Saturday, March 10, 2007

Update 2: Nevada Dems Cut and Run From Fox Debate

Fox News Logo
If Democrats can't deal with Fox News, how are they going to deal with terrorists?

Open thread:

The Nevada State Democratic Party is pulling out of a presidential debate scheduled for Aug. 14 in Reno, according to Democratic insiders, the Politico has learned.

The debate was being hosted by Fox News Channel and Fox News Radio, the Nevada State Democratic Party and the Western Majority Project.

Democratic activists have protested that Fox is not a suitable partner for the event.

  • Update 2: Meltdown over Fox

    The folks at reviewjournal.com offer some choice observations about what could be mildly described as an over-reaction. I'll differ with the common misconception that Fox News is a Republican mouthpiece. Fox simply knows the audience, something that the others apparently have lost sight of. As such, they have built the outlet into the cable news leader, yanking the market away from CNN.

    While Fox News contracts a number of conservative analysts, their actual news content is not as blatantly biased as say, CBS News, who just a few days ago hired on avowed liberal and former CNN and MSNBC president Rick Kaplan to help Katie Couric's struggling "CBS Evening News" broadcast. Rather, I'd classify Fox News delivery simply as 'traditional.'

    In the American broadcast, print, and cable news markets, Fox News stands alone in an industry dominated by liberals. More importantly, Fox News has the largest audience on cable. If you want cable coverage of an event, it make good sense to call Fox.

    That's what makes any over reaction to Fox News comical to the point of embarrassment:
    Hard-core liberals can't stand the Fox News Channel. Passing a television that's tuned to the conservative favorite forces many of them to close their eyes, cover their ears and scream, "La la la la la la la la la!" Then they dash to their computers and fire off 2,500 e-mails condemning the outlet, none of which are ever read.

    But liberals' aversion to Fox News has finally gone over the top. The Nevada Democratic Party had agreed to let the right-tilting network co-sponsor, of all things, an August debate in Reno between Democratic presidential candidates. Party officials were serious about drawing national attention to the state's January presidential caucus, the country's second in the 2008 nominating process. What better way for the party to reach conservative and "values" voters who might consider changing allegiances?

    But the socialist, Web-addicted wing of the Democratic Party was apoplectic. The prospect of having to watch Fox News to see their own candidates would have been torture in itself. So they set the blogosphere aflame with efforts to kill the broadcast arrangement, or at least have all the candidates pull out of the event. Before Friday, the opportunistic John Edwards was the only candidate to jump on that bandwagon.

    You'd think the deal called for having Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter mock the candidates between comments. No, even unfiltered, unedited, live debate between loyal Democrats couldn't be entrusted to Fox News.

    The approach of outfits such as MoveOn.org is so juvenile it's laughable. Imagine if every political organization created litmus tests for news organizations before agreeing to appear on their programming. Republicans would have boycotted PBS, CBS, NBC, ABC, National Public Radio and The Associated Press decades ago.
    More news from: The Washington Post; The Washington Times; Fox News (after a day of silence they finally had something to say); CBS News.

  • Update 1: More from the Las Vegas Sun:

    "Comments made last night by Fox News President Roger Ailes in reference to one of our presidential candidates went too far. We cannot, as good Democrats, put our party in a position to defend such comments," state Democratic Party Chairman Tom Collins and Nevada Sen. Harry Reid wrote in a letter sent Friday to Fox News.
    Ailes reportedly made a comment playing on the similarity of Illinois Sen. Barack Obama's name to Osama Bin Laden.

    "And it is true that Barack Obama is on the move. I don't know if it's true that President Bush called Musharraf and said, 'Why can't we catch this guy?" Ailes said at a Radio & Television News Directors Association Foundation event in Washington on Thursday, according to a transcipt provided by Fox.
    With the cancellation at hand, MoveOn.org quickly declared victory.

    "We hope this sets a precedent for all Democrats, that Fox should be treated as a right-wing misinformation network, not legitimized as a neutral source of news," Eli Pariser, executive director of MoveOn.org Civic Action, said in a statement.
    I posted here yesterday about Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards' decision to not participate in the Fox sponsored debate.

Edwards' deputy campaign manager, Jonathan Prince, sent an e-mail to the liberal blog DailyKos discussing the decision, which was posted on the site.

This is part of an emerging trend where Democrats feel the need to make public statements through far-left blogs ... an often times favorable forum where popular Democrat candidates are rarely asked to explain their motives and decisions.

I'll say again what I said yesterday. If the Democrats feel so threatened by Fox News, what makes them believe they can handle extremists whose only goal in life is to kill Americans?

Roger Ailes said this in a message to the media: the pressure to boycott debates "must be resisted."

This pressure must be resisted as it has been in the past. Any candidate for high office of either party who believes he can blacklist any news organization is making a terrible mistake about journalists. And any candidate of either party who cannot answer direct, simple, even tough questions from any journalist runs a real risk of losing the voters.
Posted on the Drudge Report, David Rhodes, Vice President, Fox News said the following:

“We have not received official word from the Nevada State Democratic Party disclosing a change in debate plans. Rumors are being circulated and if true, news organizations will want to think twice before getting involved in the Nevada Democratic Caucus which appears to be controlled by radical fringe out-of-state interest groups, not the Nevada Democratic Party. In the past, Moveon.org has said they ‘own’ the Democratic party -- while most Democrats don’t agree with that, we’re waiting to see if that’s the case in Nevada.”
More on the story from: The New York Times; CBS News; TVNewser.

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Combat Camera: Securing Tahrir

Capt. Gino Davis looks around after clearing a house. Photo by Air Force Staff Sgt. Stacy L. Pearsall, March 09, 2007 Capt. Gino Davis looks around after clearing a house. Photo by Air Force Staff Sgt. Stacy L. Pearsall, March 09, 2007

The Soldiers take a lunch break. Photo by Air Force Staff Sgt. Stacy L. Pearsall, March 09, 2007 The Soldiers take a lunch break. Photo by Air Force Staff Sgt. Stacy L. Pearsall, March 09, 2007

An Iraqi Soldier keeps an eye out for trouble. Photo by Air Force Staff Sgt. Stacy L. Pearsall, March 09, 2007An Iraqi Soldier keeps an eye out for trouble. Photo by Air Force Staff Sgt. Stacy L. Pearsall, March 09, 2007

Capt. Scott Steele coordinates movements through Tahrir with other Soldiers. Photo by Air Force Staff Sgt. Stacy L. Pearsall, March 09, 2007 Capt. Scott Steele coordinates movements through Tahrir with other Soldiers. Photo by Air Force Staff Sgt. Stacy L. Pearsall, March 09, 2007

An Iraqi medic treats an Iraqi Soldier who was shot in the toe. Photo by Air Force Staff Sgt. Stacy L. Pearsall, March 09, 2007An Iraqi medic treats an Iraqi Soldier who was shot in the toe. Photo by Air Force Staff Sgt. Stacy L. Pearsall, March 09, 2007

An Iraqi Soldier searches a store for weapons caches. Photo by Air Force Staff Sgt. Stacy L. Pearsall, March 09, 2007An Iraqi Soldier searches a store for weapons caches. Photo by Air Force Staff Sgt. Stacy L. Pearsall, March 09, 2007

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Friday, March 9, 2007

Update: Nevada Dems Cut and Run From Fox Debate

Fox News Logo
If Democrats can't deal with Fox News, how are they going to deal with terrorists?

Open thread:

The Nevada State Democratic Party is pulling out of a presidential debate scheduled for Aug. 14 in Reno, according to Democratic insiders, the Politico has learned.

The debate was being hosted by Fox News Channel and Fox News Radio, the Nevada State Democratic Party and the Western Majority Project.

Democratic activists have protested that Fox is not a suitable partner for the event.

Updated: More from the Las Vegas Sun:

"Comments made last night by Fox News President Roger Ailes in reference to one of our presidential candidates went too far. We cannot, as good Democrats, put our party in a position to defend such comments," state Democratic Party Chairman Tom Collins and Nevada Sen. Harry Reid wrote in a letter sent Friday to Fox News.
Ailes reportedly made a comment playing on the similarity of Illinois Sen. Barack Obama's name to Osama Bin Laden.

"And it is true that Barack Obama is on the move. I don't know if it's true that President Bush called Musharraf and said, 'Why can't we catch this guy?" Ailes said at a Radio & Television News Directors Association Foundation event in Washington on Thursday, according to a transcipt provided by Fox.
With the cancellation at hand, MoveOn.org quickly declared victory.

"We hope this sets a precedent for all Democrats, that Fox should be treated as a right-wing misinformation network, not legitimized as a neutral source of news," Eli Pariser, executive director of MoveOn.org Civic Action, said in a statement.
I posted here yesterday about Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards' decision to not participate in the Fox sponsored debate.

Edwards' deputy campaign manager, Jonathan Prince, sent an e-mail to the liberal blog DailyKos discussing the decision, which was posted on the site.

This is part of an emerging trend where Democrats feel the need to make public statements through far-left blogs ... an often times favorable forum where popular Democrat candidates are rarely asked to explain their motives and decisions.

I'll say again what I said yesterday. If the Democrats feel so threatened by Fox News, what makes them believe they can handle extremists whose only goal in life is to kill Americans?

Roger Ailes said this in a message to the media: the pressure to boycott debates "must be resisted."

This pressure must be resisted as it has been in the past. Any candidate for high office of either party who believes he can blacklist any news organization is making a terrible mistake about journalists. And any candidate of either party who cannot answer direct, simple, even tough questions from any journalist runs a real risk of losing the voters.
Posted on the Drudge Report, David Rhodes, Vice President, Fox News said the following:

“We have not received official word from the Nevada State Democratic Party disclosing a change in debate plans. Rumors are being circulated and if true, news organizations will want to think twice before getting involved in the Nevada Democratic Caucus which appears to be controlled by radical fringe out-of-state interest groups, not the Nevada Democratic Party. In the past, Moveon.org has said they ‘own’ the Democratic party -- while most Democrats don’t agree with that, we’re waiting to see if that’s the case in Nevada.”
More on the story from: The New York Times; CBS News; TVNewser.

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Nevada Dems Cut and Run From Fox Debate

Open thread:

The Nevada State Democratic Party is pulling out of a presidential debate scheduled for Aug. 14 in Reno, according to Democratic insiders, the Politico has learned.

The debate was being hosted by Fox News Channel and Fox News Radio, the Nevada State Democratic Party and the Western Majority Project.

Democratic activists have protested that Fox is not a suitable partner for the event.

I posted here yesterday about Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards' decision to not participate in the Fox sponsored debate.

Edwards' deputy campaign manager, Jonathan Prince, sent an e-mail to the liberal blog DailyKos discussing the decision, which was posted on the site.

This is part of an emerging trend where Democrats feel the need to make public statements through far-left blogs ... an often times favorable forum where popular Democrat candidates are rarely asked to explain their motives and decisions.

I'll say again what I said yesterday. If the Democrats feel so threatened by Fox News, what makes them believe they can handle extremists whose only goal in life is to kill Americans?

Roger Ailes said this in a message to the media: the pressure to boycott debates "must be resisted."

This pressure must be resisted as it has been in the past. Any candidate for high office of either party who believes he can blacklist any news organization is making a terrible mistake about journalists. And any candidate of either party who cannot answer direct, simple, even tough questions from any journalist runs a real risk of losing the voters.
Posted on the Drudge Report, David Rhodes, Vice President, Fox News said the following:

“We have not received official word from the Nevada State Democratic Party disclosing a change in debate plans. Rumors are being circulated and if true, news organizations will want to think twice before getting involved in the Nevada Democratic Caucus which appears to be controlled by radical fringe out-of-state interest groups, not the Nevada Democratic Party. In the past, Moveon.org has said they ‘own’ the Democratic party -- while most Democrats don’t agree with that, we’re waiting to see if that’s the case in Nevada.”
More on the story from: The New York Times; CBS News; TVNewser.

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Thursday, March 8, 2007

Combat Camera: Doing Good on Haifa Street

The Soldiers distribute food and other humanitarian items to the residents. Photo by Spc. Olanrewaju Akinwunmi, March 07, 2007 The Soldiers distribute food and other humanitarian items to the residents. Photo by Spc. Olanrewaju Akinwunmi, March 07, 2007

Residents are happy to see the Soldiers delivering aid. Photo by Spc. Olanrewaju Akinwunmi, March 07, 2007Residents are happy to see the Soldiers delivering aid. Photo by Spc. Olanrewaju Akinwunmi, March 07, 2007

Pfc. Michael Garner, a medic, splints a man's arm. Photo by Spc. Olanrewaju Akinwunmi, March 07, 2007 Pfc. Michael Garner, a medic, splints a man's arm. Photo by Spc. Olanrewaju Akinwunmi, March 07, 2007

XXX_TEXT_XXXPfc. Michael Garner treats a boy's injury. Photo by Spc. Olanrewaju Akinwunmi, March 07, 2007

Sgt. 1st Class Leslie Hoyt is interviewed by Laura Logan of CBS news on Haifa Street. Photo by Spc. Olanrewaju Akinwunmi, March 07, 2007 Sgt. 1st Class Leslie Hoyt is interviewed by Laura Logan of CBS news on Haifa Street. Photo by Spc. Olanrewaju Akinwunmi, March 07, 2007

XXX_TEXT_XXXThe Soldiers and residents of Haifa Street are happy with the good work that has been accomplished. Photo by Spc. Olanrewaju Akinwunmi, March 07, 2007

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Counterbalance: Al Gore's Moral Equivalence

Al Gore
The high priest of a secular religion?

Open thread:

Today, in e-mail to subscribers, Nathaniel Ward of the Heritage Foundation discussed Al Gore.

Liberalism has a virulent new strain of political correctness, The Heritage Foundation's Helle Dale writes in The Washington Times. “Challenge the belief that the Earth is warming dangerously due to human activity, or criticize any of its high priests, and the wrath of true believers will be visited upon you.”

Recently, the Tennessee Center for Policy Research, published a study that examined the energy usage of former Vice President, Oscar winner, and environmental activist Al Gore. “As it turned out,” Dale explains, “the Gore mansion interestingly uses 20 times more electricity than the average American home.”

Liberals, though, could not stand to see the high priest of their secular religion of environmentalism challenged --and they reacted. Dale continues: “Little did the staff anticipate that by posting the facts of the Gore family’s bloated and certainly hypocritical energy consumption on their Web site, they would create an international firestorm, become the subject of death threats, vicious verbal abuse and almost see their Web site shut down because of the onslaught.”

Perhaps it says something about the weak intellectual and moral ground on which liberalism stands that its defenders are forced to resort to such tactics.

Think about it for a minute.

Does pointing out the environmental practices of radical environmentalism’s chief spokesman -- facts that are in the public record, after all -- really warrant death threats?
Little did the [Tennessee Center ] staff anticipate that by posting the facts of the Gore family's bloated and certainly hypocritical energy consumption on their Web site, they would create an international firestorm, become the subject of death threats, vicious verbal abuse and almost see their Web site shut down because of the onslaught. According to the center's spokeswoman, Nicole Williams, a deluge of calls and e-mail have flowed in from all over the world, as far away as Germany, Australia, Turkey and Latin America.

Despite the fact that Mr. Gore in his movie hyperbolically calls climate change "the most important moral, ethical, spiritual and political issue humankind has ever faced," his sentiment has not spurred him or his family to change their lifestyle.

[This] is not the first time that Mr. Gore has displayed an astonishing gap between theory and practice. Who can forget the image of Mr. Gore floating beatifically in a canoe in New Hampshire in the 2000 election? Inquiries by an enterprising reporter for The Times uncovered that the river had to be dammed by the U.S. Park Service to raise the water table, which produced enough draft to float Mr. Gore's boat, so to speak.

Mr. Gore claims that it does not matter how much energy he burns because he buys Carbon Emission Offsets, a concept that used to be popular with the right and now has been taken up by Mr. Gore and friends. It means that wealthy consumers like Mr. Gore pay a fee to splurge, which is then invested in reducing carbon emissions in the developing world, allegedly a zero-sum game. Mr. Gore's money stays in the family, though. The company he deals with is called Generation Investment Management, LLP. Based in London and Washington, its chairman and founding partner is none other than Al Gore.

"I think of carbon offsets as 'indulgences,' " says Ms. Williams of the Tennessee Center for Public Policy Research, referring to the practice of the medieval Catholic Church selling the forgiveness of sins. What we need in environmental affairs, perhaps, is a reformation that will upend the orthodoxy and bring people back to their senses.
RELATED
PETA: Al Gore "Encouraging Bad Science and Making Bad Policy"
Update: Al Gore - Do As I Say, Not As I Do

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The Decline and Fall of Western Civ for 8 Mar.

The Decline and Fall of Western Civ.: Barbarians have Crashed the Gate
It's the end of the world as we know it...

  • NOAA reports the average temperature in February 2007 was 32.9 F. This was -1.8 F cooler than the 1901-2000 (20th century) average, the 34th coolest February in 113 years. The temperature trend for the period of record (1895 to present) is 0.3 degrees Fahrenheit per decade. Details.

  • In other news conflicting with the so-called global consensus on catastrophic climate change, AFP reports natural and man-made disasters caused a relatively light 48.8 billion dollars (37.2 billion euros) in economic losses last year, one-third of which was covered by insurance, the re-insurer Swiss Re said Thursday.

    The world's largest reinsurance firm said in a study that the overall economic losses were below the long term trend.

  • Trying to hitch a ride on the crisis change train, Sports Illustrated goes green. As global warming changes the planet, it is changing the sports world. To counter the looming environmental crisis, surprising and innovative ideas are already helping sports adapt.

    The next time a ball game gets rained out during the September stretch run, you can curse the momentary worthlessness of those tickets in your pocket. Or you can wonder why it got rained out -- and ask yourself why practice had to be called off last summer on a day when there wasn't a cloud in the sky; and why that Gulf Coast wharf where you used to reel in mackerel and flounder no longer exists; and why it's been more than one winter since you pulled those titanium skis out of the garage.

    Global warming is not coming; it is here.
    Right.

  • Homeland Security officials are testing a super-snoop computer system that sifts through personal information on U.S. citizens to detect possible terrorist attacks, prompting concerns from lawmakers who have called for investigations, reports the Washington Times.

  • The Associated Press and the Washington Post report, in a direct challenge to President Bush, House Democrats unveiled legislation Thursday requiring the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Iraq by the fall of next year.

    Within an hour of Pelosi's news conference, House Republican Leader John Boehner attacked the measure. He said Democrats were proposing legislation that amounted to "establishing and telegraphing to our enemy a timetable" that would result in failure of the U.S. military mission in Iraq.

    "Gen. (David) Petraeus should be the one making the decisions on what happens on the ground in Iraq, not Nancy Pelosi or John Murtha," the Ohio Republican added. Murtha, a Pennsylvania Democrat, has been heavily involved in crafting legislation designed to end U.S., participation in the war.

    The measure emerged from days of private talks among Democrats following the collapse of Rep. John Murtha's original proposal, which would have required the Pentagon to meet readiness and training standards without the possibility of a waiver.

    Murtha, D-Pa., and chairman of a House Appropriations military subcommittee, said its implementation would have starved the war effort of troops because the Pentagon would not have been able to find enough fully rested, trained and equipped units to meet its needs.

    Several moderate Democrats spoke out against it, though. And Republicans sharply attacked it as the abandonment of troops already in the war zone.
    AFP reports President Bush would veto the legislation calling for a withdrawal of US troops from Iraq by late 2008, the White House said Thursday.

  • Earlier today I reported that John Edwards decided to to cut and run from the Nevada debate hosted by Democrats and Fox News.

    Josh Gerstein, writing in the New York Sun, asks "Could Edwards become the first woman president?"

    The candidate being touted as a torchbearer for women is not Senator Clinton, but one of her former colleagues, John Edwards. At a rally near the University of California, Berkeley campus this week, a veteran of the abortion-rights movement, Kate Michelman, asked and answered the question she gets most frequently about her decision to back the male former senator from North Carolina.

  • Key House Democrats plan to insist the Pentagon shut down the detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and are contemplating the relocation of many of the 385 or so remaining terrorist suspects to military brigs along the East Coast -- including Quantico, Va., and Charleston, S.C, reports the Politico.

    A Democratic official involved in developing the Guantanamo strategy said the Democrats, who control the new Congress, expect Republicans to object to bringing the detainees onto U.S. soil because their attorneys would surely argue they were entitled to myriad new rights.

    The official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Democrats are planning hearings in April or May to "build a record" that closing Guantanamo would be beneficial and that it would be legal, as well as logistically feasible, to bring its detainees to the United States. The hearings would start with panels of lawyers, some of whom are convinced the plan is workable and some of whom represent detainees now at Guantanamo.

    A senior administration official, also speaking on the condition of anonymity, said he was puzzled by the Democrats' frequent discussion of closing Guantanamo.

    "While we want to bring these guys to trial as quickly as possible, where do Democrats believe we should keep Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the 9/11 plot?" the official asked. "Which American city will they choose to place America's most wanted terrorists?"

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Combat Camera: B-1B Lancers, Fine-Tuning the Fleet

A B-1B Lancer from the 34th Bomb Squadron takes off from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., March 06, for an operational readiness exercise mission. Base officials are preparing for a scheduled operational readiness inspection later this year. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Michael B. Keller)A B-1B Lancer from the 34th Bomb Squadron takes off from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., March 06, for an operational readiness exercise mission. Base officials are preparing for a scheduled operational readiness inspection later this year. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Michael B. Keller)

A B-1B Lancer from the 34th Bomb Squadron taxis out to the Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., runway March 06, for an operational readiness exercise mission. Base officials are preparing for a scheduled operational readiness inspection later this year. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Michael B. Keller)  A B-1B Lancer from the 34th Bomb Squadron taxis out to the Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., runway March 06, for an operational readiness exercise mission. Base officials are preparing for a scheduled operational readiness inspection later this year. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Michael B. Keller)

B-1B Lancers from the 34th Bomb Squadron taxi out to the Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., runway March 06 for an operational readiness exercise mission. Base officials are preparing for a scheduled operational readiness inspection later this year. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Michael B. Keller) B-1B Lancers from the 34th Bomb Squadron taxi out to the Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., runway March 06 for an operational readiness exercise mission. Base officials are preparing for a scheduled operational readiness inspection later this year. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Michael B. Keller)

A B-1B Lancer from the 34th Bomb Squadron is cleared to taxi out to the Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., runway March 06 for an operational readiness exercise mission. Base officials are preparing for a scheduled operational readiness inspection later this year. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Michael B. Keller) A B-1B Lancer from the 34th Bomb Squadron is cleared to taxi out to the Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., runway March 06 for an operational readiness exercise mission. Base officials are preparing for a scheduled operational readiness inspection later this year. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Michael B. Keller)

A B-1B Lancer from the 34th Bomb Squadron taxis out to the Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., runway March 06 for an operational readiness exercise mission. Base officials are preparing for a scheduled operational readiness inspection later this year. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Michael B. Keller)A B-1B Lancer from the 34th Bomb Squadron taxis out to the Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., runway March 06 for an operational readiness exercise mission. Base officials are preparing for a scheduled operational readiness inspection later this year. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Michael B. Keller)

A B-1B Lancer from the 34th Bomb Squadron taxis out to the Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., runway March 06 for an operational readiness exercise mission. Base officials are preparing for a scheduled operational readiness inspection later this year. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Michael B. Keller)  A B-1B Lancer from the 34th Bomb Squadron taxis out to the Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., runway March 06 for an operational readiness exercise mission. Base officials are preparing for a scheduled operational readiness inspection later this year. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Michael B. Keller)

A B-1B Lancer from the 34th Bomb Squadron takes off from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., March 06 for an operational readiness exercise mission. Base officials are preparing for a scheduled operational readiness inspection later this year. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Michael B. Keller) A B-1B Lancer from the 34th Bomb Squadron takes off from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., March 06 for an operational readiness exercise mission. Base officials are preparing for a scheduled operational readiness inspection later this year. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Michael B. Keller)

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Combat Camera: Pre-Commissioning Unit New Orleans (LPD 18)

NEW ORLEANS, La. (March 5, 2007) - Pre-Commissioning Unit New Orleans (LPD 18) transits down the Mississippi River toward her namesake city. The ship will be commissioned in a ceremony March 10, 2007. Throughout the week, Sailors and Marines will provide New Orleans residents and visitors with a unique look at the second San Antonio-class ship. The San Antonio-class will functionally replace over 41 ships (LPD 4, LSD 36, LKA 113 and LST 1179 classes of amphibious ships) providing the Navy and Marine Corps with modern sea-based platforms. U.S. Navy photo by (RELEASED) NEW ORLEANS, La. (March 5, 2007) - Pre-Commissioning Unit New Orleans (LPD 18) transits down the Mississippi River toward her namesake city. The ship will be commissioned in a ceremony March 10, 2007. Throughout the week, Sailors and Marines will provide New Orleans residents and visitors with a unique look at the second San Antonio-class ship. The San Antonio-class will functionally replace over 41 ships (LPD 4, LSD 36, LKA 113 and LST 1179 classes of amphibious ships) providing the Navy and Marine Corps with modern sea-based platforms. U.S. Navy photo by (RELEASED)

NEW ORLEANS (March 5, 2007) - Pre-Commissioning Unit New Orleans (LPD 18) leaves Avondale Shipyard and transits underneath the Huey P. Long Bridge on the Mississippi River toward her commissioning site in New Orleans. The ship is scheduled to be commissioned in a ceremony March 10, 2007. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Shawn Graham (RELEASED) NEW ORLEANS (March 5, 2007) - Pre-Commissioning Unit New Orleans (LPD 18) leaves Avondale Shipyard and transits underneath the Huey P. Long Bridge on the Mississippi River toward her commissioning site in New Orleans. The ship is scheduled to be commissioned in a ceremony March 10, 2007. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Shawn Graham (RELEASED)

NEW ORLEANS (March 5, 2007) - Pre-Commissioning Unit New Orleans (LPD 18) leaves Avondale Shipyard and transits up the Mississippi River toward her commissioning site in New Orleans. The ship is scheduled to be commissioned in a ceremony March 10, 2007. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Shawn Graham (RELEASED) NEW ORLEANS (March 5, 2007) - Pre-Commissioning Unit New Orleans (LPD 18) leaves Avondale Shipyard and transits up the Mississippi River toward her commissioning site in New Orleans. The ship is scheduled to be commissioned in a ceremony March 10, 2007. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Shawn Graham (RELEASED)

NEW ORLEANS (March 5, 2007) - Pre-Commissioning Unit New Orleans (LPD 18) transits the Mississippi River toward her namesake city. The ship is scheduled to be commissioned in a ceremony March 10, 2007. Throughout the week, New Orleans residents and visitors will be offered a unique look at the second San Antonio-class ship. The San Antonio-class will functionally replace more than 41 ships (LPD 4, LSD 36, LKA 113 and LST 1179 classes of amphibious ships) and provide the Navy and Marine Corps with modern sea-based platforms. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kurt Eischen (RELEASED)NEW ORLEANS (March 5, 2007) - Pre-Commissioning Unit New Orleans (LPD 18) transits the Mississippi River toward her namesake city. The ship is scheduled to be commissioned in a ceremony March 10, 2007. Throughout the week, New Orleans residents and visitors will be offered a unique look at the second San Antonio-class ship. The San Antonio-class will functionally replace more than 41 ships (LPD 4, LSD 36, LKA 113 and LST 1179 classes of amphibious ships) and provide the Navy and Marine Corps with modern sea-based platforms. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kurt Eischen (RELEASED)

NEW ORLEANS (March 5, 2007) - Pre-Commissioning Unit New Orleans (LPD 18) transits under the Crescent City Connection Bridge, up the Mississippi River, toward her namesake city. The ship is scheduled to be commissioned in a ceremony March 10, 2007. Throughout the week, New Orleans residents and visitors will be offered a unique look at the second San Antonio-class ship. The San Antonio-class will functionally replace more than 41 ships (LPD 4, LSD 36, LKA 113 and LST 1179 classes of amphibious ships) and provide the Navy and Marine Corps with modern sea-based platforms. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kurt Eischen (RELEASED) NEW ORLEANS (March 5, 2007) - Pre-Commissioning Unit New Orleans (LPD 18) transits under the Crescent City Connection Bridge, up the Mississippi River, toward her namesake city. The ship is scheduled to be commissioned in a ceremony March 10, 2007. Throughout the week, New Orleans residents and visitors will be offered a unique look at the second San Antonio-class ship. The San Antonio-class will functionally replace more than 41 ships (LPD 4, LSD 36, LKA 113 and LST 1179 classes of amphibious ships) and provide the Navy and Marine Corps with modern sea-based platforms. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kurt Eischen (RELEASED)

NEW ORLEANS (March 5, 2007) - Pre-Commissioning Unit New Orleans (LPD 18) transits the Mississippi River toward her namesake city. The ship is scheduled to be commissioned in a ceremony March 10, 2007. Throughout the week, New Orleans residents and visitors will be offered a unique look at the second San Antonio-class ship. The San Antonio-class will functionally replace more than 41 ships (LPD 4, LSD 36, LKA 113 and LST 1179 classes of amphibious ships) and provide the Navy and Marine Corps with modern sea-based platforms. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kurt Eischen (RELEASED)NEW ORLEANS (March 5, 2007) - Pre-Commissioning Unit New Orleans (LPD 18) transits the Mississippi River toward her namesake city. The ship is scheduled to be commissioned in a ceremony March 10, 2007. Throughout the week, New Orleans residents and visitors will be offered a unique look at the second San Antonio-class ship. The San Antonio-class will functionally replace more than 41 ships (LPD 4, LSD 36, LKA 113 and LST 1179 classes of amphibious ships) and provide the Navy and Marine Corps with modern sea-based platforms. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kurt Eischen (RELEASED)

BELLE CHASSE, La. (March 7, 2007) - Staff Sgt. Robert Reynolds, Sgt. Harold Subia, and Sgt. Christopher Sepeda prepare to load a WWII era howitzer at the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans old airfield. The base provided the practice area to the Marines from the 14th Marine Regiment so they could prepare for the March 10th commissioning of the USS New Orleans (LPD-18.) U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class William Townsend (RELEASED) BELLE CHASSE, La. (March 7, 2007) - Staff Sgt. Robert Reynolds, Sgt. Harold Subia, and Sgt. Christopher Sepeda prepare to load a WWII era howitzer at the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans old airfield. The base provided the practice area to the Marines from the 14th Marine Regiment so they could prepare for the March 10th commissioning of the USS New Orleans (LPD 18.) U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class William Townsend (RELEASED)

BELLE CHASSE, La. (March 7, 2007) - Marines assigned to the 14th Marine Regiment from Fort Worth, Texas, fire a dummy round from one of a battery of four World War II-era howitzers at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans. The howitzers are scheduled to be used for firing honors during the commissioning ceremony for USS New Orleans (LPD-18), March 10, 2007. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class William Townsend (RELEASED) BELLE CHASSE, La. (March 7, 2007) - Marines assigned to the 14th Marine Regiment from Fort Worth, Texas, fire a dummy round from one of a battery of four World War II-era howitzers at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans. The howitzers are scheduled to be used for firing honors during the commissioning ceremony for USS New Orleans (LPD 18), March 10, 2007. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class William Townsend (RELEASED)

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John Edwards to Cut and Run from Nevada Debate

John Edwards
He was for the debate before he knew Fox News was involved.

Open thread:

CBS News reports Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards won't participate in a debate co-hosted by Fox News and the Nevada Democratic Party, his campaign said, as party officials tried to settle a dust-up over their partnership with the cable network.

Edwards' campaign said the involvement of Fox News, which is often accused by liberals of having a conservative bias, was part of the decision to pass on the Aug. 14 debate in Reno.
The decision to duck the debate could be seen as a weakness. While Edwards appears to welcome forums where he feels safe from critical questions, ducking Fox News seems to indicate Edwards fears pointed questions designed to critically analyse his ability to perform as president.

MoveOn.org Civic Action says it has collected more than 260,000 signatures on a petition that calls the cable network a "mouthpiece for the Republican Party, not a legitimate news channel."

The two Democratic presidential front-runners, Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama, have not indicated whether they will attend the Nevada debate. Fox boss Rupert Murdoch threw a Senate fundraiser for Clinton, and is said to have a good relationship with the former first lady.
It's absurd to think that Fox news is anything other than a traditional news outfit. Folks whose center is on the left tend to classify even the most moderate views as being to the right. It is simple minded to assume Rupert is rooting for Hillary over Edwards.

If Edwards and far left Democrats feel so threatened by Fox News, what makes them believe they can handle extremists whose only goal in life is to kill Americans?

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Poll: Media Aiding in the Decline and Fall

The Decline and Fall of Western Civ.: Barbarians have Crashed the Gate
More evidence of the decline and fall of Western Civ.

Open thread:

According to a new survey, most Americans think culture is becoming more immoral, and they view the media -- both entertainment and news -- as prime culprits, reports the Washington Times.

If the media continue to "singularly promote" secular values while undermining orthodox faith and values, it will be very difficult to reverse America's moral decline, said the National Cultural Values Survey, released yesterday by the Culture and Media Institute (CMI) of the Media Research Center.

The survey reveals that 74 percent of Americans believe the nation is in moral decline, and that a culture war is indeed occurring in America.

"Americans who care about the nation's moral condition should insist that the media strive to more fairly represent all views, including those of the orthodox," the report stated.
The survey of 2,000 American adults shows that the nation's culture war is grounded in disagreements over religious issues, such as God's role in life and whether religious belief is essential for a good and moral life, CMI Director Robert H. Knight said.

  • 31 percent of Americans, regardless of political stripe, are "orthodox" -- faithful Bible-believers who strive to live by "God's teachings and principles," see "a clear set of right and wrong behaviors" in every issue and believe government should be allowed to follow religious principles.
  • 17 percent of Americans, again regardless of political affiliation, are at the "progressive" end of the religious spectrum -- many believe in God, but they strongly disagree that religion is "the most important factor" in forming their values or that religion is "the most essential ingredient" of a good, moral life. Progressives don't want the government to follow religious principles and don't believe that people "should always live by God's teachings and principles."
  • 46 percent of Americans who described themselves as "independents" -- do not fully identify with either of the other groups. However, they tend to align with the orthodox regarding belief in God, sexual morality and spiritual issues. They reject, for instance, progressive efforts to replace "Merry Christmas" with "Happy Holidays" -- but side with progressives about using personal principles, not "God's teachings," to make certain moral decisions.

The culture war, according to the CMI report, occurs because the "morally absolutist" orthodox Americans are fighting to uphold values such as honesty, personal responsibility, sexual restraint and "classical character virtues."

Progressives, with their secular views and "situational ethics," collide with the orthodox over some of these issues, and both groups work to attract independents to their side, the report stated. This makes independents the main battlefield in the culture war, it added.

"What angers religious Muslims is not the American Constitution but the scandalous sexual mores they see on American movies and television," he writes. "What disgusts them are not free elections but the sights of hundreds of homosexuals kissing each other and taking marriage vows. The person that horrifies them the most is not [free market philosopher] John Locke but Hillary Clinton."

One solution, Mr. D'Souza says, is for cultural conservatives to join with Muslims and others in condemning the global moral degeneracy that is produced by liberal values and work to halt the spread of such things.

"As conservatives, we should export our America ... and stop exporting the cultural left's America," he says.
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