Monday/Tuesday open thread

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Ok, ya’ll – tell me who you’re rooting for to go all the way in the World Series. I know St. Louis and the Mets are still battling it out to see who will represent the NL, so which of the two do you want to go? Are do we have some Detroit Tigers fans in the house who don’t care who the Tigers play?

I have no dog in this fight, as my poor Braves – well, we won’t go there.

Game 5 of the NLCS was supposed to be played tonight in St. Louis but rain has pushed the game to tomorrow night – 8:19 pm ET on FOX. The NLCS is currently tied at 2 games each.

BTW, I’m behind on emails – I still haven’t caught up from being out of town in Gboro two weekends ago. Bear with me, ya’ll. I’m catching up as fast as I can.

Former US Rep. Gerry Studds passes away

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My condolences to Studds’ family.

I would be remiss, however, if I didn’t note the media and Congressional double standards on Studds, who admitted in 1983 to having a sexual relationship with a 17 year old male page in 1973 and also admitted to making sexual advances towards two other male pages, in comparison to Foley, who sent lurid IMs to a few 16-17 year old pages. Noel Sheppard at Newsbusters did the research and compares the two.

Her final analysis: “What a difference a “D” makes!”

InDeeD.

Weldongate: another October surprise?

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Allah’s got the lowdown on the FBI raids (4 homes and 2 offices) that occurred today as part of an investigation into possible influence peddling by Rep. Curt Weldon (R-PA).

This is far more serious, I think, than Foleygate, even though the organization (the liberal-leaning CREW) that contacted the DOJ about Weldon did so two years ago.

Weldon’s in a already behind Sestak in the polls against Democratic his opponent Joe Sestak, and this obviously has the potential of swaying even more voters in the direction of Sestak. If he’s guilty, Weldon should do the time, but if he’s not, even the hint of the appearance of guilt can have serious consequences, as the three Duke lacrosse players accused of raping a stripper have found out.

Stay tuned.

About those Lancet numbers

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The much-disputed recent study by Lancet that claims over 650,000 Iraqi’s have died since the start of Iraq war is being disputed today but the anti-war Iraq Body Count website. Their claim? Lancet’s numbers are way too high. Via the IBC website:

If these assertions are true, they further imply:

  • incompetence and/or fraud on a truly massive scale by Iraqi officials in hospitals and ministries, on a local, regional and national level, perfectly coordinated from the moment the occupation began;
  • bizarre and self-destructive behaviour on the part of all but a small minority of 800,000 injured, mostly non-combatant, Iraqis;
  • the utter failure of local or external agencies to notice and respond to a decimation of the adult male population in key urban areas;
  • an abject failure of the media, Iraqi as well as international, to observe that Coalition-caused events of the scale they reported during the three-week invasion in 2003 have been occurring every month for over a year.

In the light of such extreme and improbable implications, a rational alternative conclusion to be considered is that the authors have drawn conclusions from unrepresentative data. In addition, totals of the magnitude generated by this study are unnecessary to brand the invasion and occupation of Iraq a human and strategic tragedy.

So even in light of the fact that they don’t support the Iraq war, IBC also doesn’t support the over-inflated numbers from the recent Lancet October surprise. A rare tip of the hat goes to IBC.

Via: McQ at QandO

Oh, speaking of Lancet, Jim Hoft points to the political leanings of Lancet’s editor. You won’t be surprised.

Support terrorists, get a slap on the wrist: Terrorist-supporting lawyer Stewart sentenced to 28 months in prison

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Absolutely outrageous:

NEW YORK — Civil rights lawyer Lynne Stewart was sentenced this afternoon to 28 months in prison on a terrorism charge for helping an Egyptian sheik communicate with his followers on the outside.

The 67-year-old Stewart, who was diagnosed with breast cancer last year, smiled as the judge announced his decision to send her to prison for less than two-and-a-half years. She had faced up to 30 years in prison.

Stewart’s defense lawyer, Elizabeth Fink told the judge just before the sentence was pronounced: “If you send her to prison, she’s going to die. It’s as simple as that.”

Stewart was convicted in 2005 of providing material support to terrorists. She had released a statement by Omar Abdel-Rahman, a blind sheik sentenced to life in prison after he was convicted in plots to blow up five New York landmarks and assassinate Egypt’s president.

28 freaking months.

Allah has more, including a picture of a smiling Stewart pre-sentencing.

Hat tip: Stop The ACLU

Prior:

Confirmed: North Korea test was indeed nuclear

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There had been some questions last week as to whether or not the test North Korea conducted on October 8 was of nuclear strength. Today, the US has confirmed that it was:

Air samples gathered last week contain radioactive materials that confirm that North Korea conducted an underground nuclear explosion, National Intelligence Director John Negroponte’s office said Monday.

In a short statement posted on its Web site, Negroponte’s office also confirmed that the size of the explosion was less than 1 kiloton, a comparatively small nuclear explosion. Each kiloton is equal to the force produced by 1,000 tons of TNT.

Prior:

President Bush dedicates Air Force Memorial this past weekend

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This is awesome:

ARLINGTON, Va. — President Bush dedicated a $30 million memorial Saturday to the millions of people who’ve served in the Air Force, in a ceremony punctuated by a thundering bomb burst formation of F-16 Fighting Falcon jets.

“From this day forward, the men and women of the Air Force will have this memorial, a place here on the ground that recognizes their achievements and sacrifices in the skies above,” Bush said to applause of attending dignitaries.

About 25,000 people turned out for the ceremony, packing the memorial site and a Pentagon parking lot that accommodated the elderly with walkers, as well as baby strollers.

Country music performer Lee Ann Womack entertained the crowd with songs that included “San Antonio Rose.”

A precision demonstration by the Air Force Thunderbirds thrilled onlookers, who watched the jets soar skyward in arcs, with a final plane spiraling straight up with white contrails.

Bush, a former Texas Air National Guard pilot, said the memorial would kick off the 60th birthday celebration for the youngest military branch and serve as a reminder of those who died in service.

“I proudly accept the Air Force memorial on behalf of the American people,” Bush said.

The memorial, which opens to the public Tuesday, holds special significance for San Antonio, considered the birthplace of military aviation at Fort Sam Houston in 1910, when biplanes were used to track Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa in northern Mexico.

All Air Force enlisted personnel must pass through Lackland AFB for basic training, and the city boasts two other air bases for pilot training and research with Randolph AFB and Brooks City-Base, formerly Brooks AFB.

The Air Force has 17,000 active-duty personnel serving at San Antonio installations, and about 26,000 retirees live in the area, according to the Air Force Personnel Center at Randolph.

San Antonio also is home to Oliver “Ollie” Crawford, a World War II-era pilot who as chairman of the Air Force Memorial Foundation launched the effort in the early 1990s to build the memorial.

Crawford, attending with his wife, Nancy, said the structure would be “the most beautiful, meaningful military memorial in the world.”

The memorial rises 270 feet above its base and an engraved wall that contains the names of all those who died while serving in the Air Force and its predecessor organizations.

Here are some construction and design photos. Here are photos from the dedication ceremony. Make sure to scroll to the bottom for page links to the other photos – Yahoo News has about 6 pages worth of photos.

This one was one of my favorites:



Caption: The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds demonstration team flies over the Air Force Memorial while practicing for the opening ceremony of the memorial on Saturday while in Arlington October 12, 2006. REUTERS/Larry Downing (UNITED STATES)

Beautiful.

Hat tip: Euphoric Reality

Duke lacrosse rape case has fallen apart

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Betsy Newmark has a recap of recent developments in the Duke lacrosse rape case, including an interview CBS’ Ed Bradley did on 60 Minutes last night with Duke law professor James Coleman, the other dancer who was with the accuser the night of the alleged rape (her story contradicts some of the claims being made by the accuser), and the three Duke lacrosse players who stand accused.

Essentially what happened here, as La Shawn Barber notes in her lengthy piece on the case, is District Attorney Mike Nifong – the prosecutor – pandered to black people and played up the race card for all it was worth. Why? Because he was playing politics, that’s why. He wanted to get re-elected. And he did (he has no Republican opposition next month).

He could do this, of course, and get away with it because that’s how most race-baiting Democrats operate. They race bait without suffering the consequences from doing so – in fact, they’re usually rewarded time after time with re-election, just as Nifong was. This is what happens when voters are swayed by emotions via impassioned pleas from people in positions of power (and dramatic biased stories from the MSM) rather than facts.

Prior:

Terror-supporting lawyer to plea for mercy today during sentencing

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Joseph Goldstein reports in the NYSun:

The New York lawyer who was convicted of material support for terrorism after carrying messages for her client, terrorist sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, is scheduled to be sentenced today to as much as 30 years in prison.

She and her allies are pinning their hopes for leniency on a strategy that argues she became so emotionally involved in the sheik’s case that she acted irrationally — a strategy that is underpinned by a sealed letter to the court from a psychiatrist.

A psychiatric report submitted to the federal judge in Manhattan who will decide the sentence, John Koeltl, claims that several emotional events in Stewart’s life suggest her actions were motivated by “human factors of her client and his situation” and not by politics, according to portions of the psychiatric report.

The psychiatrist, Steven Teich, points to 11 emotional events that he claims prompted her to want to take action on Abdel Rahman’s behalf, Stewart’s attorneys say. Among the events that make Dr.Teich’s list are her experiences seeing Abdel Rahman incarcerated and the 1995 suicide of a drug defendant named Dominick Maldonado, whom Stewart had once represented.

“Ms. Stewart’s commitment to the protection of her client, the Sheik, in prison was magnified by emotions from her perceived failure to protect her former client Mr. Maldonado, which had, consequently, resulted in his death by suicide,” Mr. Teich wrote.

Excuses excuses.

Here’s some background on Stewart.

Judge Koeltl, show no mercy. I would love to see another Judge William Young-style ruling.

Update I: This morning’s Hot Air Vent is about Jihad Lynne (more here).

Update II: Read more via Captain Ed, Blog For All, Outside The Beltway, Smantix at Six Meat Buffet, Brainster