ALBRIGHT: We talked with slobodan milosevic and I went to see Kim Jong Il, the leader of North Korea, because I thought it was worth talking to them to see...
Those who don't think cuts in the highest marginal income-tax rates and in investment-related taxes don't pay (excuse the expression) dividends in the former of higher tax collections will be impervious to this news, as they have been for some 40-plus years.
House and Senate GOP conferees finally agreed yesterday on extending the 15% tax rate on dividends and capital gains for two more years through 2010. This means you can expect lots of media and liberal rhetoric about "the deficit" and "the rich," but the real news is how well these lower rates have been soaking the rich to fill government coffers.
..... These columns have been documenting this trend for the last couple of years, as well as the revenue tide flowing into state budget coffers. Overall state revenues climbed by 8% in 2004 and nearly 9% in 2005, according to the Census Bureau, and more and more states are piling up big surpluses. We've reported this news because politicians like to disguise these tax windfalls so they can spend it all with impunity and still plead poverty. Journalists contribute to this ruse by focusing their budget coverage on deficits, rather than on the spending and revenue trends that are the actual components of any budget.
Headlines in the May 8 edition of the Los Angeles Times read “GOP Can Win by Limiting Losses.” The article claims that “Discontent with the nation’s direction and the federal government’s performance is virtually screaming from public opinion surveys, which show approval ratings for President Bush and the Republican-controlled Congress falling to their lowest levels.”
The article then goes on to report how GOP office holders are attempting to localize their races in an effort to escape what they perceive to be a national image of “Republicans being a rubber stamp for Bush...”
But, is that really a true perception? From a very unofficial viewing of three diversified groups in the southern tip of Texas, by this writer would be the distinct impression that everyone views Washington and Congress as nothing more than bombast and blather.
The "Paper of Record" ran a piece today by Erik Eckholm which lays out the plight that the nation’s “near poor” face on a daily basis. According to “some experts” carefully selected for message compatibility, “vulnerability to poverty” is now the new “poverty.”
Its rather convenient for left-leaning media outlets, in a period of record economic expansion and robust growth (going on two straight years, with lower unemployment that in the 90’s), to find the “tens of millions” who may have financial troubles at some point. Don’t take my word for it – read the “expert” opinion:
Today’s edition of The View may have given us a window into not only that show’s future, but also the interviewing style we might expect from Meredith Vieira on Today. Ms. Vieira, who joins the NBC program in September, and her co-hosts interviewed Dhillon Khosla, a transsexual who underwent several surgeries in an attempt to become a man. Vieira complimented Khosla for his ability to "find yourself finally." Here is a brief sample of her comments:
Vieira: "I can understand why people would love you. You’re a very nice guy. Very, very nice guy. Very smart and what a struggle to find yourself finally...You’re a very smart guy and a very brave guy to go through this and to write about it too. And help- obviously a lot of people struggling with the same situation."
Honestly, I can't believe I'm even having to write this. The moonbat programming director at KRON Channel 4 in San Francisco, along with station management, changed the address of the station from 1001 Van Ness Avenue to 1001552 after consulting with a numerologist who said the evil number 1001 needed to be "patched."
This is what San Francisco will do to a person. But I guess you'll try anything when you lose $91 million a year.
In a fit of conflicting interest, they booked Swami #1 on their weekend talk show and are currently looking for a permanent spot for him. No wonder, because this cat is also clairvoyant. Two of his predictions: "The flu epidemic will cause havoc in many Asian countries," and "Senator Hillary Clinton will be in the forefront of the Democratic Party."
There is a genuine laugher in the NYT this morning,
attempting to address the current oil price fiasco. Kate
Phillips and Julie Bosman have thrown together a slipshod piece of clichéd
rhetoric, restrained disbelief and ignorance of basic economic
principles so egregious, it would make any alleged informational “smokescreen”
put out there by “Big Oil” seem a petulant effort by contrast.
First, the header. “SYMPATHY AS HARD TO FIND AS OIL.”
Please. Oil is not hard to find - this is merely hyperbole. There are at least one million
barrels per day that the nation is not utilizing thanks to the (Democrat)
environmental lobbyists’ ongoing efforts to stop and restrain oil drilling and exploration
in ANWR and off the Gulf
Coast. I guess sympathy
is easy to find then, no?
Well, Pinko De Mayo has come and gone, and this year's celebration of
the Bolshevik Revolution by communism's useful idiots had new life
breathed into it in the United States. Hundreds of thousands
of illegal aliens and their misguided supporters decided to protest
against the rule of law in our country on the one day of the year that
reminds most older Americans of the genocidal policies of men like
Stalin and Pol Pot.
Hundreds of businesses across the country closed their doors in
deference to the wishes of America's illegal workforce, and many
failed to prevent their dangerously naive students from joining
demonstrations which only proved to the rest
of us just how utterly foolish and immoral years of systematic liberal
brainwashing has left them.
It seems to me that those that are in such an uproar over the leak of Valerie Plame's name and claim that it had a negative impact on our national security would be hesitant, to say the least, about disclosing further information about Plame--especially information that pertains to what she was working on while at the CIA. But apparently, if that particular information is potentially damaging for the Bush administration, it's a different story. Here's what David Shuster reported on tonight's Hardball:
MSNBC has learned new information about the damage caused by the White House leaks. Intelligence sources say Valerie Wilson was part of an operation three years ago tracking the proliferation of nuclear weapons material into Iran. And the sources allege that when Mrs. Wilson's cover was blown, the administration's ability to track Iran's nuclear ambitions was damaged as well.
MSNBC's First Read continued its obsession with gas prices to the exclusion of, well, all other economic news this past week. A rough word-count of economic reporting on First Read's blog shows that of 3500 words devoted to economics, 3250 were about gas prices. This does not include a Monday posting ostensibly about the Dahab bombing that spent the second paragraph talking about oil prices.
Ironically, First Read is aware of the problem, even if they don't know that they know. On Friday:
Asked in the April 21-24 NBC/Wall Street Journal poll who is most responsible for high gas prices, 37% of those polled say the oil companies are most responsible. Oil-producing nations rank second at 22%, while only 15% lay the most blame at President Bush's feet and 4% say Congress bears the most responsibility.
If there's any online media that would be free from infantile whining about corporate greed, it'd be investor Web sites, right? For the most part perhaps, but Motley Fool's Rick Munarriz found a corporate giant to attack for making money: Netflix, the online DVD rental service.
"How much money do you need when your largest competitor is
against the creditors' ropes? Or when a digitally delivered future may mean
thinner moats but without the same kind of capital intensive structure," whined Munarriz, who owns stock in the company. "There's never enough money, apparently, if you happen to be
Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX). In a baffling move, the company is looking to initiate
a secondary offering next month that will dilute investors by an additional 3.5
million shares while raising about $100 million."