Sunday, May 1, 2011

One Hell Of A Last Call

And one hell of a Last Call...for none other than Osama Bin Laden.  Multiple news outlets are reporting President Obama will address the nation tonight to inform the country and the world that the CIA nailed the world's most wanted terrorist.

Osama bin Laden is dead and his body has been recovered by U.S. authorities, U.S. officials said on Sunday night.

President Barack Obama was to make the announcement shortly that after searching in vain for bin Laden since he disappeared in Afghanistan in late 2001, the Saudi-born extremist is dead.

It is a major accomplishment for Obama and his national security team, having fulfilled the goal once voiced by Obama's predecessor, George W. Bush, to bring to justice the mastermind of the September 11, 2001, attacks.

More on this as details become available.

[UPDATE]  The President just confirmed that after a tip last August that OBL was in Pakistan, the President authorized the CIA to follow the lead for eight months...patiently confirming the truth.  And today, they struck.  Joint Special Operation Command led the way.  No US personnel were hurt, we recovered the body and confirmed the identity.  A growing crowd outside the White House.  Even Dubya weighed in congratulated the President.

One hell of a night.

A Whopper So Big The Village Called Her On It

The fact that Republicans keep getting invited on Sunday political talk shows when they have no credibility is a travesty only magnified by the microscopic number of times they get called out on it.  But every blue moon a Republican tells such an astonishing lie that the Village is forced to say something our of sheer self-defense.

Today was one of those days.  Naturally, the Republican liar?  Michele Bachmann.

The Minnesota congresswoman told Fox News' Chris Wallace that NATO airstrikes had killed up to 30,000 civilians in the country.

"People should be outraged at the foolishness of the president's decision," she said. "He said he wanted to go in for humanitarian purposes and overnight we are hearing that potentially 10 to 30,000 people could have been killed in the strike. Those are some of the reports."

"The NATO strikes killed 10,000 to 30,000 people?" an incredulous Wallace asked.

"A report that came out last night from the Tripoli ambassador said that potentially there could be 10,000 to 30,000," Bachmann insisted.

"You mean the Libyans?" Wallace pressed.

"Yes," Bachmann replied.

And keep in mind, this is FOX News that can't stomach this egregious lie that NATO has killed 30,000.

In fact, the tea party-backed lawmaker seemed to be referring to a statement made by U.S. Ambassador to Libya Gene Cretz last week.

Cretz had said that U.S. officials believed that 10,000 to 30,000 had been killed by fighting between Gaddafi forces and the rebels, not NATO airstrikes.

To his credit, Wallace corrected Bachmann in a later segment.

"I just want to clear up, because we looked into what Michele Bachmann had been saying. She quoted the U.S. ambassador to Libya saying 30,000 people had been killed in the NATO strike so far. In fact, what Ambassador Gene Cretz said is that he estimated that 30,000 people had been killed by all sides in the entire conflict. That includes the rebels and the Gaddafi forces. So big difference," he said.

So Bachmann comes on FOX News Sunday and declares NATO has murdered 30,000...something that not even FOX News could let go by.

And yet Bachmann is a "serious" candidate for President that the Sunday shows will have on again and again.

Why Bon Will Never Sleep Well Again

According to climate modeling, one study suggests that brown recluse spiders could spread through North America, increasing their territory and numbers as temperatures shift higher.  Brown recluses could theoretically spread to Ohio, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Minnesota, even as far east as Pennsylvania.  The spiders have a fearsome bite.  The article doesn't do it justice, believe me.  I've been fortunate but the few people I know who have been bitten have heavily scarred, occasionally cored out injuries where the venom destroyed tissue and doctors had to cut away to save as much flesh as possible.  Brown recluses are also aggressive and territorial.

Well.  So much for sleep.  There are plenty enough where I live now, the idea of having a higher population is almost more than I can bear.

Our Actions Are Not Inconsequential

Last night I noted that a NATO airstrike destroyed part of the Qaddafi compound in Tripoli in an effort to assassinate the Libyan leader.  The airstrike however took out one of Qaddafi's sons and several of his grandchildren.  NATO insists they were targeting a military command and control post, but Qaddafi loyalists have responded by ransacking evacuated Western embassies and UN buildings in Tripoli.

The UN is withdrawing all its international staff from the Libyan capital Tripoli following a mob attack on its offices, the BBC understands.

UN buildings and some foreign missions were targeted by angry crowds following a Nato air strike that reportedly killed a son of Col Gaddafi.

A UN official told the BBC its staff would withdraw from Libya and the decision would be reviewed next week.

The UK expelled the Libyan ambassador after its premises were attacked.

The Italian foreign ministry has condemned the "acts of vandalism" on its embassy. Italy recently joined the Nato mission in Libya.

There were also protests outside the US mission in the city.

A UN official, who confirmed that its offices had been ransacked overnight, said the Libyan government had apologised, blaming an angry mob for the damage.

If this was a missed opportunity to take out Qaddafi, then it was a failure on multiple accounts.   Heads need to roll at NATO HQ for this.  And surprise, we're going to be dealing with the fallout from this for a very long time.  Our third war is going about as well as the other two...

A Little Ray Of Sunshine

A dog survived a raging house fire for six hours by hiding in a water-filled bathtub, according to firefighters.
He said Mia was able to get to a bathtub on the lowest level of the house, where she waited as firefighters doused the home with water. As the water ran down into the basement, it filled the bathtub and soaked Mia, keeping her safe from flames, Brock said.
Brumby said the dog has learned how to open doors throughout the house, and that she had to open four doors to get to the bathtub where she was found.

Firefighters rescued the dog, who was scared but unharmed.  The owner says she had steam coming off her when they brought her out.  She is happily reunited with her family, and the link above has a picture of the equally adorable kids loving on the her.

Anonymous Threat Is Worth Watching

(CNN) -- The Internet hackers group Anonymous plans to hack Iran on Sunday, according to a press release published on their website. The group wants to use International Workers' Day, which commemorates the first national general strike in the United States, as an opportunity to reignite last year's protests in Iran.
Exactly how they intend to "attack" Iran remains to be seen. The sophistication of their previous attacks ranges from the denial-of-service overloading of web servers (this simply knocks a website out) to the exploitation of code and accessing of private data (more like the hacking seen in the movies).
It will be worth watching to see what happens tomorrow.  Anonymous has a code of honor (of sorts, completely on their own terms).  Hollow promises are not among their practices.  Whatever they have planned, it takes some marbles to throw out a threat of that magnitude, so I expect they will follow through and we will see their demonstration.  I can't help but wonder what they have planned.

Give As Good As He Gets

At the White House Correspondents Dinner last night, the President (and his writers) took Donald Trump and the GOP birthers to task with some pretty scathing humor.

Saturday Night Live's Seth Meyers was even more caustic following the President, and between the two of them Donald Trump was looking like he wanted to fire everybody in the room.  Out of a cannon.  Into a brick wall.

Best WHCD since Colbert's now famous performance in 2006, surely.  You know the wit was sharp enough to draw blood because the usual suspects are howling in pain this morning, calling Obama "boorish" and "classless" while it was a "victory" for Trump.

Having said that, the rest of the night was the Village patting itself on the back for being the best people ever and mixing in awe with the people they cover and the celebritology they practice.  Keep in mind the President was performing jokes for them, like they were a special interest constituency.  In too many ways they are.  The self-mocking #nerdprom Twitter tag has ironically turned into the cool kids praising themselves for a night, and not letting anyone forget how much power they have in American politics and increasingly in society.  That shark was jumped years ago.

It's all fun and games until America's fourth estate breaks out the steno pads...and as Yellow Dog says, "That's an insult to stenographers, a noble profession by comparison."

[UPDATESteve M. lets Gateway Pundit have it with both barrels on the "boorish" Obama:

Look, Jim, I know you righties do surprisingly well in this country with phony moralizing and faux righteous indignation. I know there's an unsettlingly large audience willing to nod in agreement when you complain about awful liberal meanies who aren't sufficiently nice to delicate flowers such as Sarah Palin and BP.

But Donald Trump?

No, Jim -- you look ridiculous trying to argue that a few well-placed zingers were an unfair attack directed at the biggest lout on the planet. Whose tender, bruised feelings are you going to defend next? Fred Phelps? Bobby Knight?

They can dish it out, but good lord, they can't take it.

[UPDATE 2]  Instatwit says Obama's a "sucker" for addressing Trump and fell into his dastardly trap...and then complains the mean ol' "sycophants" in the Village helped him gang up on poor Donald.   Yeah, I said that it was a mistake to give Trump credibility by releasing the birth certificate, but Obama cleaned that mess up nicely when he cleaned Trump's clock last night too. Point 1 in that article still stands -- it's about race and always has been -- but Obama has resolved the other 3 points I made quite nicely, and once again he has surprised me with his political jujitsu skills. He did what he needed to do: make Trump look like a crackpot buffoon in front of the entire Village (and the country to boot). One has to wonder if releasing the certificate was specifically bait for Trump. Given last night's events, I have to admit I was wrong about thinking that Obama releasing the certificate was a mistake. I'm glad to do so.

At this point, anything Trump says is sour grapes, and that goes doubly so for the jesters defending him.

[UPDATE 3] If Trump's reaction at the dinner and this evening on CNN are any evidence, then The Donald just proved in the last 24 hours that he couldn't take one percent of the crap thrown at Obama just this month, let alone so far in his term as President.

Anyone this thin-skinned is doomed in politics. But by all means, let Trump run.
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