27 February 2010

We’ll split America into 54 pieces

Playboy sends a 'lab rat' journalist to do waterboarding. It's an interesting five-minute watch.

Behind Taliban Lines
Excellent PBS Front Line piece by an Afghan[i?] journalist who embedded with a Hezb-e-Islam/Al Qaeda cell for 10 days. Thoughts:

• From around 37:30-38:15 there are some dead body images if you’re queasy.
• They SLEEP in their turbans…
• If capitalism is so bad, why are these fighters wearing store-bought sneakers?
• “We split Russia into 25 pieces, and God willing, now we’ll split America into 54 pieces.”
• You really have to admire their dedication not only to the cause, but to learning their religion and praying and such. But they’re sooo delusional!!!!! They actually believe all their propaganda!
• For being so dedicated to their cause, they’re a bunch of WHINERS.
• Wow…I watched this whole clip kinda sick to my stomach, knowing that the video would end with (an) American soldier(s) dying. It ended up being a providentially good ending for America this time, but this is just one op out of dozens a month in one small region out of the whole country.
• I guess not all of them aren’t completely into anarchy, eh? I love their handcuffs.
• This cameraman/reporter is an amazing guy. I don’t know if it’s courageous exactly, but it definitely takes some balls…yea, I might call him brave. I could not imagine doing that embed job…

Truth-squading the summit
I'm all about fact-finding and getting past the sizzle and subterfuge to find substance, so I liked this article.

Obama exaggerated. Boehner lied. Reid was incorrect. Ryan is wrong.

An army of partisan fact checkers bombarded the media through seven hours of the health care summit with such deep thoughts — replete with cherry-picked data — confirming the adage that there’s lies, damn lies and statistics.

Some of the jabs were dead on, but some were merely meant to back up partisan talking points. Still, there were plenty of factually challenged statements.

'Mitch the knife' eyes 2012 run

After months of Shermanesque denials, Indiana GOP Gov. Mitch Daniels’ admission that he’s now willing to consider a White House run has roused his long-standing, if unofficial, fan club.

Republican admirers from Washington, Indiana and elsewhere, hoping to encourage their favorite Hoosier, are out in force to make the case that a balding, blunt, unprepossessing, listed-at-5-foot-7 policy wonk would be a strong contender to take on President Barack Obama. Their shorthand is that he’s the un-Obama. If the country has soured on a charismatic orator who brought glamour but little executive experience to the presidency, the thinking goes, then Daniels could provide the antidote.

“Do we want a president that’s pretty, or do we want one who can get the job done?”

At 60, Daniels’s résumé is exhaustive: He’s a Princeton-educated former Senate chief of staff-turned political operative-turned think tank chief-turned Fortune 500 executive-turned White House budget director-turned two-term governor.

Wash. teacher killed outside school before classes
The stalking began with bursts of phone calls — 10 or 15 in a day, about once a year, from an old college acquaintance. Then, flowers and unwanted visits, an anti-harassment order, an arrest — and bail.

Jennifer Paulson, a 30-year-old special education teacher at a Tacoma elementary school, knew she was in danger this week when her alleged stalker was released from the Pierce County Jail, three days after she had him arrested. She started staying away from her home in an attempt to avoid him.

It didn't work. When she showed up for work Friday morning, he was already there — and had been waiting for hours, according to reports neighbors gave police. Paulson was shot more than once as she walked into the school. Her body lay near the base of a large evergreen tree with blood seeping from her mouth.
A Pierce County sheriff's deputy tracked down the suspected killer, Jed R. Waits, 30, of Ellensburg, outside a daycare about 10 miles away and killed him in a shootout.

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