Operation ‘Swarmer’ — ‘Swonderful???

AP photoThe largest air assault on occupied Iraq since the invasion three years ago.

Proof for one and all, that our flag is still there. Quickly, the story of the new Iraqi parliament being sworn in without hardly looking each other in the eye, much less resembling anything government-like, is overshadowed.

Some write today that the war in Iraq is still a good idea. President Bush released his new national security strategy (.pdf) which suggests a second war — with Iran — looms in the near future. John Bolton, our man at the UN, is already ramping up war rhetoric to the assembly. Will we ever learn?

Daily Illini Editor Fired

As he largely expected, Daily Illini editor-in-chief Acton Gorton was fired last night for his role in publishing the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons last month. Quite pathetic that a public university would take such drastic action.

Gorton told AP:

“If I can be fired, what will other students think who maybe want to challenge the status quo?” […] “This is a bad precedent.”

Is this any way to pretend nothing ever happened or is it just an example of bad bureacracy?

ANTI-social networking sites

TechCrunch points to two much-needed services in the over-congested world of online-networking:

Isolatr isn’t a real service, but it should be. Sean Bonner of Metroblogging created the site, which promises to “help you find where other people aren’t”. For bonus content, check out the FAQs (every answer is “no”). I love the attention to detail, like calling it a beta service, leaving the “e” out of the name and adding fake quotes from Doc Searls and Xeni Jardin.

Chris Pirillo has been asking for something like this (but real) for ages. Valleywag has more.

Bryant Choung’s Snubster is an actual, live service. It helps you notify people, and the world, that you are pissed off at someone. The “On Notice” feature tells them that they have committed an “infraction” and are in a suspension period. If they really screw up, you can state that they are “Dead to Me”. Each user has a profile (example) where they can get into the juicy details. The only question I have is, why is there an “e” before the “r” in the snubster name?

Add to this list, Memeorandum‘s just-launched gossip-tracking buzzblog WeSmirch.

Obama Guns Down Cheney, Bush in Jokefest

All reports from the D.C. Press Corps is that the Saturday night’s annual roast at the Gridiron Club produced some of the funniest remarks of the year from Bush, Cheney and the White House All Stars (considering, of course, only those remarks intended to be funny).

But, as a native Illinoisian, I can’t pass up this opportunity to reprint some of the classic lines delivered by freshman Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL), as gleaned from Chicago Tribune White House reporter and blogger Mark Silva.

I’ll print some highlights, but do yourself a favor and read the entire wrap.Condoleezza Rice strums a charango embossed with a coca leaf presented to her by Evo Morales

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was absent this year, as she was in South America to get up to speed with newly elected Bolivian President and former coca farmer Evo Morales en route to the swearing-in ceremony for Chilean President Michele Bachelet.

None of this kept Obama from throwing a bone at Rice:

“You know, the president promised a muscular foreign policy. And anyone who’s seen the Condi Rice workout tapes knows he means business.”

Cheney, as could be expected, was railed upon by everyone, including his boss protege, Dubya. But Barack was relentless:

“The truth is, I’m terrified to be here. Not because you’re such a tough audience, but because they’re serving drinks. I’m standing about 30 yards from the vice president, and I’m a lawyer. The only thing that could make this more dangerous is if he considered me a friend.

“Mr. vice president, I know you came here expecting to be a target, which, it turns out, may prove easier for you than shooting at one,” […] “You’ve taught us a valuable lesson. “Aim higher.”

Kind Tribune blogger Silva did not stop there, reproducing Obama’s further rips on Dick and Lynne.

Before launching into song (“If I Only Had McCain” – recounting the recent tension reported in the press between himself and the Republican Senator from Arizona, Obama referenced the Grammy he won in February:

“I’ll tell you, that Grammy was a big surprise. I thought, for sure Jack Abramoff would win for his rendition of ‘It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp.'”

Three 6 Mafia with Jack Abramoff

Ironically, Bush found much humor in this line, eliciting a “big belly laugh” Silva noted parenthetically, despite the president’s contention that he doesn’t even know who Abramoff is.

The Sun-Times has an equally expansive report in their blog. For more B-Rock, see the transcript or video from Sunday’s lame interview by Face the Nation’s Bob Schieffer.