Al Qaeda Claims Responsibility for Plane Attack; Bin Laden Releases Special Message

Not very surprising, except possibly to anybody except Janet Napolitano.

From Fox News/AP:

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has claimed responsibility for the attempted attack on a U.S. airliner on Christmas day, saying it was retaliation for a U.S. operation against the group in Yemen.

In a statement posted on the Internet, the group said 23-year-old Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab coordinated with members of the group.

In addition, a source tipped me off to a video by Osama Bin Laden who also claims responsibility.

Here are still shots from the video, along with a closed-captioned translation:

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Related update: Two of the four people who are suspected in planning the Christmas day bombing of the Northwest jet were reportedly released from Gitmo in 2007… so much for the “art rehabilitation program.” Yes, even the Bush administration took part in that idiocy.

But now the Obama administration is planning to release many Gitmo detainees and send them back to Yemen, which is now a hotbed of Al Qaeda activity. Are they this stupid? Don’t answer that.

Naked Truth About the Kennedys, Part 4,139 (Update: So Much for TMZ’s ‘Photo Experts’?)

The website TMZ is running a photo they claim has been examined and ruled authentic. The picture purports to have been taken in the mid 1950’s and shows JFK on a boat with a bunch of naked chicks:

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This part of the story oozes just enough Kennedy class to make me believe that the picture could be authentic:

The photo was allegedly taken during a two-week sailing trip in the Mediterranean that Kennedy, then a senator, took with his brother Ted and another senator. At the time of the trip, Kennedy’s pregnant wife Jackie was in hospital giving birth.

Yeah, that sounds about right.

And to think that, when my wife was in labor, I got yelled at just for leaving the delivery room to go to the bathroom!

Update: The photo in question might be from a 1967 Playboy shoot. If that’s the case, this picture will remain the most infamous Kennedy beach photo.

Obama: Best Television of the Decade?

Tom Shales from the Washington Post has a “Best TV of the Decade” piece in today’s paper, and Tom clearly likes different shows than I do. Barack Obama came in #8 on his list, and Shales even managed to get in an MSM libtard two-fer because he managed to squeeze in a shot at Bush while he was at it:

8. Barack Obama, a president as ideally suited for the new information age (the one that has supplanted the old information age) as his predecessor, George W. Bush, was ill-equipped. Also unlike Bush, Obama seemed to thrive under TV lights, and spent more time under them than any president to precede him.

I don’t disagree with that last part. As a matter of fact, Obama has spent so much time under television lights that it’s easy to forget that he used to be white.

Of course, Shales’ “best television of the decade” list makes a lot more sense when you notice that he put Rachel Maddow at #7. Both of Rachel’s viewers agree.

(h/t Newsbusters)

Blog Notes, Part Deux

If you click on a “comments” link, you’ll notice that the look is a little different. I’m working on importing all the old comments from Haloscan to the new service, but so far unsuccessfully. There are also social networking links at the bottom of each post, but I’m not sure I like how they look yet, so I might switch to something else. In any case, if you drag over any icon, they pop up and you can post a link to your account on Twitter, Facebook, etc.

As for the comments, if you fill in your name, web link, etc. the first time you comment, it should remember you for subsequent comments. The comments will remain “open” like they were before unless we run across a reason to put them on moderation. I’m still tweaking the features on the comments as well. We’re also on a new server, but you shouldn’t notice much of a difference — if anything it loads a little faster now.

I’m looking at some other stuff for the blog as well. Back to work I go…

Janet Napolitano: The Joycelyn Elders of National Security

I’m not a fan of Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano, but with the attempted bombing of the Northwest jet as it approached Detroit, Napolitano has made it more clear than ever that she either doesn’t get it, or refuses to.

Below is an interview Napolitano conducted with CNN, and she continually referred to the terrorist attack as an “incident” (it was a terrorist attack — simply because it didn’t succeed to the perp’s full intent shouldn’t downgrade it to an “incident”). But don’t forget, this is the woman who coined the phrase “man-caused disasters” instead of “terrorist attacks.”

The fact that Napolitano keeps saying this was a single incident and there’s “no evidence that this was part of a wider plot” should earn her walking papers, but it won’t. Of course this is part of a “wider plot.” Has she not been paying attention for the past couple of decades?

Candy Crowley didn’t ask Napolitano if this would lead to air travelers having to remove their pants for security screening, but maybe that’s in the works. After all, we have to take our shoes off now thanks to Richard Reid.

Napolitano reminds me of Joycelyn Elders — except in national security instead of the Surgeon General’s office. If only we could create a composite of these two to direct Homeland Security, maybe we could encourage potential man-caused disaster initiators to become so pre-occupied with masturbation that they’d be too busy to set off any more bombs. After all, idle hands are Al Qaeda’s workshop.

The headline on this story says “Napolitano talks terror attack,” but she didn’t — she talked “incident.”

Napolitano’s bottom line from what I can tell? The public shouldn’t be scared of air travel, because sometimes a bomber’s detonator fails, passengers are more attentive now and the DHS is on the job — but mostly because sometimes a bomber’s detonator fails:

At NRO, Jonah Goldberg writes that Napolitano should be fired. I’m afraid to go as far as Jonah. Not because I don’t think Napolitano should be replaced, but, due to the nature of the people in charge in Washington DC, I’m afraid of who she’d be replaced by. I mean, Van Jones is still looking for another job.

AC/DC Concert Isn’t For the Birds, Plus Some Blog Notes

As the authorities try to sort out how a would-be terrorist who claims to be working for Al Qaeda ended up being able to get explosives on a jet bound for Detroit — which will no doubt delay plenty of air travelers on their way home from Christmas — I’ve been working on some new goodies for the blog, which should be in place hopefully by early next week or before.

I’m going to change the comments mechanism to something a little more interactive and easy to use as far as creating links, replying to specific comments, etc. I’m still looking at some of the comment tool options out there (Intense Debate, DISQUS, etc). What I’m kind of looking for is something that will allow commenters to have what amounts to their own mini-blog within the blog — if possible. If anybody has any recommendations, I’ll check ’em out. Haloscan is too limiting and it’s time to change. Haloscan allows the exporting of all the comments that have ever been made here, so I’ll be able to import them into the new system, whatever that will be, so all the old comments will be saved.

I’m also going to install and “email this post” widget as well as something that will allow readers to immediately Facebook or Twitter posts. I’m looking at a couple other thing to spruce up the blog with as well. The core of the site won’t change much, but I’d like to kick off the new year with a more interactive and user-friendly blog.

While this is going on, here’s a story you might find funny:

AUSSIE rockers AC/DC could have to cancel a sold-out concert because their big sound poses a danger to rare birds.

Animal rights campaigners are threatening legal action if the veteran band goes ahead with a gig planned for Wels airport in Austria in May.

Heaven forbid those birds that live at airports be exposed to loud noises.

Semi on-topic bonus quote from Dennis Miller: “Do you think birds that live at airports have a bad self image? I believe it was Freud who first advanced the theory of fuselage envy.”

Pope Knocked Down By Serial Knocker Downer

Merry Christmas everybody!

I ran across this cell phone video last night of Pope Benedict XVI arriving at St. Peter’s Basilica for Christmas Eve mass. A woman jumped the ropes and knocked him down. The Pope is said to be okay, but French Cardinal Roger Etchegaray apparently broke his hip in the fall.

The woman is obviously unstable, but the weird thing is that knocking the Pope down seems to be an annual tradition with her.

As of now I only know two things about this woman: 1) this is the second time she’s done this, and 2) she doesn’t play defense for the Detroit Lions — as evidenced by the fact that the Pope didn’t easily slip the tackle and take it to the house:

For Your Christmas Eve Viewing Pleasure

I’ll be spending the rest of the day with friends and family, and I hope you get a chance to do the same.

In the meantime, enjoy the MST3K characters deservedly mocking one of the worst Christmas movies of all time, “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.”

The full-length movie is almost an hour and a half long (if you’re really into self-masochism, you can watch it here), but fortunately this one is edited down to ten minutes:

This Morning, Harry Reid Was Against Obamacare Before He Was For It

Damn. Obamacare was this close to being voted down thanks to… Harry Reid?:

At 7:16 a.m., the Senate passed on a 60-39 party line vote a sweeping health care bill that will tighten insurance regulations, provide insurance for 31 million more Americans and cost $871 billion over the next decade.
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Clearly exhausted, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid mistakenly voted no before changing his vote to yes.

After realizing he’d voted “no,” Reid then took advantage of the opportunity and bribed himself into voting “yes.”

Barbara Boxer accidentally voted “Pat Buchanan” before also changing her vote to “yes.”