Under the Radar Saturday

Several interesting stories being filed today.

AP: A U.S. contractor was found mysteriously dead, sickness his laptop stolen, and Ahmed Chalabi mentioned among others in the article. Dale Stoffel apparently complained — a big no-no.

AFP: U.S. General John Abizaid states that forces have been cut by up to 20 percent in teh past couple months.

AP: The four members of the Christian Peacemaker Team, who have been kidnapped in IRaq for for over two months, appeared once again on Al-Jazeera, pleaing for their release. The group said it was their “last chance” for freedom from their captors, from the previously unknown Swords of Righteousness Brigade.

Reuters: A Sunni academic who condemned the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq and was often a commentator on both Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya television was killed today.

Serious action is finally being taken today to push for a filibuster blocking the nomination of Samuel Alito. A filibuster would require 41 votes from senate and there are 44 democrats. Grab a hold of the activism protruding from the left blogosphere here, here, here, and here.

Two Op-Eds I Read

Saturday is always the bonus day for guest op-ed contributors at the nation’s finest rags. Today is no exception.

I find little fault with historian Joseph J. Ellis’ “Finding a Place for 9/11 in American History.” In it, Ellis berates the Bush Administration for putting 9/11 on a pedestal (inherently satisfyingn the terrorists) although it hardly stands in Ellis’ “top tier” of events thath were legitimate threats to American security.

He also debunks the Patriot Act as a farcical measure with little historical relevance on par with the Alien andn Sedition Acts, and the short-lived proliferation of McCarthyism.

It’s an eyebrow-raiser to read; The New York Times definitely sways out of its WMD-hunting non-gov’t-bashing comfort zone. Robert Schlesinger dissects it at HuffPo andn Ranting Prof, while not shocked, delves into the “analytical smoke and mirrors.” Much praise for Professor Ellis aside, Right Wingn Nut House will not stand for this historical contextualization of 9/11.
Even farther out, is? Beshara Doumani’s piece in Ssaturday’s L.A. Times titled: “Hamas in Charge.” In it, Doumani, author of Rediscovering Palestine lays theh blame squarely on Israel for the faltering Oslo agreement. I have heard this argument before and do not entirely disagree that Israel had a role in the eventual success, if not in the creation of Hamas. However, Doumani’s analysis reads as qwuite extreme, especially on the pages of the L.A. Times with its conclusion: ” Still, the Hamas victory will make it much easier for Israel to sell the ‘no partner for peace’ line.”

I am on the hunt for further analyses of this piecein the blogosphere and encourage discussion (as always) in the comments section below.

Adding to this The Texas Observer‘s Ronny Dugger’s call to “Impeach or Indict Bush or Cheney” (hat tip: MBlog)

State of the Union Preview

presented by the Upright Citizens Brigade, LA.

funny stuff. (watch).

UPDATE: From Radio Open Source, your invite to Blogs of the Union (If you don’t have a blog, feel free to write yours here):

Write your State of the Union ? a paragraph, a post, your description of how America?s doing ? and include somewhere the acronym ?BOTU.? Leave a link in the comment thread below, or we?ll find it on Technorati.

Words and Phrases you may not use:
Bush, Administration, Iraq, Liberal, Conservative, Progressive, Republican, Democrat, FISA, Abramoff, Culture of Corruption, Culture of Life, Cultural Inheritance, Inheritance Tax, Treason, Kerry, Rove, Israel, Palestine, Sunni, Shia, Kurd, Shari?a, Gore, 2000, 2004, 2006, 2008, MSM, CIA, FBI, Dean, James Frey, Kanye West, Katrina, Fox, Liberal Bias, Mehlman, Delay, Unemployment, Interest Rates, Housing Starts, Schwarzenegger, Kennedy, Adjustable-Rate Mortgage, Red State, Blue State, Shriver, Darwin, Cindy Sheehan, Freedom on the March, Cut and Run, Boots on the Ground, Michelle Malkin, Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton, Flyover States, East-Coast Elite, Middle America, the American People or Synergy.

For further shits ?n? giggles, truthout presents the Bush Speech Drinking Game:

Drink a beer after every lie. Drink a beer every time Bush says ?freedom,? or talks about September 11 as if those attacks had anything to do with Iraq. Drink two beers after every wildly unrealistic assessment that has no basis in fact. Drink a beer and a shot every time he says ?Nukular.? Two beers, a shot and a kick to the head every time he thanks the troops around him for the sacrifices ?we? know must be made.