Hillary to return $850,000 in Hsu cash

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And pledges to start doing “background checks” on donors:

WASHINGTON – Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign said Monday it will return $850,000 in donations raised by Democratic fundraiser Norman Hsu, who is under federal investigation for allegedly violating election laws.

Clinton, D-N.Y., previously had planned only to give to charity $23,000 she received from Hsu for her presidential and senatorial campaigns and to her political action committee, HillPac.

The FBI is investigating whether Hsu paid so-called straw donors to send campaign contributions to Clinton and other candidates, a law enforcement official said Monday.

“In light of recent events and allegations that Mr. Norman Hsu engaged in an illegal investment scheme, we have decided out of an abundance of caution to return the money he raised for our campaign,” Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson said in a statement Monday night. “An estimated 260 donors this week will receive refunds totaling approximately $850,000 from the campaign.”

Wolfson said the Clinton campaign also will vigorously review its fundraisers, including thorough criminal background checks, in the future. “In any instances where a source of a bundler’s income is in question, the campaign will take affirmative steps to verify its origin,” he said.

Surrre they will! Just as soon as the media breaks a story about it. Then they’ll get right on it!

Update/Must-see: Suitably Flip’s post: Hillary’s Massive Hsu War Chest: Abramoff Parity Nears

Prior:

Quote of the week: Keith Olbermann says Fox News is worse than Al Qaeda

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Via Inside Cable News:

Al Qaeda really hurt us, but not as much as Rupert Murdoch has hurt us, particularly in the case of Fox News. Fox News is worse than Al Qaeda — worse for our society. It’s as dangerous as the Ku Klux Klan ever was.

KOThe interview was with Playboy magazine. Olbermann Watch has much more from that interview, including Keith’s commentary on his female fans in chat rooms, and how he wonders what they look like.

Here’s your answer, Keith.

Newsbusters rips K.O. a new one here. And Johnny Dollar wonders where are all those liberals are who were outraged by the likes of John Gibson last week for comparing some of some of KO’s blatherings to the words of Osama bin Laden.

*crickets chirping*

McCain and Lieberman on Iraq (MORE: MOONBATS MAKE PRESENCE KNOWN)

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*Scroll for updates*

Say what you want about McCain, but he’s definitely not backing down on his stance that we need to win in Iraq. And Lieberman, of course, is still standing strong against the army of wimps in his on party who want to cut and run. Via the WSJ:

Today, Gen. David Petraeus–commander of our forces in Iraq–returns to Washington to report on the war in Iraq and the new counterinsurgency strategy he has been implementing there. We hope that opponents of the war in Congress will listen carefully to the evidence that the U.S. military is at last making real and significant progress in its offensive against al Qaeda in Iraq.

Consider how the situation has changed. A year ago, al Qaeda in Iraq controlled large swaths of the country’s territory. Today it is being driven out of its former strongholds in Anbar and Diyala provinces by the surge in U.S. forces and those of our Iraqi allies. A year ago, sectarian violence was spiraling out of control in Iraq, fanned by al Qaeda. Today civilian murders in Baghdad are down over 50%.

As facts on the ground in Iraq have improved, some critics of the war have changed their stance. As Democratic Congress man Brian Baird, who voted against the invasion of Iraq, recently wrote after returning from Baghdad: “[T]he people, strategies, and facts on the ground have changed for the better, and those changes justify changing our position on what should be done.”

[…]

Whatever the shortcomings of our friends in Iraq, they are no excuse for us to retreat from our enemies like al Qaeda and Iran, who pose a mortal threat to our vital national interests. We must understand that today in Iraq we are fighting and defeating the same terrorist network that attacked on 9/11. As al Qaeda in Iraq continues to be hunted down and rooted out, and the Iraqi Army continues to improve, the U.S. footprint will no doubt adjust. But these adjustments should be left to the discretion of Gen. Petraeus, not forced on our troops by politicians in Washington with a 6,000-mile congressional screwdriver, and, perhaps, an eye on the 2008 election.

The Bush administration clung for too long to a flawed strategy in this war, despite growing evidence of its failure. Now advocates of withdrawal risk making the exact same mistake, by refusing to re-examine their own conviction that Gen. Petraeus’s strategy cannot succeed and that the war is “lost,” despite rising evidence to the contrary.

The Bush administration finally had the courage to change course in Iraq earlier this year. After hearing from Gen. Petraeus today, we hope congressional opponents of the war will do the same.

I don’t hold out much hope that they will, because for so many of them, they know if they don’t, they’ll feel the wrath of their rabid anti-war, Bush-hating base, and we all know how most Democrats react when faced with pressure from the ‘bats. And speaking of, MoveOn.org has placed an ad in the New York Times that essentially calls Petraeus a traitor to his country. Pete Hegseth, executive director of Vets For Freedom, has the details on how MoveOn and Democrats are covertly working together to cast doubt on Petraeus report before he’s even had a chance to give it:

General Petraeus has served this country for over 35 years with honor, distinction, and integrity. And this is not just about General Petraeus. After all, if General Petraeus is “cooking the books,” then the entire military chain of command in Baghdad, and all the staff, military and civilian, who have been working with General Petraeus are complicit, since Petraeus did not write his report in isolation. They are all, apparently, ‘betray[ing] us.’

MoveOn.org has been working closely with the Democratic congressional leadership –as an article in today’s Sunday New York Times Magazine makes clear. And consider this comment by a Democratic senator from Friday’s Politico: “‘No one wants to call [Petraeus] a liar on national TV,’ noted one Democratic senator, who spoke on the condition on anonymity. ‘The expectation is that the outside groups will do this for us.’

Read more on how Dems have been trying to undermine Petraeus in advance of his report here.

Isn’t that just typical? Congressional Democrats don’t have the courage of their convictions to say that they think the General is a liar themselves, so they let their far left groups speak for them, thinking that somehow people won’t put two and two together and understand that those groups are working together to undermine the Commander in Chief and General Petraeus.

And how is the media already spinning Petraeus’ viewpoint on the surge? Take a look at these two headlines:

—- The surge must go on, Petraeus to tell Congress (The Guardian)

—- Petraeus says US surge has ‘not worked out’ (Africa’s Mail & Guardian)

And, of course, blogosphere is abuzz with discussion about Petraeus upcoming report today before House and Senate committees. I’ll try to post a transcript and/or video snippets, as soon as they become available.

Last but not least, NRO’s Kathryn Jean Lopez delivers some bad news for the anti-war left.

PM Update I: Michelle Malkin is liveblogging the Petraeus/Crocker testimonies. The money quotes:

In long-awaited testimony, the commanding general of the war said the objectives of last winter’s buildup in U.S. troops were “in large measure being met.”

As a result, he told a congressional hearing and a nationwide television audience, “I believe that we will be able to reduce our forces to the pre-surge level … by next summer without jeopardizing the security gains we have fought so hard to achieve.

And here’s more on that MoveOn.org ad, complete with pictures and transcript.

PM Update 2: The crazies from Code Pink had to be escorted out of the building. The video is here:

And Cindy Sheehan was arrested today. Again.

Moving on to more important matters, for those like me who couldn’t watch the speech today, Kathryn Jean Lopez has key points from it here. Michael Yon wrote a piece for NRO in which he urged people not to ask him what he thinks about Petraeus reports, but instead the battalion commanders.

And the left’s assaults on Petraeus continue – in between the serious, thoughtful commentary at this link, you’ll find several links where liberal know it all bloggers are accusing the General of essentially being a Bush shill – that is, in addition to being a “traitor.”

You are what you eat: Activists to take Gore to task for his eating habits

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This is absolutely priceless:

He may be the hero of the environmental movement for his crusade against global warming but Al Gore is about to be targeted by animal rights activists over his carnivorous contribution to greenhouse gases.

Citing United Nations research that the meat industry is worse for the environment than driving and flying, animal rights groups are directing a campaign at the former American vice-president’s diet.

When he delivers a lecture on global warming in Denver next month, protesters will display billboards bearing a cartoon image of Mr Gore eating a drumstick and the message: “Too chicken to go vegetarian? Meat is the No 1 cause of global warming”.

The campaign is being organised by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) and is backed by other animal rights groups.

“For Al Gore, the fact that his diet is a leading contributor to global warming is a highly inconvenient truth – pun intended,” said Matt Prescott, a spokesman for Peta.

Mr Gore won an Oscar this year for An Inconvenient Truth, the documentary based on his lecture-circuit presentation detailing how man is allegedly destroying the environment.

But he is now under fire for failing to highlight the impact of meat-eating.

According to recent UN Food and Agriculture Organisation research, animal agriculture generates 18 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions – more than the 13.5 per cent produced by all forms of transport combined.

Like the story about his massive energy consumption, this hypocrisy, too, shall pass with barely a notice.

Cross-posted at Liberty Pundit where I am helping Brian out for the day.

Another Bin Laden tape to be released

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The Associated Press reports:

Al-Qaida said Monday that it will release a new video of Osama bin Laden presenting the last testament of one of the Sept. 11 suicide hijackers, marking the sixth anniversary of the attacks.

The announcement from the terror group’s media arm came only days after bin Laden appeared in his first video in three years, giving an address to the American people, lecturing them to abandon capitalism and democracy and convert to Islam.

The announcement came in a banner advertisement posted on an Islamic militant Web site where al-Qaida often releases messages and was signed by Al-Sahab, the media arm of bin Laden’s al-Qaida terror network.

“Coming soon, God willing, the testament of the attacks on New York and Washington, Abu Musab Waleed al-Shehri, presented by Sheik Osama bin Laden, God preserve him,” the banner read. It showed an image of bin Laden wearing the same black beard and clothes as in the most recent video.

Jay at Stop the ACLU has more links on this developing story.

Oh, and did you hear the latest rumor on the tape of OBL that was released last week? There’s a possibility that it’s a fake. Rick Moran has the details.