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Showing posts from January, 2007

Al Qaeda behind UK beheading plot

Daily Mail:

A foiled plot to kidnap, torture and behead a British Muslim soldier was orchestrated by Al Qaeda, police sources have said.

Officers suspect the mastermind behind the appalling attempt to bring the horrors of Baghdad to the streets of Britain is a senior Al Qaeda terrorist with close links to Osama Bin Laden.

The alleged plan was to abduct a Muslim soldier, mirroring the murders of British hostages Ken Bigley and Margaret Hassan.

The victim would have been made to plead for his life to Tony Blair, denounce the war and ultimately be executed - all on film.

In a move which would have caused unprecedented terror and revulsion, images of his death would have been posted on the Internet, security sources said.

The alleged plot follows an appeal by extreme Muslim cleric Omar Bakri Mohammed last summer for fanatics to kidnap a British soldier in Iraq or Afghanistan - branding all Muslims who serve with the coalition troops as "non-believers".

A senior security source said: &q…

Senators do not want to fight back against Iran

AP:

Republican and Democratic senators warned Tuesday against a drift toward war with an emboldened Iran and suggested the Bush administration was missing a chance to engage its longtime adversary in potentially helpful talks over next-door Iraq.

"What I think many of us are concerned about is that we stumble into active hostilities with Iran without having aggressively pursued diplomatic approaches, without the American people understanding exactly what's taking place," Sen. Barack Obama (news, bio, voting record), D-Ill., told John Negroponte, who is in line to become the nation's No. 2 diplomat as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's deputy.

Obama, a candidate for president in 2008, warned during the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing that senators of both parties will demand "clarity and transparency in terms of U.S. policy so that we don't repeat some of the mistakes that have been made in the past," a reference to the faulty intelligence…

Osama brother in law killed in Madagascar

Bill Roggio:

Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, one of Osama bin Laden's brother-in-laws with deep roots in al-Qaeda as a financier and facilitator, has been reported to have been murdered in his bedroom in Madagascar. Khalifa, "who mined and traded precious stones in Madagascar," was reported to have been murdered by "a gang of 20 to 30 gunmen broke into his brother's bedroom, shot him dead 'in cold blood' and stole his belongings.""I don't think [his death] was politically motivated," said Malek Khalifa, Mohammed Jamal's brother. But Khalifa's deep ties to al-Qaeda, coupled with his history of funding global terrorist operations, his operations in mining precious stones in Africa (a source of untraceable income), and the size of the 'gang' that murdered him, suggests otherwise. We suspect Khalifa was assassinated.Jamal Khalifa's history with al-Qaeda and Islamic terrorism is extensive. His involvement with al-Qaeda stretches …

Terror investigation looks at Muslim investment fund

Wall Street Journal:

The Justice Department is investigating possible criminal tax-law violations by a Boston private-equity firm that manages hundreds of millions of dollars for Muslim investors in Europe and the Middle East and is affiliated with a Swiss investment group U.S. authorities suspect of financing Islamic extremists.

Federal prosecutors disclosed a grand-jury probe of Overland Capital Group Inc. in filings last week with U.S. District Court in Boston. While the Boston grand jury is examining suspected tax evasion related to complex investment structures, the case is being handled by a prosecutor from the Justice Department's counterterrorism division, the filing states.

In the years since the Sept. 11 attacks, U.S. counterterrorism agencies have been stymied in several attempts to bring terrorism cases against wealthy individuals from the Middle East. Some prosecutors have pushed the government to use tax laws as a more effective approach, a method famously employed agai…

A real blue sky scheme

Cicero at Winds of Change:

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...Max Whisson has come up with a brilliant and very simple idea.

It involves getting water out of the air. And he's not talking about cloud-seeding for rain. Indeed, he just might have come up with a way of ending our ancient dependence on rain, that increasingly unreliable source.

And that's not all. As well as the apparently empty air providing us with limitless supplies of water, Max has devised a way of making the same 'empty' air provide the power for the process...

...

...Usually a windmill has three blades facing into the wind. But Whisson's design has many blades, each as aerodynamic as an aircraft wing, and each employing "lift" to get the device spinning. I've watched them whirr into action in Whisson's wind tunnel at the most minimal settings. They start spinning long, long before a conventional windmill would begin to respond. I saw them come alive when a colleague opened an internal door.

...They don't fac…

NATO doubts Taliban have capacity for big offensive

AP/ Washington Post:

Taliban militants are expected to step up their attacks in Afghanistan soon, but the militia has lost strength and does not have the capability to launch a "spring offensive," a NATO spokesman said Wednesday.

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NATO spokesman Brig. Gen. Richard Nugee said Wednesday, however, that it will be NATO troops who will be launching the real offensive, referring to upcoming military operations but giving no details.

"We do not believe that there will be a spring offensive by the Taliban," Nugee said. "There will be an upward surge in violence as the weather gets better ... I don't think it will amount to an offensive. An offensive is a very symbolic phrase, it means a huge upsurge in a very short amount of time. We just don't think that will happen."

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The Taliban suffered unsustainable casualties in last years offensive. It appears that it will concentrate on human bomb attacks that give more bang per buck. When it attempted to mass f…

The battle ground of the cult

LA Times:

The dead wore the same footwear, imitation leather dress shoes with Velcro flaps. Their mangled bodies filled the trenches. Bags of ammunition, with the names of fighters written on them, sat by their sides.

A pulpit made of bamboo stood next to a grassy field, a newspaper filled with rambling and enigmatic religious writing strewn nearby.

An unauthorized hourlong walk Tuesday through the bombed compound of a religious cult called Heaven's Army revealed provocative clues about the group, which was decimated Sunday in a 24-hour U.S. and Iraqi offensive that authorities say left 263 alleged members dead and 210 injured. Nearly 400 members were arrested, an Iraqi defense official said.

Iraqi officials said the obscure messianic group was poised to launch an attack on Shiite clergy and holy sites in Najaf in the belief that it would hasten the dawn of a new age. Iraqi officials said they got wind of the plan and attempted to investigate but were attacked by the group's gunme…

Air patrols along Iran-Iraq border

LA Times:

The Air Force is preparing for an expanded role in Iraq that could include aggressive new tactics designed to deter Iranian assistance to Iraqi militants, senior Pentagon officials said.

The efforts could include more forceful patrols by Air Force and Navy fighter planes along the Iran-Iraq border to counter the smuggling of bomb supplies from Iran, a senior Pentagon official said. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was discussing future military plans.

Such missions also could position the Air Force to strike suspected bomb suppliers inside Iraq to deter Iranian agents that U.S. officials say are assisting Iraqi militias, outside military experts said.

The heightened role of U.S. air power in the volatile region is the latest sign of tension between President Bush and Iran's leaders.

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"Air power plays major roles, and one of those is as a deterrent, whether it be in border control, air sovereignty or something more kinetic," said the senior Pentagon of…

A failure of recollection haunts witnesses in Libby case

Byron York:

A pattern is emerging at the Lewis Libby trial, now in the middle of its third week in the federal courthouse in Washington. The pattern is this: A witness called by prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald delivers testimony that seems clearly damaging to Libby, strongly suggesting that Libby lied when he testified before prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald’s grand jury in the CIA-leak affair. And then Libby’s lawyers take over, suggesting that the witness’s memory is so selective, or so flawed, or so sketchy as to render his or her testimony useless.

Each day, most news reports from the trial focus on the damage done to Libby’s case; there are lots of headlines like “Ex-Aide Contradicts Libby” and “Reporter’s Account Hurts Libby’s Defense.” But each day, the question is not what headline writers are taking from events in the courtroom but what jurors are making of it. Are they seeing an overwhelming case for Libby’s guilt? Or are they seeing a case in which everyone involved seems to have …

Crisis of courage

Sen. Jon Kyl:

In a speech to Harvard University's graduating class of 1978, Alexander Solzhenitsyn attacked the West's weak confrontation of communism. His words remain instructive today as we face a different ideological threat.

Mr. Solzhenitsyn warned that "The Western world has lost its civil courage..." and rhetorically asked, "Should one point out that from ancient times decline in courage has been considered the beginning of the end?" He lamented that "[N]o weapons, no matter how powerful, can help the West until it overcomes its loss of willpower."

Solzhenitsyn's beliefs in faith and courage undoubtedly drew the attention of a new generation of leaders. Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and Pope John Paul II – like the giants of America's founding – came to their positions of authority at a historically propitious time and helped supply the essential willpower of which Solzhenitsyn spoke. Under their strong leadership, communism collap…

Sen. Clinton deception on war vote fails test of truth

Michael Goodwin:

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In Iowa last weekend, Clinton was asked about her 2002 vote to suppport the Iraq war. It's a tough question for her, given the war's unpopularity among Democrats. Moreover, her two leading opponents for the 2008 presidential nomination have crowd-pleasing positions. Former Sen. John Edwards said his vote for the war was a mistake and he regretted it, and Sen. Barack Obama opposed the war before the invasion.

So Clinton's camp sees her pro-war vote as heavy baggage. She has never denounced it or said it was wrong, but, at times, has done something worse. She has lied about the reasons for it.

Sunday in Davenport, Iowa, was one of those times. Asked about her vote by a man in front of a mostly adoring rally, Clinton trotted out the whopper. She said she was misled by President Bush about the resolution. "He said at the time he was going to the United Nations to put inspectors back into Iraq, to figure out whether they still had any WMD," she said, …

The redeployment fantasy

Tony Blankley:

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It is certainly bracing to be living and working in the capital of the world's richest and most powerful nation during war time, and to hear so little wisdom or courage emanating from either the government or opposition benches. Even the capitals of backwater third-rate powers usually have a better grip on reality and their own national interest than we do here at Colossus-opolis.
It seems that our vast current prosperity and the still mentally reassuring great oceans that appear to guard us from the outer world's madness create the illusion in the minds of far too many that we are -- as a nation -- immune from the consequences of our foolishness and slackness.
Even some at the White House seem to be buying in to the sense that "the surge" is our last chance in Iraq -- after which failure (should it come), Iraq will have to take care of itself, with a greatly reduced number of redeployed U.S. troops looking helplessly on from somewhere over th…

Refugees flee Chavez's socialism

Washington Post:

The line forms every day after dawn at the Spanish Consulate, hundreds of people seeking papers permitting them to abandon Venezuela for new lives in Spain. They say they are filled with despair at President Hugo Chávez's growing power, and they appear not to be alone. At other consulates in this capital, long lines form daily.

Two months after Chávez was reelected to another six-year term by an overwhelming margin, Venezuela is experiencing a fundamental shift in its political and economic climate that could remake the country in a way perhaps not seen in Latin America since Fidel Castro took power in Cuba in 1959. On Wednesday, the National Assembly is expected to entrust him with tremendous powers that will allow him to dictate new laws for 18 months to transform the economy, redraw the structure of government and establish a new funding apparatus for Venezuela's huge oil wealth.

Chávez's government announced earlier that it intends to nationalize strategi…

Is Iran blinking on nukes?

Amir Taheri says the ayatollahs are proposing a peace offensive that suggest they are willing to comply with the US resolutions. I remain skeptical.

A ministry of quilts for wounded soldiers

Washington Post:

The carefully packed boxes stack up daily in the chaplain's quarters at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, about 50 a week. The instructions read simply: "Please give this to a soldier." Chaplain John L. Kallerson, an Army major, gently opens each one and places the contents around his windowless office. Then he lays his big hands on the piles and says a blessing.

His is the ministry of the quilts.

A phone call to the chaplain four years ago has created a national movement to say thank you to soldiers wounded in the war on terror.

More than 7,900 "comfort quilts," each carefully stitched with love and gratitude, have been sent through the Quilts of Valor Foundation to the wounded soldiers at Walter Reed and 70 other U.S. military medical centers. Kallerson prays over and hands out quilts from church groups, schoolchildren, quilting bees. Quilts made from accomplished artists whose designs sell for thousands. Quilts with bears, fish, basketballs. Quil…

Bare nekkid bowling in Maine

AP/Houston Chronicle:

When members of the Bare Nekkid Mainers rent the Old Town Bowling Center, all they really need are the shoes. "Hey, you can't go skinny-dipping at this time of year," Hessa, who organizes the gatherings and wanted to be identified only by her first name, told the Bangor Daily News.

Self-described naturist nudists, the Bare Nekkid Mainers belong to an international organization and participate in nudist events throughout the year.

The group used to bowl in Albion, but their venue there closed.

During the three events held at the Old Town center since September, the one-story building was closed with its windows and doors covered. Signs announced that a private party was in progress.

"I have absolutely no problem with it, and I hope nobody else does," Charles "Chip" Carson, the center's owner, said Monday. "They just happen to like having a good time without their clothes on."

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"We're not doing anything sexually …

Iran suspected in Karbala killings of US troops

NY Times:

Investigators say they believe that attackers who used American-style uniforms and weapons to infiltrate a secure compound and kill five American soldiers in Karbala on Jan. 20 may have been trained and financed by Iranian agents, according to American and Iraqi officials knowledgeable about the inquiry.

The officials said the sophistication of the attack astonished investigators, who doubt that Iraqis could have carried it out on their own — one reason a connection to Iran is being closely examined. Officials cautioned that no firm conclusions had been drawn and did not reveal any direct evidence of a connection.

A senior Iraqi official said the attackers had carried forged American identity cards and American-style M-4 rifles and had thrown stun grenades of a kind used only by American forces here.

Tying Iran to the deadly attack could be helpful to the Bush administration, which has been engaged in an escalating war of words with Iran.

One American soldier was killed during th…

Baby on board must be in car seat for HOV, not in mom

Houston Chronicle:

The woman in the silver Hyundai got a ticket for driving alone in an HOV lane, even though she was carrying a passenger.

She was pregnant, the woman told Metro Police officer Scott Ashmore, who had parked his motorcycle at the crest of the T-shaped ramp of the Northwest Freeway HOV lane at Dacoma.

For purposes of high-occupancy vehicle lane enforcement, babies in child seats count; those in utero don't.

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Violators sometimes use imitation occupants. Although Ashmore didn't spot any during Tuesday's demonstration, he previously has found "four mannequins, one inflatable doll and lots of stuffed animals in baby seats," he said.

Lambert said drivers even have put knit caps on pillows in an effort to fool the officers.

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The high occupancy vehicle lanes do save time on Houston's crowded freeways. In the future single occupancy vehicles will be permitted to pay a toll and use the lanes.

Conviction in Houston Taliban case

Houston Chronicle:

One of four men accused in the so-called Houston Taliban case was found guilty Tuesday of unlawful possession of a firearm.

Shiraz Syed Qazi, 26, waived his right to a jury trial, opting for a decision from U.S. District Court Judge Lee Rosenthal. The trial lasted 15 minutes.

Qazi and the others arrested last year are accused of material support of terrorism by training to fight with the Taliban against U.S.-led forces.

A July 2005 camping trip in Willis, north of Conroe, was part of the conspiracy, FBI officials have said. Agents used Qazi's acknowledgment that "he overheard statements over that weekend" to help connect him to the terrorist plot.

Qazi, a Pakistani, appears in photographs with a semi-automatic weapon.

His supporters have said he went on a weekend shooting trip, which is common recreation in Texas.

Federal public defender Brent Newton, who is representing Qazi, filed court papers acknowledging that Qazi knowingly possessed a semi-automatic wea…

Those who were for the surge before they were against it

Washington Times:

For many in the Senate, they were for a surge of troops in Iraq before they were against it.
"We don't have enough troops in Iraq," Sen. John Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat, said in 2005.
In 2004, he told NBC's Tim Russert some things he believes "very deeply."
"Number one, we cannot fail," Mr. Kerry said. "I've said that many times. And if it requires more troops in order to create the stability that eliminates the chaos, that can provide the groundwork for other countries, that's what we have to do."
He no longer believes that now. He is among at least a dozen Democratic senators who in the past have called for more troops in Iraq but now support a resolution condemning President Bush's plan to do just that. Many Republicans who voted for the war now plan to support a no-confidence resolution, including Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, who in the past had warned that the war would be a long, tough s…

Arrest made in kidnap terror plot in UK

BBC:

Eight people have been arrested under the Terrorism Act in Birmingham after a "significant" operation involving police and security service MI5.

A number of addresses in the city have been sealed off after morning raids.

Senior security sources have told the BBC the raids were targeting a kidnap plot rather than one aimed at causing mass casualties.

The six-month operation involved the Midlands counter terrorism unit, West Midlands Police and the Met Police.

BBC correspondent Gordon Corera said the plot was thought to involve "some kind of kidnapping - possibly of an individual".

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Well they usually are. This graphic gives the locations of the arrests. Reuters describes the arrest as an anti terrorism case where the accused are charged with planning an "Iraq" style terror kidnapping/execution which suggest some kind of video beheading. According to the Telegraph:

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The Home Office said the raids were part of a "major" nationwide operation, an…

Why surge?

Michael McBride:

When I cracked 1776 on Wednesday to give it its long overdue read, there were two pleasant surprises. I found that it was autographed by the author…something I am appalled at myself for not remembering. And secondly, alone on the inner leaf just prior to Part One, I was greeted by a simple and profound quote from General George Washington… “Perseverance and spirit have done wonders in all ages.”I should grace the elegance of his words by stopping now, but I fear that my editor is expecting more, and that my semi-conceited verbosity cannot be held in check. Why Surge?Developing synergy, while not one of the nine generally accepted “Principles of War,” is an essential element in warfighting. Synergy is developed by having sufficient resources available to conduct all aspects of warfighting required to complete the specific mission to an overwhelming effect. Too few troops… and units will not be able to conduct all the necessary ops required to fight and win a counterinsu…

Attempts to weaken support for Israel

Ed Lasky:

A new strategy seems to be emerging that seeks to weaken American support for Israel.

While there has been much attention given to challenges Israel faces on college campuses, in the media, and increasingly in the halls of Congress, the historically solid and vitally important support given by Evangelical Christians towards Israel is now being threatened. How is this happening and who are the actors?

Evangelicals support Israel for a variety of reasons, among them a belief that Israel is a fellow democracy with which we share a common Western culture and that we value as a friend. Israel has also been victimized by Islamic terrorism, as have we. Israel is also a strategic ally in the war against Islamic radicalism- a lone Western outpost in a faraway land that gave birth to two major religions: Judaism and Christianity-the foundation of Western civilization.

However, the core reason that Evangelicals have an affection for the Jewish people and a strong desire to protect Israel i…

Muslim apartheid in Bethleham

Jerusalem Post:

A number of Christian families have finally decided to break their silence and talk openly about what they describe as Muslim persecution of the Christian minority in this city.

The move comes as a result of increased attacks on Christians by Muslims over the past few months. The families said they wrote letters to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, the Vatican, Church leaders and European governments complaining about the attacks, but their appeals have fallen on deaf ears.

According to the families, many Christians have long been afraid to complain in public about the campaign of "intimidation" for fear of retaliation by their Muslim neighbors and being branded "collaborators" with Israel.

But following an increase in attacks on Christian-owned property in the city over the past few months, some Christians are no longer afraid to talk about the ultra-sensitive issue. And they are talking openly about leaving the city.

"The situation is …

Liberal arrogance watch

Stanley Kurtz:

Russell Jacoby, a U.C.L.A. historian, has penned a bizarre review of the forthcoming anthology, Why I Turned Right: Leading Baby Boom Conservatives Chronicle Their Political Journeys. This is a Mary Eberstadt edited collection, to which I am a contributor. (The review is in the current Chronicle of Higher Education, and is subscriber restricted.) I kid you not: Jacoby’s main complaint is that the book is well written, which supposedly proves that conservatives are superficial.“Almost without exception,” Jacoby begins, “each essay is lucid and articulate.” “Would it be possible to assemble a countercollection by leftists that would be equally limpid?” “Unlikely,” Jacoby answers. The leftist professorate, he admits, “distrusts clear prose as superficial. Oddly, English and literature professors led the way....they became convinced that incomprehensibility equals profundity....Compared to that, much conservative writing has a deft, light touch.” The villain here? “.…

Must see You Tube

This is a clip from NBC News that totally undercuts the phony anti war crowd. Hat tip to InstaPundit.

Dry rot in Durham

Thomas Sowell:

It has now become more and more obvious, even to some people who initially believed the "rape" charges against Duke University students, that there was never a speck of evidence to support the charges and a growing amount of evidence to the contrary. However reprehensible District Attorney Nifong's words and actions have been throughout this case, it would be a serious mistake to see in this tawdry episode just the vileness of one man. The larger tragedy is what this case revealed about the degeneration of our times and the hollowness of so many people in "responsible" positions in the media, in academia, and among those blacks so consumed by racial resentments and thirst for revenge that they are prepared to lash out at individuals who have done nothing to them and are guilty of no crime against anybody. The haste and vehemence with which scores of Duke University professors publicly took sides against the students in this case is just one sign …

Hillary's problem of squaring electability with her positions

David Limbaugh:

Hillary Clinton's many contradictions aren't hard to understand once you realize her need to suppress her natural instincts and policy preferences because they conflict with her lifelong presidential aspirations.

For the most part Hillary is not personally conflicted: She knows precisely what she wants. But her personality characteristics and the circumstances in which she finds herself force her to walk a tightrope between warring constituencies and to project a double-mindedness that is wholly inconsistent with her innate ideological certitude.

These themes were on display this past weekend as Hillary began her presidential campaign in Iowa. From the issue of her gender, to her kaleidoscopic positions on the war, she was trying to thread personal and policy needles to make herself attractive to Midwestern voters without triggering any more blue-state liberal landmines in the process. (Hollywood moguls have already sent her a message by hosting a fundraiser for …

The Libby travesty

Rich Lowry:

The perjury trial of Vice President Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff Lewis “Scooter” Libby is not exactly Jarndyce and Jarndyce, the case in the Charles Dickens novel Bleak House, which ruined everyone who came near it and dragged on for so long that people forgot what it originally had been about.

But it could ruin Libby’s life and Patrick Fitzgerald’s reputation, and it already feels like a kind of relic. The rationale for Libby’s trial steadily has evaporated since his indictment more than a year ago, but it still goes on.

Fitzgerald has proved himself the most clichéd of Washington types — the out-of-control special prosecutor. Such is human nature that almost no one has the strength to resist losing all sense of proportion once he has been loosed on the world as a special prosecutor, free to pursue any supposed violation of the law — no matter how peripheral — to the ends of the earth. Two events have highlighted the injustice of Fitzgerald’s prosecution.

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Lowry goes…

American Iraq

Faoud Ajami:

So this government in Baghdad, fighting for its life, has not mastered even the grim science of the gallows, and has no knowledge of the "drop charts" used for hangings around the world. The Tikritis had been much better at this sort of thing. They had all the time in the world to perfect the skills and techniques of terror; they had done it against the background of relative indifference by outside powers. And they had the indulgence of the neighboring Arabs who gave their warrant to all that played out in Iraq under the Tikriti despotism.

Pity those men now hunkered down in Baghdad as they walk a fine, thin line between the yearning for justice and retribution in their land, and the scrutiny of the outside world. In the annals of Arab history, the Shia have been strangers to power, rebels and dissidents and men on the run hunted down by official power. Now the ground has shifted in Baghdad, and an Arab world steeped in tyranny reproaches a Shia-led government si…

Sen. Reed and ethics

Dennis Byrne:

Instead of talking in sweeping platitudes about "ethics reform," Senate Democrats might want to prove they mean it by dumping their ethically challenged majority leader, Harry Reid.

The Nevada lawmaker has been implicated in yet another land scheme that this time could net him a tidy $50,000 to $290,000. Los Angeles Times investigative reporters Chuck Neubauer and Tom Hamburger, this week revealed that Reid paid $166 an acre for valuable northern Arizona land whose market value, according to the county assessor, four years ago was worth $2,144 an acre.

Who would be a big enough fool to sell Reid the land at such a ludicrously low price? A long-time pal who would financially benefit from some obscure legislation that the senator has often sponsored.

It worked like this, according to the Times:In 2002, Reid (D-Nev.) paid $10,000 to a pension fund controlled by Clair Haycock, a Las Vegas lubricants distributor and his friend of 50 years. The payment gave the senator f…

Electability issue pulls down Hillary

Dick Morris and Eileen McGann:

A NEAT bit of polling by the Gallup Organization shows that what's hurting Hillary Clinton in the Democratic presidential primaries isn't so much her vote on Iraq or even her flip-flops on the issue. What's undermining her support among liberals is doubts about her electability.

The poll results suggest that many liberals see the primaries as a kind of audition where they assess not only whether they like or agree with a candidate, but whether she can lead them to the White House in 2008. This degree of pragmatism is often seen in Republican circles, but is relatively new on the other side of the aisle.

Gallup asked a national sample of Democratic primary voters from Jan. 5-7 if they'd vote for Hillary if the primary were today. About a third (34 percent) said they definitely would, and about half (52 percent) said they "might consider" voting for her.

The remaining 14 percent said they would "definitely not" support her i…

The politics of resentment

John Podhoretz:

SEN. Hillary Clinton said over the weekend that "I really resent" the fact American troops may be tied up in Iraq in January 2009 - when she hopes to be president of the United States.

"I am going to level with you," she said. "The president has said this is going to be left to his successor. I think it is the height of irresponsibility, and I really resent it."

That's actually an interesting, even thought-provoking, formulation. It's rare to hear questions about difficult policies discussed in terms of personal resentments, but perhaps this is one of the areas where Hillary Clinton will blaze a new presidential trail.

Imagine, for example, that President Bush had given a speech a few days after 9/11 declaring he really resented the fact that Bill Clinton didn't kill Osama bin Laden before Bush became president.

Or that President Bill Clinton, in the wake of the slaughter of 18 American servicemen in Somalia in 1993, informed Americ…

Democrats need to focus on the consequences of their Iraq policy proposals

Frank Gaffney:

Members of the 110th Congress are behaving like drunken drivers with respect to the conflict in Iraq, veering wildly all over the road, seemingly oblivious to the risk they pose to others.
Before they do actual harm by voting on various resolutions aimed at repudiating President Bush and further undermining his wartime leadership, they should be obliged to sit through the sort of sobering, behavior-modification program to which courts assign those found operating heavy equipment while inebriated.
Typically, such "Driving While Intoxicated" (DWI) courses feature grisly films about accidents, injuries, deaths and other life traumas inflicted by drunk drivers. They convey forcefully the unvarnished truth: Irresponsible behavior has a high cost.
The centerpiece of the "Defeat for Iraq" (DFI) remediation program I have in mind would be a couple of videos, too. Any sentient being will be affected by these films -- perhaps even partisan Democrats wh…

Giuliani could win if nominated

Scot Lehigh:

RUDY GIULIANI got two different reactions when he came here to the Queen City on Saturday -- reactions that speak to the promise and peril confronting the man known as America's mayor as he mulls a presidential run.

"I'm leaning in his direction," said Richard Heitmiller of Nashua, a retired chief executive. "What impressed me was what he did with the city of New York."

"Rudy is a very capable man," added Vivian Desmarais, a former state representative from Manchester. "He's a doer."

But other Republicans gathered at the Palace Theatre for the state party's annual meeting sounded a different tone.

"I won't vote for him," declared Madelene Moffett of Rochester, a retired secretary. "I want to keep life" -- a pro life position, that is -- "in the Republican Party."

For Republicans, Giuliani is a figure out of comfortable ideological register. Admired both for his leadership after the Sept. 1…