After Getting Amazon To Boot Wikileaks, Lieberman Eyes Other Firms (VIDEO)

December 2, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, yesterday succeeded in getting to boot Wikileaks off its servers.

Now, Lieberman says he’s widening his scope.

“We’ve gotta put pressure on any companies — like Amazon, [which] just cut Wikileaks off from its servers to distribute — there’s a company now in Sweden, I think it’s called Bahnhof, which is providing that kind of access to the Internet to Wikileaks,” he said on MSNBC this afternoon. “We’ve got to stop them from doing that.”

As TPM reported yesterday, Lieberman’s committee staff called Amazon and asked, “Are there plans to take the site down?”

Amazon responded by removing the site, telling the committee it violated unspecified terms of use.

TPM yesterday asked a committee spokeswoman, Leslie Phillips, whether Lieberman was planning to reach out to other companies.

“The committee is not reaching out to other companies,” she said. “Senator Lieberman hopes that the Amazon case will send the message to other companies that might host Wikileaks that it would be irresponsible to host the site.”

Phillips said that hasn’t changed, and that Lieberman has no specific plans as of now to speak with other companies, including the Swedish firm Bahnhof AB where Wikileaks is now reportedly residing.

But his pressure on Amazon is already having a wider effect. The New York Times reported this afternoon that a Seattle-based company called Tableau had deleted charts and graphs uploaded by Wikileaks.

Tableau explains on its web site:

Our decision to remove the data from our servers came in response to a public request by Senator Joe Lieberman, who chairs the Senate Homeland Security Committee, when he called for organizations hosting WikiLeaks to terminate their relationship with the website.

The company also said Wikileaks violated the site’s terms of use by uploading content it doesn’t have the rights to.

Watch the video of Lieberman on MSNBC:


Iowa voters boot three state supreme court justices who ruled in favor of gay marriage

November 3, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 


The magic words “gay marriage” mean that this is now officially a buzzworthy topic in the blogosphere, even though it’s really just a basic PoliSci problem dressed up in “gay marriage” clothing. Everyone wants courts to be independent enough to issue unfavorable rulings that the majority might not like; it’s the only way to protect [...]

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Max Boot in Commentary: American victims of Al-Qaeda and Taliban are “shaheeds”

October 30, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Max Boot’s words here in the reliably dhimmi and consistently wrongheaded Commentary illustrate the problem with the enterprises in Iraq and Afghanistan in general: the analysts who pushed for American military action in both had no idea of the nature of Islam, and particularly of the central role of Sharia as a political system within it. They assumed, with titanic ethnocentrism, that the people in Iraq and Afghanistan both desired “freedom” and conceptualized it in exactly the same was as most Americans do.

They further assumed that Islam is a Religion of Peace that could fit easily into the Western-style framework of a Constitutional republic with no established religion. And that assumption led them to the additional assumption that terms current in Judaism and Christianity meant exactly the same thing when used also in Islam.

The conceptual and policy errors that follow these wrong assumptions are endless. Books could be and should be filled with them.

“A Counter View to Fouad Ajami’s Skepticism Regarding Afghanistan,” by Max Boot in Commentary, October 27 (thanks to Andy McCarthy):

I believe there is just as much nobility to the war in Afghanistan as to the one in Iraq.

I actually agree with Max Boot about that: there is just as much nobility to the war in Afghanistan as to the one in Iraq — i.e., none. They are futile wars with no purpose, no goal, no end in sight.

We are, after all, fighting to make good on our post-9/11 promises to drive the Taliban out of power and establish a representative government in Afghanistan that will not sponsor terrorism or abuse its own people. The Taliban are as cruel as they come and sparing the people of Afghanistan from their misrule is a noble cause. So too is honoring the memory of America’s 9/11 shaheeds (martyrs) — the victims of al-Qaeda and their Taliban facilitators.

These words ring especially hollow in light of Karzai’s repeated threats to side with and overtures to the Taliban. Is there a dime’s worth of difference between them?

But above all, the Americans murdered by Al-Qaeda and the Taliban are not shaheeds. Islamic martyrdom is not the same thing as Christian martyrdom, or even the modern Western secular concept of martyrdom as dying for any cause. Islamic martyrdom is primarily the act of a Muslim who kills and is killed for Allah, as per Qur’an 9:111. Thus while Islamic martyrdom need not always contain the element of murdering infidels that that verse contains, the word is primarily used today in the Islamic world of suicide bombers and others who kill infidels. And no sect or school of Islam would ever call any non-Muslim a martyr.

Thus Boot, in his ignorance and wishful thinking, is essentially equating America’s war dead with mass murderers. It is astoundingly myopic and offensive, but par for the course for the increasingly ridiculous Commentary.

Jihad Watch

The NY Times Splashes in the Shallow End with Meghan McCain, Brave Republican Rebel, Ugg Boot Wearer

September 14, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Meghan McCain got star treatment on the front of the Sunday Styles section hyping "Dirty Sexy Politics," her thin little account of her father’s 2008 presidential campaign. Frequent Times contributor Liesl Schillinger’s 2,600-word profile ("The Rebel") of the 25-year-old daughter of Sen. John McCain  reads like a parody at times, so over-the-top is the praise for what sounds like an incredibly shallow read.

Of course, McCain is the Times’s favorite kind of Republican, a surprisingly uninformed "progressive" whose arguments won’t convince anyone except shilling Schillingers.

On a sweltering 109-degree August day, driving past election signs (John McCain, J. D. Hayworth, Ben Quayle) and cacti (saguaro), I pulled into a roadside mini-mall, hoping it was the right one. Entering a barnlike Mexican restaurant called Blanco, I scanned the bright blue banquettes for Meghan McCain.

Ms. McCain, the 25-year-old politics and pop-culture columnist for The Daily Beast and daughter of Senator John McCain, is also the author of the just-published "Dirty Sexy Politics," a frank, dishy and often scathing chronicle of her experiences during the 2008 presidential campaign. Her book is not only a front-row view of one of the most historic elections in recent American history, it is, as she told George Stephanopoulos on "Good Morning America," a "coming-of-age story."

It’s hard to see the point of this paragraph:

…in a corner booth, I at last spotted a fresh-faced woman with straight unfoofy hair and next to no makeup. Dressed in a black T-shirt with an eagle on it, cutoffs and black flip-flops with crystal peace-sign charms (from a friend’s boutique), she resembled the sunny girls I used to drive to lunch with in high school in Oklahoma (where we, too, had wide-open spaces and abundant Mexican restaurant options at our disposal).

Some of the puffery come off as ridiculous:

But I figured that, after three years as a highly visible blogger, writer, Twitter user (she has 86,000 followers) and speaker on college campuses, Ms. McCain had learned to control how she comes across.


Her own book would make as gripping a read for vacationers on South Padre Island as it would for students at midterms or for politicos on the eve of midterm elections.

But "Dirty Sexy Politics" is no young-adult memoir; it’s a strongly-worded political platform from which Ms. McCain attacks today’s moribund, inflexible Republican Party ("all the old dudes," is one way she puts it) and clamors for change.

We eventually get a hint why the Times is promoting McCain and her book so avidly:

Throughout the book, she lays out her vision of a moderate, inclusive Republican Party that could win over young people like herself who have come of age with interactive social media and care about small government, defense, the environment and gay rights.

It infuriates her when rigid Republicans accuse her of being a Republican In Name Only, a RINO. "I cannot stand the word RINO, because I think it’s an easy way to belittle someone who’s flexible with the kind of world we live in," she said.

"I’m pro-life, but I’m pro birth control. I am also pro being realistic about the kind of world we live in." She supports marriage equality for gay Americans, she added, because, "I have friends who are gay, and I’d like to go to their weddings."


….her progressive views have angered traditionalists within the Republican Party. In March 2009, she wrote a column in The Daily Beast that accused Ann Coulter, the conservative American political commentator and writer, of perpetuating "negative stereotypes about Republicans," and called her "offensive, radical, insulting and confusing." "I object to people who use politics as entertainment," she told me. The column provoked Laura Ingraham, the conservative commentator and radio show host, to deride Ms. McCain on her show as "plus-sized."

Apparently it’s perfectly fine to insult Ann Coulter as "offensive and radical," but commenting on McCain’s weight is an offense good for several overwrought paragraphs. Schillinger went on and on about it.

But in Arizona, Ms. McCain admitted that she finds attacks on her looks hard to take. "It’s very harsh," she said. "I’m of the belief that you should never say anything bad about a woman’s appearance, ever. It’s nothing I would ever do."

McCain seemed desperate to sound transgressive:

"I’m a 25-year-old woman with tattoos," Ms. McCain said, waving her left hand to show the black cross on her wrist, "I just live my life very openly. I don’t think in this climate that I could get elected, either. I like to go to Vegas and I like to play blackjack with my friends. Can you do that if you’re a candidate? No. I rest my case."

She still resents Ms. Ingraham’s remark but added, "I should send her a fruit basket. It’s one of the best things that’s ever happened to my career. I don’t care if she disagrees with me."

Schillinger and McCain squeezed several more dramatic paragraphs over enchilada-gate, an evident "snub" by Laura Bush which was literarily enriched with deep observations about who was wearing what:

It was in March 2008, two days after Mr. McCain had won four presidential primaries, clinching the Republican nomination. Mrs. Bush had invited Meghan and her mother to the White House for lunch.

Meghan dressed to the hilt, in an elegant black Diane von Furstenberg dress, a capelet and Tory Burch peep-toe heels, her hair swept up in plaits.


But when Mrs. Bush, in a sweater and slacks, greeted her and her mother, she told them there’d been a misunderstanding. The invitation only applied to Mrs. McCain. Meghan was sent to the White House mess. "I was given a doggie bag of enchiladas," Ms. McCain writes.

"Want to talk about feeling stupid and unwanted? Try carrying a take-out bag as you leave the White House in sparkly glitter heels and your hair braided in three huge cornrows."

"I hope Laura and Jenna Bush won’t be angry with me for dishing like this," she writes. "But I use Taylor Swift as a model: If you don’t want her to write a song about you, don’t give her a reason." Zing! But at Blanco, Ms. McCain excused the Bush diss: "I think that it was a long eight years for them," she said. "They’re not ill-intentioned."

After two fawning quotes saying that she could (totally!) pull off a "Meghan McCain Show" on politics, Schillinger gushed about "the book’s other juicy secrets," such as (gasp) campaign sex:

There was the crazy sex among overworked "drones and journalists" blinded by "campaign goggles;" thefts of Mitt Romney signs by misbehaving McCainBlogettes; and even a Xanax mishap that left Ms. McCain "knocked out like a corpse" on a campaign plane (she gives a "special shout-out" to Cynthia McFadden of ABC, "for not putting it on ‘Nightline’ ").

Schillinger doesn’t spell out that it was McCain herself that stole the Romney campaign signs.

For Ms. McCain, the political is inextricable from the personal. And whether she would like to see it this way or not, her father’s presidential loss also marked a new beginning for her. Since her book’s release last week, she has appeared on "The View," "The Rachel Maddow Show," "Fox & Friends" and "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno."

"It was liberating to be able to tell my side of the story," she told me in Scottsdale. But the new story she’s narrating is her own; she’s the front-runner in a race whose goal is still unknown, but whose progress is visible.

Red State blogger Leon Wolf had some harsh but hilarious criticism of McCain and her book. Here’s some of the milder stuff.

When I finished reading Dirty, Sexy Politics, I flipped to the acknowledgements section to find the name of the person who edited this travesty, so as to warn incompetent authors of the future away from utilizing this person’s services, but no such person was identified therein. Either this book had no editor, or the editor assigned to the original manuscript threw up his or her hands three pages in and decided to let the original stand as some sort of bizarre performance art, like Joaquin Phoenix’s appearance on Late Night with David Letterman.


Meghan’s primary goal in writing Dirty, Sexy Politics appears to have been to show off her encyclopedic knowledge of who was wearing what clothes on what occasion. From all appearances, it is physically impossible for Meghan McCain to describe a given scene or occurrence without describing in detail what everyone in the room was wearing (and how their hair was done), most especially including herself. I stopped counting the number of times she informed me that she was wearing UGG boots on a given occasion at five. Dirty, Sexy Politics is 194 pages long; if you removed the descriptions of outfits and hairstyles so-and-so wore when such-and-such was going on, I doubt it would have scraped 120 pages. - Exposing Liberal Media Bias

Boot Barney Frank: Support GOP challenger Sean Bielat

August 30, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Spread the word and send your money. Corruptocrat Barney Frank has a strong GOP challenger who needs your help in advance of the September 14 primary.

His name is Sean Bielat. He’s a businessman. He’s a Marine. He’s a young father fed up with “systemic corruption” in arrogant Washington. He opposes cap-and-tax, will fight other oppressive Obama eco-policies that are squeezing fishermen, supports a strong national defense, and believes “It’s time for our leaders to return to and abide by the Constitution.” He launched a RetireBarney campaign back in April. Bielat’s latest campaign ad roasts Frank for his recent Fannie-Freddie flip.


His new radio ad takes on Frank and the Dems’ failed stimulus and bailout policies. Listen here.

Donate here.

Barney Frank has held his seat for 29 years. Three decades is enough.

As Mark Levin put it so well in his radio monologue tonight (via The Right Scoop), we can’t afford to sit on the sidelines. It wasn’t the original Tea Party movement’s way. It wasn’t the Founding Fathers’ way. Says Levin: “There are candidates who have presented themselves to us. Our fellow citizens. These are patriots. And they’ve sought our help. How can we ignore them? They’ve stood up, put aside their private lives and careers, and answered our calling. They have volunteered to take on the very forces that have been destroying this nation. Are we to leave them on the political battlefield with no backup?”

Hell, no. When brave citizens step up to the plate to tackle entrenched corruptocrat incumbents, they deserve our support.

Stand up for Sean Bielat.

Michelle Malkin

Air Force May Boot Pilot Who Revealed He Is Gay To Defend False Rape Claim

August 12, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach has been fighting for the right to stay in the Air Force for more than two years following a false criminal report that led to his outing. Yesterday, following reports that the Secretary of the Air Force was about to order his discharge, his lawyers filed for a temporary restraining order to keep him in the military until the courts have their say, or the Obama Administration gets around to repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.

So, how did a decorated combat pilot with 19 years in the Air Force end up riding a desk and hoping just to make it to his pension (for which he’d be eligible next year) instead of flying missions in one of his country’s wars — despite much-heralded changes to the military’s enforcement policies?

According to the Idaho Statesman, Fehrenbach got involved with the wrong guy: Cameron Shaner, himself an Army veteran who voluntarily left the military in 1999. Shaner, who suffers from a “100 percent service-connected disability,” was out of the closet when he and a classmate approached the Air Force about a supposed plot against service members.

According to the Air Force Times, on May 7, 2008 Shaner and the classmate, who was a service member, went to the base to report their suspicions to the Office of Special Investigations. They told OSI Special Agent Karolyn DeRosier that there was a plot among HIV-infected gay men to invite service members to sex parties for the purpose of infecting them. DeRosier interviewed Shaner three times over the following forty-eight hours, asking him to take an oath to tell the truth. After speaking to him, she declined to use him as a confidential informant, deemed him unreliable and, eventually, closed the case due to lack of evidence.

Shaner, however, told investigators that DeRosier “swore him in as a confidential informant” and asked him to help investigate the case. For that purpose, Shaner told investigators, he began visiting gay bars at DeRosier’s direction and signed up for the “Gay Dating, Chat and Hookups” site Manhunt. It was there, on May 11, 2008, that Shaner made contact with Fehrenbach. According to the Idaho Statesman:

In text messages the night they met, Shaner expressed sexual interest in Fehrenbach, admiring photos of Fehrenbach’s naked body and calling him “stud.” Arriving at Fehrenbach’s home, Shaner disrobed and joined him in the hot tub. Observed Boise police detective Vucinich in his report: “It should be noted that (Shaner) could not give me an answer as to why he, himself, had gotten naked.”

Just before 3 a.m. on May 12, 2008, Shaner called Boise police to report that he had been sexually assaulted by Fehrenbach, telling them that he was an informant for DeRosier and had gone there upon her orders. Shaner was not unknown to local law enforcement: OSI officials told the Air Force Times that Shaner had already made several other unsubstantiated rape allegations. As in the prior cases, the police were unable to find any physical evidence to substantiate Shaner’s claims, though they did contact OSI to verify Shaner’s claims that he was an informant; on May 14, 2008, Shaner admitted he was not sent to Fehrenbach’s house by DeRosier and wasn’t an informant.

But, the wheels of Fehrenbach’s professional troubles were already set in motion. In an interview with police on May 16, 2008, he admitted a consensual sexual relationship with Shaner: a violation of the military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy. According to Dixon Osburn, the former executive director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, the military can request any police reports involving service members and it’s not uncommon for local police to turn over their reports to military authorities if there is an interest in the case. That leaves many closeted LGBT service members loathe to contact law enforcement, especially in cases involving domestic violence and sexual assault.

Since Shaner had invoked his supposed cooperation with Air Force investigators from the outset, Fehrenbach was in an untenable position: tell the truth to the police to clear himself, and risk his career because of DADT; or stonewall investigators and hope that the allegations went away, which still would have risked his career. Fehrenbach chose to cooperate with law enforcement to clear his name.

On May 19, 2008, Fehrenbach contacted the SLDN to inform them he suspected he would be investigated under DADT; on June 3, 2008, local law enforcement concluded the investigation into Shaner’s claims without charging Fehrenbach; on August 20, 2008 military investigators also declined to pursue charges based on Shaner’s assault claims. But the DADT investigation continued.

On September 11, 2008, Fehrenbach was notified that the Air Force planned to initiate proceedings to discharge him under DADT, and was given the option of accepting a discharge or pursuing a legal hearing to try to stay. While he initially considered the former, he decided in October 2008 to pursue the latter option — based, he later said, on the hope that then-Senator Obama would win the election and keep his promise to repeal DADT.

In January 2009, the Obama Administration declined to pursue a further appeal against Maj. Margaret Witt, a Washington-based Air Force Reserve nurse who was also discharged under DADT. Witt had sued the government and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the government had to prove that Witt’s sexual orientation had some impact on unit cohesion in order to discharge her. Fehrenbach’s lawyers asked the Air Force’s first review board to consider Fehrenbach’s dismissal in a similar light, since Idaho is also in the 9th Circuit, but was denied. The first formal board against Fehrenbach was convened on April 15, 2009 and recommended his dismissal.

On May 19, 2009, Fehrenbach appeared on “The Rachel Maddow Show” to discuss his pending dismissal under DADT: unlike Dan Choi, he did not discuss his sexual orientation, and he did not discuss the terms under which the DADT investigation began.

This week, according to SLDN’s communications director Trevor Thomas, Fehrenbach’s lawyers received word that the Air Force Personnel Board — which reviews cases against officers — that they had sent the action against Fehrenbach forward. In their experience, this indicates that the board also recommended that Fehrenbach be discharged. According to Dixon, the final determination rests in the hands of Air Force Secretary Michael Donley, who need not abide by the board’s recommendation. However, no one seemingly believes that Donley will buck the system, even with the new DADT guidelines, the pending repeal and the false accusations that led to the DADT investigation in the first place.

If the court grants Fehrenbach’s restraining order, his discharge will remain pending until either the courts decide, like Witt, that the Air Force has to prove his sexual orientation had an effect on unit cohesion, or DADT is repealed.

Air Force - Military - United States - DADT - Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach


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