Antique World Map Circa 1499

Antique World Map Circa 1499

Strike Is Said to Kill a Top Qaeda Leader

The operational leader for 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 the 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 to be the organization’s No. 3 leader, behind Osama bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri, another Egyptian.

This must be a mistake since according to that astute vessel of all things pertaining to jihadist radicals, Brian Kilmeade of Fox Propaganda, President Obama is neglecting the fight against terrorists. Among others the Obama administration has also killed Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the No. 2 official of the Afghan Taliban, Abu Omar al-Baghdadi a jihadist operating in Iraq and Abu Ayyub al-Masri, the leader of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia. Former Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen who has a weird infatuation with torture has complained that the Obama administration is killing too many terrorists. When your mom said that there is no pleasing some people, Thiessen is the kind of person she was talking about.

Republicans Criminalizing Politics over Sestak Affair

While Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) has deemed the Sestak no-pay-for-no-play non-scandal an “illegal quid pro quo” and “Obama’s Watergate,” the overwhelming consensus of legal opinion had concluded otherwise. While Bush White House ethics officer Richard Painter told his fellow Republicans to “move on,” Steve Bunnell of the firm O’Melveny & Myers announced, “There is nothing inherently bad about it unless you think politics and democracy are bad.”

Rabid little critters will sometimes grab a dirty little sock and hang onto to it tenaciously without rhyme or reason.

More to social media than your # of Facebook friends

Here’s some of the reasons I think that you can’t take the fact that more Republican politicians have success with social media as evidence that liberals and Democrats aren’t using online organizing and messaging as effectively or even more effectively.

Conservatives are more likely to be sycophants than liberals. For all that conservatives gripe about the cult of Obama, the real truth is that liberals are way more likely to be critical of our politicians and/or likely to view whatever they say as if it’s meaningless political feel-good nonsense.  Liberals are more likely to see politicians as people working for us, and conservatives see their politicians as leaders.  It makes sense—the fundamental struggle between conservatives and liberals is over a hierarchical vs. egalitarian worldview.  Sitting around listening to leaders is less interesting to liberals than to conservatives.  We see social media more as a way for them to listen to us.

There are some other good points and well worth a read. I tended to think that conservatives were drawn to Tweeter because it is simply a digital extension of the bumper sticker mentality. When I was growing up the first bumper stickers i noticed were those expressing a right-wing point of view. They tended to boil down all political issues and general ideology to a few words – DITTO HEAD, VOTE LIBERTY VOTE REPUBLICAN, etc. While I would encourage Democrats to use Tweeter and FaceBook, our on-line presence  runs deeper in content and is popular. According to Technorati Huffington Post is number one. The next most popular political site is the right-wing National Review 8. Malkin’s aptly named Hot Air is 10, but Think Progress is 12, the liberal leaning Daily Beast is 11. While BoingBoing is not a political site, its political POV leans Democrat and they are 7. The right-wing Newsbusters is 23, while Talking Points Memo is 25. If a Democrat has only so much time to spare FaceBook might be worth the effort, but I’d like to see more Democratic bloggers, especially regional. Today’s city council person is tomorrow’s mayor. Today’s mayor is tomorrow’s Congressman, Senator or federal judge. There might be a tendency for Democrats to think because HuffPo, TPM, Daily Kos and a couple other moderate to liberal blogs are so big their little blog can’t generate enough traffic to make a difference. Even if one blog’s visitor count is low they can still help with links – a part of Google’s search algorithms.

Paranoid ‘Hatriot’ Group Attempting Takeover of Local Sheriffs’ Offices

Today, a rather credulous Associated Press article reports on a movement to replace local sheriffs with proponents of a particularly virulent form of “tentherism“:

[  ]…Absent from the article, however, is a discussion of the Oath Keepers’ overactive fantasy life. The Oath Keepers’ website is riddled with paranoid rhetoric about government officials “disarm[ing] the American people,” “confiscat[ing] the property of the American people, including food and other essential supplies,” and “blockad[ing] American cities, thus turning them into giant concentration camps.” In early 2008, the Oath Keepers’ founder warned that a “dominatrix-in-chief” named “Hitlery Clinton” would impose a police state on America and shoot all resisters. After primary voters chose a different candidate, the Oath Keepers simply rewrote their paranoid fantasy to include a taller, African-American lead.

They not only have every right to have their guns, since Obama was elected gun sales have soared. The worrisome aspect is the paranoia coupled with a gun fetish, plus having the same political ideology of the Oklahoma City bombers, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols. These people are not patriots as much as they are ultra-nationalist.

Israel Attacks Humanitarian Flotilla, Many Dead & Injured (Updated)

One Israeli serviceman was “moderately injured” by a knife wound during the assault, which took place just after dark and after Israel had attacked vessels flagged in America, Europe and Turkey, while they were still in international waters. The passengers included a holocaust survivor, USS Liberty survivors, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, EU MEPs & hundreds of humanitarian workers.

Apparently one Israeli commando was also thrown over broad. One Israeli newspaper is also playing the angle that some of the passengers were members of the Muslim Brotherhood. Which is irreverent. Over the years the U.S. has provided humanitarian aid under every administration to countries whose politics have run the ideological spectrum, many, such as China, not as pure as the driven snow. Israel has to get around the fundamental question of initiating a military assault on ships in international waters (Israel attacked the USS Liberty in international waters in 1967). That the crew seemed to not take kindly to such actions seems appropriate. Ultimately 14 to 16 crew members were killed and no Israeli soldiers. Obsidian Wings is trying to reserve judgment until there are more details, but asks

First, it was yet another deeply stupid move by Netanyahu’s government.  Dropping commandos one-by-one from a helicopter onto the deck of a (large) ship in international waters?  Did no one foresee the possibility that this plan, such as it was, might end badly?  And what was it going to achieve?  What was the best case scenario that would justify the international outrage from a successful raid?

I support the state of Israel in the traditional liberal sense they have a right to exist as a Jewish state and have the right to defend themselves. It appears thus far they have gone far beyond simple self-preservation.

This is not a hatchet job on Lost, but an interesting look at the science behind the show including the last episode, Lost’s Duct Tape Fix Wouldn’t Work