Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Falling Like Dominos

Well, it's an unconfirmed report, but if it turns out to be accurate then the successor to Abu al Zarqawi, who was sent packing to his 72 virgins by a laser guided munition last June, seems to have lasted all of eleven months in office before being introduced to the Grim Reaper by Sunni militiamen who are tired of al Qaeda's heavy-handed ways.

Abu Ayyad al-Masri, who took over the reins of al Qaeda shortly after al-Zarqawi found he had exhausted all of his good luck last June, was believed to have been killed in a battle between al Qaeda and Sunni militia who want al-Qaeda out of Iraq.

The short tenure of the leaders of al Qaeda in Iraq gives new meaning to the concept of term limits. We suggest that when al-Masri's successor takes over, if indeed al-Masri is dead, the first thing he should do is appoint his successor.


Re: For Bibliophiles

Several respondents commented on our post titled For Bibliophiles. Their comments are good reading and can be found on the April Feedback page.


Di Fi's Non-Scandal

If Senator Dianne Feinstein were a Republican she'd be on her way to the slammer, but since she's a Democrat, well, it seems no one can be bothered by the evidence of her, ah, lapses in judgment:

The problems stem from her subcommittee activities from 2001 to late 2005, when she quit. During that period the public record suggests she knowingly took part in decisions that eventually put millions of dollars into her husband's pocket - the classic conflict of interest that exploited her position and power to channel money to her husband's companies.

In other words, it appears Sen. Feinstein was up to her ears in the same sort of shenanigans that landed California Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R) in the slammer. Indeed, it may be that the primary difference between the two is basically that Cunningham was a minor leaguer and a lot dumber than his state's senior senator.

Melanie Sloan, the executive director of Citizens for Responsible Ethics in Washington, or CREW, usually focuses on the ethical lapses of Republicans and conservatives, but even she is appalled at the way Sen. Feinstein has abused her position. Sloan told a California reporter earlier this month that while"there are a number of members of Congress with conflicts of interest ... because of the amount of money involved, Feinstein's conflict of interest is an order of magnitude greater than those conflicts."

And the director of the Project on Government Oversight who examined the evidence of wrongdoing assembled by California writer Peter Byrne told him that "the paper trail showing Senator Feinstein's conflict of interest is irrefutable."

You can read the sordid details at the link. Here's how the story ends, probably in more ways than one:

In spite of the blatant appearance of corruption, no major publication has picked up on the story, the Senate Ethics Committee has reportedly let her slip by, and she is now chairing the Senate Rules Committee, which puts her in charge of making sure her colleagues act ethically and avoid the sorts of conflicts of interest with which she is personally and so obviously familiar.

When you're a liberal in Washington, evidently, the world is your oyster and taxpayers' dollars are yours for the taking. Meanwhile, our vigilant media is busy trying to ferret out the really important stuff like whether any Republican bigwigs' telephone numbers are on the "D.C. Madam's" rolodex.