Tonight’s GOP debate in SC: The particulars

In case you didn’t know it (it hasn’t been particularly well-publicized) there’s a debate tonight in South Carolina amongst some of the GOP candidates who have declared either officially or unofficially that they are running for the GOP nomination for President. Here’s a list of those participating in the debate:

Five candidates will take the stage — former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain, former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson, former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, and Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas).

Real estate mogul Donald Trump and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn), won’t be on stage, but they have visits planned later this month. Former U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman is also scheduled to meet with [Gov. Nikki] Haley on Friday and will give a commencement address in the state on Saturday.

The debate starts at 9 Eastern Time and will be televised on Fox News. You can watch it on their website if you can’t get to a TV. South Carolina’s “The State” newspaper will be liveblogging it.

And speaking of GOP presidential hopefuls, did you hear the news that Newt does indeed plan on throwing his hat in the ring after all? I’m wondering how long that will last. Personally, I don’t think his candidacy will go anywhere.

Are you enthused about the crop of candidates who have put their names out there so far? I keep hearing a lot about Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels. In spite of his now-infamous call for a “truce” of sorts on social issues, I keep hearing from diehard conservatives that his social issues creds are solid. What do you think?

PHOTOS: Military dogs – gotta love ’em!

This story about dogs who serve alongside members of the US military on training and combat missions is the feel-good story of the day. It’ll make you forget for a few minutes the sheer incompetence of this administration’s handling of the post-OBL kill information dissemination, as my co-blogger Anthony discussed earlier.  I had no idea the extent of the canine involvement with the US armed forces until I read the article (which noted a dog was brought along for the OBL “Geronimo” mission) and viewed the pictures (via The Atlantic senior editor Alexis Madrigal).  Here’s one such picture:

Military dog

110301-F-RR679-717 A U.S. Army soldier with the 10th Special Forces Group and his military working dog jump off the ramp of a CH-47 Chinook helicopter from the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment during water training over the Gulf of Mexico as part of exercise Emerald Warrior 2011 on March 1, 2011. Emerald Warrior is an annual two-week joint/combined tactical exercise sponsored by U.S. Special Operations Command designed to leverage lessons learned from operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom to provide trained and ready forces to combatant commanders. DoD photo by Tech. Sgt. Manuel J. Martinez, U.S. Air Force. (Released)

The full version of that photo can be seen here at the DOD website.

In a word: Awesome. God bless man’s best friend!

Worth a thousand (just) words: show the photos, Mr. President

**Posted by Phineas

I’ve been amazed at how the Obama administration has taken the immense good feelings generated by a brilliant intelligence and military operation and just about killed it through gross incompetence in handling the post-mission PR: erroneous and contradictory statements, walkbacks, failure to give credit where credit is due — wasn’t “communication” supposed to be one of the strengths of The Smartest President Ever(tm)?

Anyway, and to get back to the point, release of the photos of bin Laden’s bullet-riddled corpse has turned into another PR headache for the Administration after President Obama changed his mind and decided not to release them. Not only is this spawning rumors that this is a fake and Osama isn’t really dead, but it has a lot of Americans peeved, too; Osama made it his personal mission to kill as many of us as possible — and we want to see him dead.

I was planning to go on at length about this, but Jim Geraghty in today’s Morning Jolt(1) is on fire, and I’m happy to quote him with a hearty “Me, too!”:

Well, it didn’t take long for President Obama to obliterate those warm feelings he generated on Sunday night. From the moment we heard the news, I’ll bet some not-insignificant percentage of the American public said, “I want to see the body.” Not because we’re a bunch of voyeurs, but because we’ve been through these false alarms with disturbing regularity since 9/11. We think we get a guy, and then we don’t. We had several false alarms with Saddam Hussein, and when he was captured, they showed a short video of him getting checked out by doctors.

What’s that, Mr. President? The photos are “very graphic”? So was watching people jump to their deaths from the blazing Twin Towers, you hyperactive condescending nanny. About ten years ago, we had a national traumatic experience as we all watched thousands of people die before our very eyes when the towers collapsed. Since then, we’ve seen Daniel Pearl beheaded, Madrid subway cars blown up, London buses and trains blown up, Bali nightclubs blown up, a Beslan school turned into a massacre site. We’ve seen enough death and dismemberment of innocent civilians to last a lifetime. So pardon me for thinking that our delicate sensibilities might be able to handle seeing the man with more American blood on his hands than anyone else on the planet missing an eye and with some brain matter exposed.

What’s that? It might be “an incitement to additional violence”? Show me one extremist Muslim who’s not going to go into a violent rage over killing bin Laden, but who will do so if he sees the photos. Go out and find him. A few weeks ago, a bunch of Afghanis went on a rampage and killed a bunch of aid workers because Pastor Pyro down in Florida decided to flame-broil a Koran. A controversial book, a cartoon, the latest conspiracy theory — it doesn’t matter. These guys are just looking for excuses to run around and kill people in a frenzy.

I am tired of my government’s adjusting its policies in these inane attempts to placate the triggers of rage among unstable people — as if it’s our fault for provoking them.

The truth will set you free, even when it’s ugly or gruesome.

I watched live as the second plane struck the World Trade Center, Mr. President, and I’ve seen the photos of people leaping to their deaths; don’t you dare treat me like a toddler.

Release the photos.

(1) If you’re not a subscriber, your life is empty and meaningless.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)