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Hugh Hewitt Book Club

Steyn and The Los Angeles Times

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After paragraphs of grin and grimace-inducing prose, Mark Steyn closes with blow to the chest:

This last week is unbecoming of a mature democracy. In the wider world, America can survive being the Great Sa- tan, but not the Great Laughingstock.

How low can MSM go?

How about a front-page, above-the-fold Los Angeles Times’ story about Mark Foley having sex with a 21 year old former page who told his story on the condition that he not be identified:

A former House page says he had sex with then-Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.) after receiving explicit e-mails in which the congressman described assessing the sexual orientation and physical attributes of underage pages but waiting until later to make direct advances.

The former page, who agreed to discuss his relationship with Foley with the Los Angeles Times on the condition that he not be identified, said his electronic correspondence with Foley began after he finished the respected Capitol Hill page program for high school juniors. His sexual encounter was in the fall of 2000, he said. At the time, he was 21 and a graduate of a rural Northeastern college.

“I always knew you were a player but I don’t fool around with pages,” declared one instant message from Maf54, a screen name Foley used in exchanges that have become public involving male former pages.

Does this story advance the Foley story at all?  Or does it simply telegraph MSM decision to report sexual liasons between Congresspeople and staff, present or former, above the age of consent? Does the paper think it is scandalous that a middle age man is bedding a young adult man?

This bizarre story has jumped the shark and will turn decisively against MSM and the left this week.


All Politics Local? So Is Voter Fraud.

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If so, Democrats in Missouri, Tennessee and Washington State had very bad weeks last week.

Three Democratic senate candidates, three bad weeks.

“ACORN does not commit voter fraud,” national president Maude Hurd said in a statement Monday.

Actually, it does.  Often.  On behalf of Democrats. And it is doing so in Missouri for Claire McCaskill, the prat-fall plagued Democratic nominee who,but for the always energetic cheats in and around St. Louis, would not be a serious contender in November.  Missouri Democrats of course oppose efforts to clean-up their long-running act.

Jim Talent will win, but he’s got to deploy an army of lawyers to assure that a dirty vote doesn’t make it close. You can help with a contribution to his campaign today.

Nasrallah’s Folly

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The Washington Post’s Anthony Shadid reconstructs the Hezbollah’s miscalculations which led to the Israel-Hezbollah war.

Key graphs, on a June 29 bewteen the leaders of most of Lebanon’s many factions:

“I can reach Haifa and beyond Haifa,” Nasrallah was quoted as answering them, according to Marwan Hamadeh, the telecommunications minister and a critic of Hezbollah who took part in the dialogue. Israel would not risk a Hezbollah missile attack, Nasrallah added, which could strike its petrochemical industry and the northern third of the country, including some of its most populated regions.

At the time, much of the talk was hypothetical. Participants were put at ease by what they took as Nasrallah’s reassurance that nothing would disrupt the crucial tourist season, one of the Mediterranean country’s lone patches of economic vitality. “He said this summer would be a quiet summer,” Hamadeh recalled. “He said all the actions they would do would be reminders of their presence.”

But almost as a footnote in Nasrallah’s speech was a reiteration of a promise he had made many times before: the need to capture Israeli soldiers as leverage to win the release of three Lebanese prisoners. Hezbollah had tried before, in November 2005.

“He didn’t say it to take approval,” said Boutros Harb, a member of parliament, who sat three seats away from Nasrallah. Harb flicked his wrist in a flippant gesture. “He mentioned it like you’d write in the margins of a text.”

“It didn’t draw the attention of anyone at all.”

Given the sort of blunder Nasrallah made and its consequences, imagine what will follow when his sponsors in Iran make a similar miscalculation about Israel or the West?


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