Albie Casiño attending Star Magic Ball 2011 this Sep. 3

LATEST UPDATE: Here's Albie Casino at the Star Magic Ball 2011, pictured with new Kapamilya Paulo Avelino. (courtesy of @EricJohnSalut and @chokoleiTwits)

Star Magic Ball 2011 photo

Controversial teen actor Albie Casiño will still be part of the 5th Star Magic Ball this coming Saturday, September 3, 2011.

Albie's mom Rina Casiño herself confirmed it on Twitter last Tuesday that Albie will be attending the Star Magic Ball 2011 and in fact, he has been rehearsing already for the cotillion to be participated in by selected Star Magic talents.

Mrs. Casiño didn't reveal yet who's going to be Albie's date this Saturday (definitely it's not Kathryn Bernardo nor Andi Eigenmann haha).

She also revealed that Albie has been busy shooting a new movie entitled "Aswang" under Regal Films.

Aside from Albie, "Aswang" also stars Lovi Poe, Paulo Avelino, Jillian Ward, Joem Bascon, Niña Jose, Marc Abaya and Precious Lara Quigaman.

The movie is set for Halloween 2011 release.

This month of September is actually loaded with lots of Albie aside from attending the Star Magic Ball and shooting for a new movie.

He's also among Candy Magazine's 100 Cuties for 2011, as featured on its September 2011 issue and he's also joining the Candy Cuties Fair on September 24.

Albie also has a strong chance of ranking on top of Candy's Celeb Cuties for 2011 this October and a new teleserye is a possibility this last quarter of the year.

Despite the controversies, which led to his removal from the cast of "Way Back Home" movie and not being included in "Growing Up" (which premieres this Sunday, September 4), fans need not worry 'coz Albie is not going nowhere.

Albie is here to stay and definitely needs continuous support from the fans.

Fresh-Faced Reporters ... You Think?

I'm looking at this New York Times story, which has a pictures of Lindsey Boerma of National Journal, and I'm thinking this young lady might as well be sitting in one of my American government classes. Shoot, she looks like she could be hanging out at the mall with my oldest son on the weekends! Makes you kinda get nostalgic for David Broder. Sheesh!

See: "Covering 2012, Youths on the Bus."
For decades, campaign buses were populated by hotshots, some of whom covered politics for decades, from Walter Mears to David S. Broder to Jules Witcover. It was a glamorous club, captured and skewered in Timothy Crouse’s best-selling “The Boys on the Bus,” about the 1972 campaign.

Now, more and more, because of budget cutbacks, those once coveted jobs are being filled by brand new journalists at a fraction of the salary. It is not so glamorous anymore.

For these reporters the 2012 campaign is both the assignment of a lifetime and the kind of experience that is tying their stomachs in knots. Three of them are just out of college. One just got engaged. And none of them seem quite sure what to expect from more than a year on the road.

“We hear all this stuff, all this advice,” said Rebecca Kaplan, 23, who is giving up her apartment in Washington’s Chinatown for the duration of the campaign. “But I don’t think we’ll fully realize what’s going on until we get out there.”
And see The Other McCain, "A Special Kind of Stupid." (At Memeorandum).

Libyan National Transitional Council

That's the first I've seen of that term, at the description from this video at Telegraph UK:

Also, "Libya: Saif al-Islam Gaddafi vows to continue the war and retake Tripoli."

See also New York Times, "Son Denies Rebels’ Claim That Qaddafi Is Cornered":
TRIPOLI, Libya — A top official of Libya’s transitional government said Wednesday that its fighters had cornered Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi in a desert redoubt 150 miles from the capital and were exhorting him to give up, in what would bring a sense of finality to the prolonged uprising that routed him and his family from Tripoli a week ago.

But one of Colonel Qaddafi’s fugitive sons, Seif al-Islam el-Qaddafi, threw a new if improbable taunt at the rebels even as they said they had closed in on his father, vowing in an audio statement that loyalists would never surrender and insisting that “victory will be near.”

“Our leadership is fine,” he said in the statement broadcast on the Al Rai television channel of Syria and other Arab broadcasting outlets. “We are drinking tea and coffee.”

Seif al-Islam gave no indication in the statement of his precise whereabouts except that he was in a Tripoli suburb, and it was not clear if his remarks had been prerecorded. But the statement itself raised the possibility of more fighting and underscored the ability of the Qaddafis to frustrate the alliance of rebel forces that has become the effective government of Libya.
Maybe folks should hold off on this talk of a "transitional council." You gotta get that old council out before you can transition a new one.

There Are No Coincidences in Presidential Politics

From Chris Cillizza, at Washington Post, "Coincidences don’t happen in presidential politics. Ever" (via Memeorandum):

There are no coincidences in presidential politics.

Strategists spend hours poring over every word a president utters, every policy position he takes and every state he visits, a level of attention to detail that makes happenstance virtually nonexistent.

And so, when the White House announced today that President Obama would deliver his much-anticipated jobs speech on Sept. 7 at 8 pm — the exact same day and time that the 2012 Republican candidates are scheduled to debate in California — the idea that the timing was purely coincidental was, well, far-fetched.

It’s clear that this White House saw an opportunity to drive a major — and direct — contrast between President Obama and his potential Republican rivals and took it.
Keep reading.

Petty and small sounds about right.

Also at Lonely Conservative, "Obama Calls for Joint Session of Congress for New Economic Plan Speech, On Same Night as GOP Debate," and Legal Insurrection, "Just say No to Obama Joint Session of Congress campaign speech."

UPDATE: At NYT, "Obama Reschedules Economy Speech at Boehner’s Request":
President Obama acquiesced to a request from Speaker John A. Boehner on Wednesday to move the date of his proposed address to a joint session of Congress to Thursday Sept. 8, after Mr. Boehner all but rejected Mr. Obama’s request to speak next Wednesday.


Solyndra, the Northern California solar panel manufacturer, has filed for bankruptcy and will cease business operation. The firm received $535 million from the Obama administration's Energy Department as part of the big stimulus push during the first year of the Obama interregnum. See LAT, "Solar panel firm Solyndra to cease operations," and Pirate's Cove, "Solyndra, Maker Of Solar Panels, Ceases Operations, Lays Off 1,110."

And from Ed Morrissey, "Solyndra shuts its doors" (at Memeorandum):

At one time, Solyndra was the poster child for Barack Obama’s promise of a green-jobs explosion. Today, the solar-energy technology manufacturer a poster child for the failure of his stimulus, his green-jobs push, and social engineering in general. Solyndra abruptly shut its doors today and declared bankruptcy, two years after getting over a half-billion dollars from the Obama administration’s Porkulus...

Solyndra's failure is a devastating indictment against President Barack Obama and his administration's disastrous social engineering of industrial economics. I can't wait to see campaign ads next year featuring Obama touring Solyndra with BANKRUPT overlaid on screen, along with a voice-over hammering the sheer stupidity of the "green jobs" agenda.

Democrat Congressional Leadership Has No Comment on Rep. Andre Carson's 'Hanging on a Tree' Allegations Against the Tea Party

At Washington Examiner, "Reid, Pelosi silent on 'Jim Crow' accusations" (via Memeorandum).

Democratic Congressional leadership remains silent about a Democratic congressman's claim that Tea Party members of Congress would "like to see [black Americans] hanging on a tree."

The top-ranking Democrats in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives - Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., Sen. Dick Durbin, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., - have not responded to The Washington Examiner's requests for comment on this issue. They have not supported or contradicted, or even acknowledged, the accusation leveled by Rep. Andre Carson, D-Ind., that their Tea Party colleagues in Congress would like to see Carson murdered.

Repeated efforts to contact Minority Leader Pelosi about her caucus-member's claim produced no response, except that The Examiner was told that her press secretary would respond "at his discretion."
Well, they want us to go "straight to Hell," so I'm not surprised.

Also at The Blog Prof, "The 'New Civility'(Cont'd): Congressional Black Caucus: Racist Tea Party Wants Black Americans ‘Hanging On a Tree’."

Iglot pilot scores high ratings

GMA 7's "Iglot" made a strong debut on primetime last Monday, August 29, 2011 based on rating figures released by Kantar Media - TNS and AGB Nielsen.

A scene from 'Iglot': Milkcah Wynne Nacion as Luningning and Ms. Claudine Barretto as Mariella

"Iglot", which stars mostly ex-Kapamilya talents such as Claudine Barretto, Jolina Magdangal, Marvin Agustin, Pauleen Luna, Patrick Garcia and Luis Alandy, scored a pilot rating of 20.5% nationwide (Kantar Media) and 12.6% in Mega Manila (AGB Nielsen).

It was not the most-watched program last Monday but it was able to beat ABS-CBN's "100 Days To Heaven" in Mega Manila and pull up the (already high) ratings of 'Amaya' which ranked #1 last Monday, from being 4th only last Friday.


August 29, Monday (Daytime)

1. Eat Bulaga! (GMA-7) - 23.6%

2. Kapuso Movie Festival: Dunkin Donato (GMA-7) - 16.4%

3. Slam Dunk (GMA-7) - 15%

4. Sisid (GMA-7) - 14.9%

5. Sinner Or Saint (GMA-7) - 14.4%

6. Pahiram ng Isang Ina (GMA-7) - 13.6%

7. One Piece (GMA-7) - 13.5%

8. Showtime (ABS-CBN) - 13%

9. Reputasyon (ABS-CBN) - 12.4%

10. The Fierce Wife (ABS-CBN) - 12.3%

August 29, Monday (Primetime)

1. 100 Days To Heaven (ABS-CBN) - 31%

2. My Binondo Girl (ABS-CBN) - 28.2%

3. TV Patrol (ABS-CBN) - 28%

4. Amaya (GMA-7) - 24.7%

5. Guns And Roses (ABS-CBN) - 24.3%

6. Maria La Del Barrio (ABS-CBN) - 21%

7. Munting Heredera (GMA-7) - 20.7%

8. Iglot (GMA-7) - 20.5% pilot

9. 24 Oras (GMA-7) - 18.9%

10. The Biggest Loser: Pinoy Edition (ABS-CBN) - 15.4%

August 30, Tuesday (Daytime)

1. Eat Bulaga! (GMA-7) - 23.2%

2. Sisid (GMA-7) - 16.2%

3. Slam Dunk (GMA-7) - 15.3%

4. Sinner Or Saint (GMA-7) - 15.2%

5. Showtime (ABS-CBN) - 14.2%

6. Pahiram ng Isang Ina (GMA-7) - 14%

7. Kapamilya Blockbusters (ABS-CBN) - 13.7%

8. One Piece (GMA-7) - 13.6%

9. Kapuso Movie Festival (GMA-7) - 13.4%

10. The Fierce Wife (ABS-CBN) - 12.9%

August 30, Tuesday (Primetime)

1. 100 Days To Heaven (ABS-CBN) - 30.4%

2. My Binondo Girl (ABS-CBN) - 27.5%

3. TV Patrol (ABS-CBN) - 26.4%

4. Munting Heredera (GMA-7) - 23.7%

5. Amaya (GMA-7) - 23.4%

6. Guns And Roses (ABS-CBN) - 22.4%

7. Maria La Del Bario (ABS-CBN) - 20.3%

8. 24 Oras (GMA-7) - 19.4%

9. Iglot (GMA-7) - 19.1%

10. Time of My Life (GMA-7) - 17.4%


August 29, Monday (Daytime)

1. Eat Bulaga! (GMA-7) - 14.2%

2. Kapuso Movie Festival: Dunkin Donato (GMA-7) - 8.4%

3. Slam Dunk (GMA-7) - 8%

4. Sisid (GMA-7) - 7.5%

5. Sinner Or Saint (GMA-7) - 7.4%

6. Pahiram ng Isang Ina (GMA-7) - 6.9%

7. One Piece (GMA-7) - 6.4%

8. Showtime (ABS-CBN) - 5.9%

9. Team Galaxy (GMA-7) - 5.3%

10. The Fierce Wife (ABS-CBN) - 5%

10. Kapamilya Blockbusters: Twilight (ABS-CBN) - 5%

10. Gourmet (GMA-7) - 5%

August 29, Monday (Primetime)

1. Amaya (GMA-7) - 16.9%

2. Munting Heredera (GMA-7) - 15.4%

3. Iglot (GMA-7) - 12.6% pilot

4. 24 Oras (GMA-7) - 10.7%

4. 100 Days To Heaven (ABS-CBN) - 10.7%

6. Time of My Life (GMA-7) - 10.5%

7. My Binondo Girl (ABS-CBN) - 9.1%

8. TV Patrol (ABS-CBN) - 8.7%

9. Guns And Roses (ABS-CBN) - 8.5%

10. Wil Time Bigtime (TV5) - 8.4%

Figures courtesy of Kantar Media and AGB Nielsen via / Photo courtesy of GMA 7 and Kit Sherwin Cruz via Iglot Facebook Page

'I Didn't Change. The World Changed'

From Daniel Henninger, at Wall Street Journal, "In an interview, Dick Cheney says 'It's important to have people at the helm who are prepared to be unpopular'."

I think Dick Cheney's been the rock of American public life for the last 10 years. He's unruffled in his convictions, more impressive as he got older.

RELATED: The left's revulsion of the former V.P. is picking up over at Memeorandum. See especially, ABC News, "Former Powell Chief of Staff: Cheney “Fears Being Tried as a War Criminal”." And click through at Memeorandum for Conor Friedersdorf's attack on Cheney. Friedersdorf's an airhead.

9/11, Ten Years After: The Costs of Security — More Domestic Surveillance

Continuing my blogging on the Los Angeles Times' September 11 series, see: "A key Sept. 11 legacy: more domestic surveillance."

PREVIOUSLY: "9/11, Ten Years After: The Costs of Security — Has All the Spending Paid Off?"

More on Larry Derfner

See the reaction from readers at Jerusalem Post, "Firing a ‘Post’ columnist – the pros and cons." The responses are compelling and surprisingly compassionate. No doubt folks crave a full airing of opinions, although I think the one line of criticism worthy of even deeper consideration is the idea that Derfner had stopped making reasoned arguments and had become basically an attack dog against everything he hated. If so, perhaps Jerusalem Post might have waited until the controversy died down and then quietly given Derfner notice that his brand of invective commentary was no longer in tune with the expectations of quality writing at the publication. As I noted on Monday, what's bothersome is not so much Derfner's views, but that they were so well accepted on the anti-Israel left. That is, progressive widely endorse the idea that Israeli civilians deserve to die. That thought seems alone to be beyond rational discourse, and perhaps to the realm of simply terrorist agitation. Even the New York Times offers a super sympathetic report on Derfner, "Israeli Columnist Is Fired for Writing That Palestinian Terrorism Is ‘Justified’." Checking the essay one finds a link to Dimi Reider despicable essay (cited at my entry on Monday) offering massive historical lies to justify Derfner's commentary. I know it's the Times, but some reporters are still doing a good job, and I normally enjoy Robert Mackey's blogging at The Lede. He fell short on this one though, omitting some of the more heated criticism of Derfner's perfidy.

And see Barry Rubin's comments, "Larry Derfner Should Be Debated, Not Fired." Rubin says it's not left or right but truth versus lies (to which I disagree, with reference, for example, to the comments at New York Times, where again we see how entrenched is leftist progressive anti-Semitic bloodlust). That said, Rubin's right: Derfner shouldn't have been fired over this.

BONUS: Check Camera's post, and follow the links for additional commentary, "Larry Derfner Will Not Be Rattling The Cage Anymore at the Jerusalem Post."

NewsBusted: 'Obama's job disapproval rate has hit a record high'

Via Theo Spark:

Video Rip-Off 'Who Likes White People?' Continues Viral Distribution Despite Debunking

I haven't posted on this yet. Robert Stacy McCain has some copyright issues he's been dealing with, over a video clip of Michele Bachmann he made weeks ago in Iowa. Some idiot progressive thief stole the video and edited to make it appear that Congresswoman Bachmann had made racist comments. Just tonight Robert reports that gay rights extremist Perez Hilton posted the clip, and this is after the smear's been widely debunked. See: "No Honor Among Thieves, No Curiosity Among Journalists: Perez Hilton Re-Pirates Video, CBS News Repeats Smear."

Perez Smear

CBS News also picked the purloined video as the top viral video of the week. Read all about it The Other McCain.

Jane Jamison of Has Died

I like her blog. There are so many out there that sometimes a blog has to really make an impact before gaining attention, and is one of those. See Robert Stacy McCain for the details: "Jane Jamison, R.I.P." And John Hawkins has more: "Jane Jamison From Uncoverage Has Passed Away."

Please join me in a prayer for Jane, and for her friends and family.

AP Interview With Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani

It's getting close to the 10-year anniversary, so expect lots of 9/11 coverage across the media-sphere over the next couple of weeks. See "AP Interview: Post-9/11 politics of Rudy Giuliani" (via Memeorandum).

'Take Me to the River'

Heard it during yesterday morning's drive time, at The Sound LA:

7:02 - She Talks To Angels by Black Crowes

7:08 - Who'll Stop The Rain by CCR

7:18 - Wonderous Stories by Yes

7:21 - Let 'em In by Paul Mccartney

7:26 - Take Me To The River by Talking Heads

7:32 - Hey Joe by Jimi Hendrix

7:35 - In The Air Tonight by Phil Collins

7:49 - Space Oddity by David Bowie

7:53 - Black Dog by Led Zeppelin

7:58 - Don't Stop by Fleetwood Mac
I'll be back for more blogging tonight!

Hugs and Thanks to Maggie Thornton

Maggie picked my piece on teaching the Gettysburg Address: "Donald Douglas: A Professor Teaching Real Political History."

And from the comments there:
In today’s American world, this professor is a gem!
Well, thank you!!

More at Maggie's Notebook.

Also, a warm appreciation goes to Gator Doug: "The DaleyGator supports our friend, Donald Douglas."

I get by with a little help from my friends.

Bob Belvedere's Got Your Rule 5 Fix

See: "Rule 5 News: 26 August 2011 A.D."

Drew Barrymore is fabulous, by the way.

Rick Perry's Surge May Force Mitt Romney to Shift Gears

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney may be forced to shake up his strategy to win the Republican presidential nomination now that Texas Gov. Rick Perry has seized the top spot in the latest Gallup poll.

Among Romney's likely shifts: softening his focus on New Hampshire, the first primary state, and starting a more aggressive campaign in Iowa, where the race actually begins.

Romney invested heavily there in 2008 and fell short. But this time, a battle between Perry and Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota for supremacy among Iowa's social conservatives could create an opening for his more moderate brand of conservatism.

Also up for discussion inside the Romney camp: an accelerated advertising push, including attack ads against Perry.

"This nomination fight will not be a coronation," said Scott Reed, a GOP strategist who is neutral in the race. "He's got to show that he's willing to fight for it."
Romney's been campaigning as the inevitable nominee, but that's obviously not going to cut it.

Uncle Onyango!

You gotta love the "long lost" uncle.

Barack Hussein calls him "Uncle Omar."

At London's Daily Mail, "Obama's 'lost' Uncle Omar held in jail for being 'illegal immigrant'... after he was arrested for drunk driving."

Also at Telegraph UK, "Barack Obama’s uncle on drink driving arrest: 'I will call the White House’."

Britney Spears at VMAs: The Modern-Pop Definition of 'Statuesque'

From Spencer Kornhaber, at The Atlantic, "Lady Gaga and Britney Spears Share a Surreal Moment at the MTV VMAs." Here's the kicker:

The two almost kissed, and then broke off at the last moment. But Gaga kept leering, standing uncomfortably close to Britney as she attempted to give a barely felt acceptance speech. What's more, Britney had to simultaneously thank the world and introduce the next performer, Beyonce Knowles. It was a moment of weird indignity for Spears: a younger star awkwardly hogging the spotlight, a roughly contemporary diva waiting in the wings to take the stage.

But the optics of the things were the most striking. Britney, at 29, remains sturdily, conventionally beautiful. Outfitted in boots and a short but glamorous black dress, she appeared the modern-pop definition of "statuesque." And then there was Gaga as Calderone: blonde hair replaced by dark mop, her features elfin and unspectacular, her get-up shapeless and drab, her stature tiny. By pairing the two for a kind of lifetime achievement award, MTV was necessarily asking us to contrast the women. Gaga, it seemed, had picked out her shtick for the night in part to play up that contrast. And why not? With her endless parade of costume changes and her guilt-free lyrical message, Gaga's obsessed with remaking standards of beauty and achievement so that they're set by individuals, not establishments. She's the incredible, cross-dressing, anti-Britney.
Video at the link, in case this one gets yanked.

RELATED: At London's Daily Mail, "What a difference four years makes: Britney Spears gets her sparkle back as she returns to scene of THAT awful MTV performance."

Larry Derfner Fired by Jerusalem Post

Well, let's go straight to the source: "I got fired by the Jerusalem Post today."
I got fired by The Jerusalem Post today. The paper got hundreds of notices of cancellations of subscription after my blog post (“The awful, necessary truth about Palestinian terror”) of Sunday last week; the reason being given for my firing, though, is the substance of the essay, despite the apology I published later. A page-one notice to this effect will be published in the Post tomorrow.
The pro-terror Mondoweiss has the full essay, "Read the post for which Derfner was fired: "‘The awful, necessary truth about Palestinian terror’."

Jawa Report applauds: "Jerusalem Post Writer Larry Derfner Fired for Justifying Palestinian Terror."

And here's this, from Isi Leibler, "Justifying Murder – An Abomination" (at Memeorandum):
Derfner is an Israeli Jew professionally employed by the only English-language newspaper in Israel. For him to justify the barbaric murder of his own brothers and sisters on a public website represents the ultimate abomination. It is unforgiveable.

Presumably in response to massive protests directed against him, Derfner “apologized” a week after his article appeared and deleted it from his website. However, he had the chutzpah to reiterate the justification for terrorism, merely stating that he does not endorse the murder of fellow Israelis. This is neither a retraction nor an apology.

His obscene and callously insensitive remarks are likely to haunt him for the rest of his life.
Some may question Derfner's dismissal (I'm not bothered by it, but I wouldn't have called for his firing). What bothers me is that Derfner's ideas are frankly mainstream among the Israel-hating left. That is, Derfner was only stating publically the exact thoughts of the progressive Israel-delegitimation industry. See, for example, Dimi Reider's obscene endorsement of Derfner, and his claim that it's Caroline Glick who should be fired: "Jerusalem Post fires Larry Derfner over blog post." And there's more than 50 comments at Mondoweiss as this post goes live, almost all in support of Derfner. I mean seriously, it's like bloodlust:
For wannabe international lawyers, I can’t overemphasize that at times, attacks on civilians are perfectly legal and legitimate. The proper language is “protected non-combatants.” Jewish Zionist settler-colonists in the Occupied Territories cannot be considered protected non-combatants by any stretch of the imagination.
And Phillip Weiss enters the comments to add:
Larry, are you out there, do you want to post any response to the many comments at this site? Let me emphasize, you have my great sympathy on this occasion, and I like to think that your best work will flow from this very painful and upsetting incident...
So, again, while I wouldn't have called for Derfner's termination, it's clear that his words were not only incitement to terrorism, but that his views are perfectly representative of the progressive, neo-communist left's eliminationist ideological agenda. And once again, this is what I point out repeatedly at this blog. It's not leftist opposition to Israeli policies. It's leftist opposition to Israel and the Jews. It's the dawn of the new Shoah. And I will stand up against these satanic progressive fuckers as long as I live.

Flooding Devastates Vermont and Catskills: Irene Death Toll at Least 35 People

At NYT (via Memeorandum):

CHESTER, Vt. — While most eyes warily watched the shoreline during Hurricane Irene’s grinding ride up the East Coast, it was inland — sometimes hundreds of miles inland — where the most serious damage actually occurred. And the major culprit was not wind, but water.

As blue skies and temperate breezes returned on Monday, a clearer picture of the storm’s devastation emerged, with the gravest consequences stemming from river flooding in Vermont and upstate New York.

Here in southern Vermont, normally picturesque towns and villages were digging out from thick mud and piles of debris that Sunday’s floodwaters left behind. With roughly 250 roads and several bridges closed off, many residents remained stranded in their neighborhoods; others could not get to grocery stores, hospitals or work. It was unclear how many people had been displaced, though the Red Cross said more than 300 had stayed in its shelters on Sunday, and it expected the number to grow.

In upstate New York, houses were swept from their foundations, and a woman drowned on Sunday when an overflowing creek submerged the cottage where she was vacationing. Flash floods continued to be a concern into Monday afternoon. In the Catskills, where Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo led a helicopter tour of suffering towns, cars were submerged, crops ruined and roads washed out. In tiny, hard-hit Prattsville, what looked like a jumble of homes lay across a roadway, as if they had been tossed like Lego pieces.

“We were very lucky in the city, not quite as lucky on Long Island, but we were lucky on Long Island,” Mr. Cuomo said. “But Catskills, mid-Hudson, this is a different story and we paid a terrible price here, and many of these communities are communities that could least afford to pay this kind of price. So the state has its hands full.”
And see also LAT, "Irene death toll rises to 35 amid cleanup effort."

Look, this was a devastating storm for many people, and thus I was irked this morning to see some media reports suggesting that Irene was "hyped." William Jacobson, who rode it out, was not pleased: "Irene wasn’t overhyped in train- and drive-through country."

RELATED: Dan Drezner blogged the hurricane, a little more seriously this time, compared to 2005, when he dissed Katrina coverage as "hurricane porn." That's around the time I stopped reading Drezner on a daily basis. See: "We interrupt normal blogging about the rest of the world to freak out about THE BIG STORM!!!!" Idiot.

Gaddafi Family Members in Algeria

At Los Angeles Times, "Members of Kadafi family flee to Algeria":

Members of Moammar Kadafi's family, including his wife, daughter and two of his sons, have fled to Algeria, the government of the neighboring country said Monday.

Algerian state television reported that Kadafi relatives who arrived Monday through a border crossing included the deposed Libyan leader's wife, Safiya, his daughter, Aisha, and two of his sons, Hannibal and Mohammed. The group also included an undisclosed number of Kadafi's grandchildren, Algeria said.

The Algerian government said it had informed both the United Nations and the Libyan rebels' Transitional National Council that the group had arrived.

But there was no answer to a much bigger question: Where was Moammar Kadafi himself?
Also at NYT, "Qaddafi’s Wife and 3 of His Children Flee to Algeria."

'A Million Miles Away'

From Sheri Donovan, at The Sound LA, "Sheri's iPod Pick o' The Day":

And previously, from May 2009: "And There Was Nothing Left to Bring Me Back..."

RELATED: At OC Register, "A ‘Sound’ move: Sheri Donovan joins Larry Morgan on 100.3."

2011 PBA Draft: JV Casio top rookie pick, Paul Lee second

The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) held its annual Rookie Draft last Sunday, August 28, 2011 with Smart Gilas' JV Casio as the #1 rookie pick.

The Powerade Tigers, the team which had the ball this 2011 PBA Draft to choose the 1st overall draft pick, has selected former De La Salle University (DLSU) player JV Casio from 34 aspirants.

Getting the 2nd pick was the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters and the team picked Paul Lee from the University of the East (UE).

Here's the results of the 2011 PBA Rookie Draft, starting off with 5'10"-tall JV Casio as the 1st overall pick:

1. Joseph Evans "JV" Casio - picked by Powerade Tigers

2. Paul Lee - Rain or Shine Elasto Painters

3. Christopher Ryan "Chris" Lutz - Petron Blaze Boosters

4. Marcio Lassiter - Powerade Tigers

5. Mark Barroca - Shopinas

6. Mac Baracael - Alaska Aces

7. Jason Ballesteros - Meralco Bolts

8. Allein Maliksi - Petron Blaze Boosters

9. Reil Cervantes - Barangay Ginebra Kings

10. Dylan Ababou - Barako Bull Energy Boosters

11. Magi Sison - Shopinas

12. Pamboy Raymundo - Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters

13. Eric Salamat - Alaska Aces

14. Julius Pacualadao - Alaska Aces

15. Ariel Mepana - Alaska Aces

16. Brian Ilad - B-Meg Llamados

17. Gilbert Bulawan - Meralco Bolts

18. James Martinez - Barangay Ginebra Kings

19. Kenneth Acibar - Barako Bull Energy Boosters

20. Paul Sorongan - Barako Bull Energy Boosters

Photo courtesy of Nuki Sabio / PBA

Libya Vindicates Obama? And Humanitarian Intervention?

I don't think the administration had a clue, but President Obama will get a lot of credit for toppling Gaddafi.

And this will generate a big debate among specialists in international relations. See Anne Marie Slaughter's piece, at Financial Times, "Why Libya sceptics were proved badly wrong":
Let us do a thought experiment. Imagine the UN did not vote to authorise the use of force in Libya in March. Nato did nothing; Colonel Muammer Gaddafi over-ran Benghazi; the US stood by; the Libyan opposition was reduced to sporadic uprisings, quickly crushed. The regimes in Yemen and Syria took note, and put down their own uprisings with greater vigour. The west let brutality and oppression triumph again in the Middle East.

This is the scenario many wise heads were effectively arguing for with their strong stands against intervention to stop Col Gaddafi. Over the months those analysts have reminded us of their views, calling Libya a quagmire. This week one of the leading proponents of that position, my friend and colleague Richard Haass, shifted gears – but only to remind us just how hard the road ahead in Libya is likely to be.

I do not know anyone, regardless of the side they took in the initial debate, who thinks this task will be easy; indeed, the battle against Col Gaddafi is not yet won. But not so fast. Before we focus on what must happen next, let us pause for a minute and reflect on that initial debate and the lessons to be learnt.
Keep reading.

Dr. Slaugther omits mention that Islamists could come to power in Libya, which in the end might not be much better than having Gaddafi. True, Muammar is about as bad as they come, and as I said all along in the case of Mubarak's Egypt, there's little satisfaction in standing up for a dictator. But the euphoria of the Arab Spring has long evaporated and a real security dilemma is emerging in the region that's forcing folks to reckon with change. Israel, of course, comes to mind, but a larger systemic transformation toward more widespread Islamism won't be good. It's already bad enough as it is.

More on this at Foreign Affairs, from Stewart Patrick, "Libya and the Future of Humanitarian Intervention: How Qaddafi's Fall Vindicated Obama and RtoP."

9/11, Ten Years After: The Costs of Security — Has All the Spending Paid Off?

At LAT, "Is Homeland Security spending paying off?":

A decade after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, federal and state governments are spending about $75 billion a year on domestic security, setting up sophisticated radio networks, upgrading emergency medical response equipment, installing surveillance cameras and bombproof walls, and outfitting airport screeners to detect an ever-evolving list of mobile explosives.

But how effective has that 10-year spending spree been?

"The number of people worldwide who are killed by Muslim-type terrorists, Al Qaeda wannabes, is maybe a few hundred outside of war zones. It's basically the same number of people who die drowning in the bathtub each year," said John Mueller, an Ohio State University professor who has written extensively about the balance between threat and expenditures in fighting terrorism.

"So if your chance of being killed by a terrorist in the United States is 1 in 3.5 million, the question is, how much do you want to spend to get that down to 1 in 4.5 million?" he said.
More at that top link.

John Mueller's a progressive who basically opposed the Iraq war, and was wrong about public support for the deployment. I don't trust him on homeland security issues and the war on terror.

Anyway, the Times is running a series on the tenth anniversary of 9/11. I'll have more, with some of my own commentary and analysis.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle Steps in it With Comments on NATO Bombing in Libya

What's most interesting is that this is Germany, where the use of military force has been contentious throughout the post-WWII era. See WSJ, "German Foreign Minister Takes Hit for Libya Stance."

Westerwelle is a leader for the Free Democratic Party, a center-right party most famous for having Hans-Dietrich Genscher serve as foreign minister during the crucial years at the end of the Cold War. But the FDP is internationalist and has a reputation of angering Israel back in the day (the Munich Olympics in 1972). But again, I'm just fascinated by the debate on the deployment of German military force. It's an amazing thing that after 65 years German military power is far from normalized. It's true of Europe generally, that the continent tends to rely on the U.S. for major military operations, but these things don't last forever. And Germany's the one strong economy in a sea of Euro-gloom. Maybe folks ought to step up a bit over there and provide some leadership in foreign policy. This is pretty ridiculous.

Behind on Babe Blogging

I've been slackin' on my Rule 5. So, let's get started over at Maggie's Notebook, "Rule 5 Saturday Night: Olivia Munn."

And super hot as always, from Bob Belvedere, "Rule 5 Saturday: Carla Ossa."

But check Eye of Polyphemus, who has Kate Beckinsale, one of my favorites. Plus, The Daley Gate has "The Daley Babes." Over at Randy's Roundtable we've got "Thursday Nite Tart: Holly Weber" and "There Was a Football Game Last Night."

And from Zion's Trumpet, "TGIF and Pretty Redheads."

And I've blogged Lucy Pinder's calender, so a review might be in order: "VIDEO: Lucy Pinder Sexy 2012 Calendar."

BONUS: At Pirate's Cove, "If All You See…is a wonderful, wonderful tree cleaning the air of carbon pollution, you might just be a Warmist...", and "Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup."

And at Blazing Cat Fur, "Because It's Friday...and it's Ginger Rogers."

I know I'm leaving out a few good friends, but I'm tired. Drop me a comment or an e-mail and I'll get you linked up on a unique post. Regular blogging should be picking up again over the next few days.

O.C.'s Ocean View Team Wins Little League World Series

Hey, great local news.

At LAT, "Huntington Beach's Ocean View team wins Little League World Series," and "Ocean View Little League players maintain perspective."