June 29, 2007
— Ace Drew's tasted blood, and he likes it:
"Under the United States Constitution, there are only three federal crimes: piracy, treason, and counterfeiting. All other criminal matters are left to the individual states. Any federal legislation dealing with criminal matters not related to these three issues usurps state authority over criminal law and takes a step toward turning the states into mere administrative units of
the federal government." http://www.house.gov/paul/tst/tst2007/tst050707.htm
Talk about not placating! This guy is so hardcore he's more original than the guys who wrote the Judiciary Act of 1789 (many of whom were Founding Fathers) and which was signed by George Washington).
Not hardcore. Just an idiot crank.
An originalist looks back at how the Founders originally conceived the words of the Constitution in order to resolve ambiguities. An idiot literalist, on the other hand, looks only at the words of the Constitution, and ignores what the Framers actually meant, because what they meant cannot undermine the Clear Import of those Holy Words.
And if the First Congress passed legislation making a whole raft of things federal crimes (including uniquely federal ones, like interfering with a federal officer), what do they know? Ron Paul knows what their words mean better than they do. They completely misinterpreted the document they had drafted, immediately, before the ink on it was even dry.
Now it falls to Ron Paul -- the only man in America who can save us -- to clean up the mess left behind by Jefferson, Washington, Madison, Hamilton, Adams, and all the other socialists and fascists.
As Justice Marshall wrote like six hundred times in one opinion, "It is a Constitution we are propounding." A Constitution. Not hyperprecisely worded legislation. A Constitution. Broad strokes, simple language. (PS: Justice Marshall was a Nazi.)
— MatthewSheffield After my talk with Tavis (see Part 1), I saw Barack Obama's campaign manager, David Axelrod. Considering that his brother, Jim Axelrod, is a liberally biased political reporter at CBS News, I wasn't sure what to expect. Turns out he's a nice, soft-spoken guy. That said, he couldn't answer my point-blank question: How is Hillary not inevitable? Made me wonder if they really think they can win.
Wondering that, I asked him the obligatory "will Obama accept the vice presidential position" question. Amazingly, he said no. I came away from the exchange hoping he'd be able to push his guy to win over Clinton (even though she'd be easier to beat). I don't think he'll be able to but we'll see.
It got kind of old after that. Sure, there were some other "famous" folks there such as Marxist stooge Cornell West. Talking with La Shawn over in his area, neither of us could think of a thing to say to him. In retrospect, I should have asked him why he always wears a scarf. He's one weird dude.
At any rate, after that, I headed over back to the blogger section of the room. FYI no one in the media was allowed to be in the actual room. I was disappointed in a Daschlean way that I would not be able to get a glimpse of the epitome of human perfection that is Hillary Clinton.
Around my spot were Andy Carvin of NPR, Earl Dunovant of Prometheus 6 (he and I had some interesting discussions during the debate), the lovely Liza Sabater of Culture Kitchen, as well as the inimitable Oliver Willis. Yes, he does exist in the flesh. Also there were Sherrilyn Ifill of Blackprof.com Casey Lartigue. There were several other bloggers there but I didn't catch their names and blogs since I was busy slaving away for this shitty blog.
Liza and I got to talking about someone I forgot to mention last time, Joe Biden. Now there is a Democrat. He's pretty much John Edwards hair + worse inability to restrain his limousine liberal impulses, especially when it comes to race. If only we could have more Democrats out there like him. Too bad Bush banned cloning.
While we were hanging out after the fact, Dennis Kucinich and his
minder wife stopped by, hoping to change our votes by shaking our hands. I told Earl he had to vote for him now but he disagreed. I had to leave the room to avoid going ballistic at such sacrilege.
- La Shawn Barber has a good recap plus several photos
- Liza Sabater has a slideshow (complete with strange pic of Cornell West) and a nice recap
- American Taino did not like PBS or Smiley's performance
- Laurie White adds a bit to my Tavis Smiley account noting that Smiley's virtuoso makeup person also got accosted by the Washington Post reporter. "At least you'll get good copy, baby!" she said before ditching him.
- Sherrilyn Ifill on Tavis Smiley and Michael Eric Dyson
— Ace I hadn't heard that Bush had decided this. This article treats like old news. Maybe it is. I guess I missed it in all the amnesty stuff. (I Question The Timing.)
So, the brave Democrats finally move to shut down Gitmo, after the decision has already been made and they have Republican cover.
What a bunch of patriots, putting justice and truth ahead of partisan positioning.
As for Bush shutting the thing down:
What is left to say?
— Ace Confederate Yankee has been on this all day. A day or two ago I heard about a gruesome discovery in Baghdad: 20 corpses lacking their heads.
The AP's sourcing on this was spotty, as ConYang noted. And now MNF says that they have heard absolutely nothing about this, and will put out a statement calling the report wholly "unsubstantiated" tomorrow."
Incidentally... I was reluctant to post this earlier, given the kinda-sorta false alarm over Jamil Hussein. But if this pile of headless bodies was supposedly discovered by police days ago and MNF still has not heard a thing about it, then I think AP may have a problem on its hands. Again.
They could be right. It could be that, I don't know, the Iraqi military discovered the bodies and then buried them without officially reporting them, in order to hide the carnage or something... but the fact is no one's apparently yet seen one of this score's worth of decapitated bodies.
— Ace Another fictitious terrorist alert, designed to distract from Bush's failure on immigration.
Hours after the discovery, police closed a major road Park Lane and cleared people from the adjacent Hyde Park because of a suspicious vehicle.
Police were called by parking garage employees to investigate a vehicle that smelled heavily of gasoline and that had been towed from the city center around the same time the other explosive was being defused. Sky News reported that the device found in this vehicle a blue Mercedes was similar to the one found in the theater district.
Fuel Air Bombs: Which, fortunately, was incorrectly mixed. Alas I don't think they'll make this mistake again.
The bombs, everyone's saying, resemble those seen frequently in Baghdad. I don't know if they mean down to the actual bomb design or just the concept of a car-bomb, but it's getting nasty.
I won't get glib here about withdrawing from Britain.
I will say that Britain needs to do a serious cost-benefit analysis on the value of its ever-growing community of Islamic immigrant bomb-buddies.
Jihadi Website Announced Last Night That London Would Be Bombed: Wishful thinking? Or prior knowlege?
Hours before London explosives technicians dismantled a large car bomb in the heart of the British capital's tourist-rich theater district, a message appeared on one of the most widely used jihadist Internet forums, saying: "Today I say: Rejoice, by Allah, London shall be bombed."
CBS News found the posting, which went on for nearly 300 words, on the "al Hesbah" chat room. It was left by a person who goes by the name abu Osama al-Hazeen, who appears regularly on the forum. The comment was posted on the forum, according to time stamp, at 08:09 a.m. British time on June 28 -- about 17 hours before the bomb was found early on June 29.
Al Hesbah is frequently used by international Sunni militant groups, including al Qaeda and the Taliban, to post propaganda videos and messages in their fight against the West.
— Ace Why, a lot of these requests seem to be funding projects in Galveston, Texas.
Are there any Congressmen Ron Paul might know who keep an office in Galveston, Texas?
End the tyranny of worthless paper currency unbacked by gold! Oh, but first, I have a shrimp hatchery off the coast of Galveston, Texas that can use some it to check their catches for high bromide content.
Thanks to John.
Heh: Drew writes:
The funding will be used for a Nursing Educational Doctoral Program/UTMB distance education program"
"The funding will be used for funding a railway bridge replacement"
"The funding will be used for converting to a web-based and data driven automated system for nursing students on the Texas gulf coast"
Hmmmm, what articles of the Constitution authorizes these activities?
Ron Paul just emailed me to say the answer is Article 1, Section Shut Your Stupid Piehole.
At Least Ron Paul Disclosed His Earmark Requests: Unlike the vast majority of our Senators. CNN asked them to disclose their earmark requests. The results were... as expected, alas.
When it comes to elected officials and earmarks, the policy seems to be the less said the better.
This time the cold shoulder is coming from the Senate, which, like members of the House of Representatives, don't want the public to know which pet projects they want taxpayers to fund.
Since Monday, CNN has called -- or tried to call -- all 100 senators, asking them if they would release their 2008 earmark requests. More often then not, calls were immediately sent to voice mail and never returned. (Watch how senators responded to questions about earmarks Video)
Only six senators gave us their requests and five said they made no earmark requests. Nineteen said they would not give us their requests and 70 did not return calls. (See how your senator responded)
Last week, of 435 members of the House of Representatives, 312 did not respond to our requests. Of the remainder, 47 gave us their requests, 68 said they would not and six said they had not made earmark requests.
It's really not fair to pillory Ron "The Ultimate Patriot" Paul when most of these assholes flat-out refuse to say how they're corruptly demanding federal agencies spend your money.
— Ace It's about time.
The groups will face a daunting task in trying to match the fundraising power and cultural and political echo of MoveOn. It has successfully tapped into the opposition to the war in Iraq, as well as concern within the Democratic left that the national party was not pushing their most important issues.
The eight-year-old MoveOn family of organizations -- which boast a deep fundraising base, including major support from liberal financier George Soros -- has become synonymous with the lefts ability to influence elections outside the party structure. MoveOn.org Political Action says it raised $31.9 million in 2004. It spent much of that to try to defeat President Bush.
Republicans have loved painting MoveOn as a special-interests bogeyman, but have also been jealous and admiring of the groups effectiveness.
If these organizations are just extensions of Beltway Estabilshmentarianism, they will fail -- why bother donating to them when you can get shafted just as well by donating to the RNC?
But if, like MoveOn, they are more ideological than partisan and can help outsiders actually have a meaningful voice in changing the direction of the party, they'll flourish.
Could they push the GOP to become so extremist, or at least so far away from the mushy moderation often needed to win, that they could hurt the party? Maybe. But we all thought that about MoveOn and George Soros and DailyKos, and while those actors have pushed the Democratic Party further to the left than we previously thought possible, or healthful, they did wind up winning the 2006 elections.
Imagine if these organizations had already been taking money during this last fight with the party establishment, and had been on our side -- the thing might have been over before it even began.
They can also serve as a helfpful conduit to donating to and raising awareness of conservatives challenging establishment types like Jon Bruning.
Of course, it's going to be a tough road for Bruning either way. Unfortunately, Chuck Hagel has not done him any political favors, like supporting a wildly unpopular plan for amnesty without security or anything.
— Ace I thought it was obvious that the person editing his profile to note the death of his wife -- before cops knew of it -- must have been Benoit himself. (Correction to Previous Posting: I earlier wrote the message contained further details of the son's death and Benoit's suicide, which it appears not to have -- I think I got that, botched maybe, from Geraldo.)
My solution to the mystery was simple, obvious, and, it seems, quite wrong.
Investigators had not yet discovered the bodies of pro wrestler Chris Benoit, his wife and their 7-year-old son when someone altered Benoit's Wikipedia entry to mention his wife's death, authorities said.
An anonymous user with the same IP address as the person who made the edits confessed early Friday on an online discussion page attached to the Web site, saying the changes were based on rumors and speculation, not hard evidence.
The authenticity of the posting could not immediately be confirmed.
``I just can't believe what I wrote was actually the case, I've remained stunned and saddened over it,'' the user wrote.
According to Wikinews, an online news source connected to Wikipedia, the Internet protocol address of the individual is identical to that of the user who edited Benoit's profile early Monday morning. An IP address is a unique series of numbers carried by every machine connected to the Internet.
Benoit's page on Wikipedia, a reference site that allows users to add and edit information, was updated at 12:01 a.m. Monday, about 14 hours before authorities say the bodies were found. The reason he missed a match Saturday night was ``stemming from the death of his wife Nancy,'' it said.
— Ace ...as well as to pressure the company in current union negotiations.
I have only one question:
What shadowy, racist group is paying the salaries of Wall Street Journal employees?
It's a long-standing mystery about which I think we're finally entitled some firm answers.
Analysts say the iPhone is going to struggle. It will sell, but not to the tune of the 10 million units Jobs predicts by year's end.
From what I've heard, it's a decent beta that suggests a really neat phone coming in the future. But not yet.
— Ace The hilarious South Park episdode aboout Cartman's hatred of "Ginger-Kids" was funny because it was so absurd.
Or so I thought. Sure, as a kid I heard the ludicrous wives' tale that redheads were natural-born arsonists -- fire is red(-ish), their hair is red(-ish), do the math (and Google it!) -- but I really never had any inkling people took this crap seriously.
The e-mails from the choir built up to a great clamour in the days leading up to the Overture Weekend the grand-scale reopening celebrations of the Royal Festival Hall earlier this month. Have you heard . . ? Can you believe it? Talk about timing . . . This was in response to the news about a family in Newcastle who had suffered three years of abuse smashed windows, graffiti, physical attacks forcing them to decamp from one council estate to another on two occasions, now pushing for a third move, and all on account of their red hair.
One of the more arresting details was that a council officer had apparently discussed the possibility that the family invest in a few bottles of hair-dye. As a ginger-ninja myself, I was appalled at the idea that the solution to being bullied was to change yourself rather than to correct the behaviour of your tormentors.
There is something weirdly Zeitgeist-y about gingerism witness this weeks news about the ginger-haired waitress, Sarah Primmer, from Plymouth, who was awarded £17,618 after suffering lewd and embarrassing comments about her hair but I was totally unaware of this when I was first smitten by the auburn theme.
The idea [of doing a "Ginger" chorale] came out of a flippant conversation in which we were discussing how to market his talents and I said something along the lines of So whats your unique selling point? Whos going to be interested in a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant ex-public schoolboy? the only thing in your favour is that you might be considered different because of your hair colour.
Note the strawberryish, very nearly Ginger, quallity of Drew Barrymore's hair here:
— Ace Mort Kondracke complained on Hume last night that talk radio had worked its evil to defeat the bill, largely by only telling people about "the bad parts" of the bill.
Ummm... if the MSM were not in the tank for the bill, would they not, themselves, have informed the public of all "the bad parts" of the bill? The loopholes, the giveaways, the tremendous costs, the utter lack of credibility of the government on its enforcement promises, the fact that only (at latest count) 15 miles of an already-authorized 850 mile fence had been constructed, the fact that the bill was silent as to what would be done with the illegal amnesties not eligible for amensty (and for some reason had not been able to forge the documents necessary to prove eligilibiity -- remember, we can't just deport them all!), etc., etc., etc.
So, talk radio told the public about all these "bad parts" of the bill. The public should have been appraised of the "bad parts" by the MSM, but weren't. So talk radio did their jobs for them. This is a problem, yes, but not with talk radio -- the problem is with the MSM for failing to properly report and critique a major, transformational bill air-dropped on an unsuspecting public with only the scantest time for real debate and analysis.
Does anyone remember the MSM being so "intellectually incurious" about the exact provisions and faults of any other Bush-promoted legislation? Because I sure don't. The MSM was ready, willing, and able to trumpet the flaws of Bush's Social Security reform -- unfunded transition costs, the absurdly implausible chance that seniors would be permitted, in the plan, to waste their money by investing it in ridiculous investments like, I don't know, angora farms and spent gold mines and crippled race horses, etc.
Here, they reported nothing but the fact that this bill had "bipartisan support" (good!) and would, supposedly, "fix the problem." To the extent the MSM found anything to fault in the plan at all, it was in the nasty enforcement provisions, which, not entirely coincidentally, were the only parts of the bill the actual American electorate favored.
So talk radio -- and those nasty blogs of dubious, secretive funding sources -- tanked the bill by riling up public opinion. It was so, so unfair. Talk radio slamming the bill every day; blogs running Senator's contact information urging concerned citizens to register their opposition.
And who did this poor, abused bit of legislation have actually on its side to promote its virtues? Why, no one at all, really. Just:
* The entire MSM -- including renegade FoxNews
* The President of the United States of America
* All of the key executive officials who would, supposedly, manage this thing
* The leadership of the Senate Democrats
* The leadership of the Senate Republicans
* The media's favorite "bipartisan" Republicans, John McCain and Chuck Hagel and its newest favorite, Lindsey Graham, along with its all-time favorite Senator, Ted Kennedy
* Pro-business (subsidy) concerns like the Wall Street Journal
* Business and corporate interests, especially those involved in agriculture, hotels, and construction (i.e., those who benefit the most from cheap foreign illegal labor)
* The entirey of the arch-liberal academic establishment
* Most of the major racial-identity lobbying groups for Hispanics
I'll tell you -- it's simply unfair that the Juggernaut that is talk radio was able to malign this bill when it had almost no one in any position of power or prominence to speak out on its behalf.
And then, talk radio having used its undue (and entirely unopposed) influence to rile up the American populace by telling them about "the bad parts" of the bill, an overwhelming majority of the voting public expressed its strong opposition to the bill, frustrating well-meaning Senators' attempts to legislate in secret and without public input.
And then to add insult to injury, a "tiny band" of malcotents abused the system to force their extremist-minority views on the whole Senate, defeating the cloture motion by a... um, majority bipartisan vote.
Can the Constitution possibly survive if legislators are now actually expected to be somewhat congnizant of strongly-held beliefs of the great majority of their constitutents? What, did I wake up all of a sudden in Nazi Germany?
There is indeed a "structural imbalance" in our politics when our elite political-media class cannot win on every single issue they care about over the strong opposition of the majority of the American citizenry.
If this continues, we might actually have some sort of... I don't know what you'd call it, let's say "representative democratic republic" of some kind operating right here in America within our very lifetimes. In America, of all places. Why, Aaron Burr is spinning in his grave.
Can the Republic endure in the face of such an existential threat?
Who will speak for the people, if now the people are permitted to speak for themselves?
Time will tell, my friends. Time will tell. But surely we are living in dangerous days.
Video: I actually wrote this before I knew Allah had cut the video from the show last night. Not sure if Kondracke's "bad parts" whine is here, but this shoud give you the tenor from the panel. Even FoxNews was for the bill, at least institutionally.
So what chance did this poor bill have?
Asking again: Were it not for the evil talk radio and blogosphere, would there have been any debate on this bill at all and any effective, organzied opposition to it?
Of course not. And that's why they're so angry with us.
We took away a Divine Rights of the king and a cherished Aristocratic Prerogative of the political-media-lobbyist class.
And damnit, they want it back.
— Ace This one's NC-17, alas. Which is nonsense; it's R. I guess LauraW's disgusting cat pictures put it over the top.
I keep screwing myself up by stopping with all the cursing periodically -- cleansing my blog, at least in all the recent posts, of profanity -- and then I go into these Tourette's jags and ruin all that previous restraint.
Thanks to Josh.
Heh: Instapundit's rating is R! For using words like "kill" and "sex."
— Ace May? Please.
— Ace A shooting school in Las Vegas (alas) is offering free shooting classes for website editors in exchange for links.
There will probably -- hopefully! -- be more of this, but, snark aside, it is corrupting, isn't it? To the extent blogging is a lark, fine, all goodies are welcome. But as it's become a somewhat professional endeavor for some, I guess, um, we have to adopt some of the rules of professionalism.
But not actually editing posts for typos and mispellings. That would be selling out.
Thanks to MikeK.
— MatthewSheffield After the debate ended, I took off to "spin alley" where the various candidates had little cattle areas underneath those vertical political convention signs. The three top candidates did not show, although Clinton and Obama managed to get pretty good crowds with the b-team. John Edwards, meanwhile, got little attention. More than a few times, I saw other candidates' staffers slip over into his area. Edwards really owes Ann Coulter for saving him from being a silky version of Mike Gravel.
Speaking of slipping, Maureen Dowd was off the wagon at home instead of doing her job showing up to report on something. That's at least what the New York Times grunts who were there told me. "She's such a bitch!" I heard them say.
(Lawyers, that last paragraph was sarcasm.)
While Obama, Clinton and Edwards were off enjoying whatever it is that rich liberal Democrats enjoy, their less-popular rivals were out spinning the press. Someone said they saw Bill Richardson although I never got a glimpse of the guy. I kind of wanted to ask him how didn't he feel dirty talking about tax cuts on the same stage with a bunch of redistributionists. Sadly, I could not.
Chris Dodd was there. I didn't feel like talking to the guy. He just wasn't worth the time. I mean if you're going to run a snowball's-chance-in-hell campaign, you should at least have the common decency to be a little "off" for everyone's entertainment.
Speaking of "off," Mike Gravel was there. I didn't talk to him since getting him to say something stupid is like shooting fish in a barrel. He just strikes me as the scary uncle you always lie about being related to. There's a fine line between disturbed and amusingly delusional. Thank God Dennis Kucinich knows that line very well.
Yes, guys, your humble correspondent was graced by the pleasure of everyone's favorite socialist elf. I can verify that the rumors are false. He does not have antennae or slightly pitched ears. He does, however, have a wife who appears to stage-manage him. more...
— Ace It was McCain's missing 50th vote to table one of the clay pigeon amendments on Wednesday that resulted in the amendment not being turned back -- and the activation of procedural rules that, in a clay pigeon scheme, no additional amendments (some of which Senators said were critical for securing their "Yea" vote on cloture) could be considered without unamimous consent.
Which, of course, our heroes of the day like DeMint, Sessions, Cornyn, Vitter, et al. were rather unwilling to grant.
That's the thing about trying to railroad people -- if it doesn't work, they're sort of inclined to railroad you right back.
Had McCain been there, he would have been the 50th vote, the amendment would been killed, and the clay-pigeon process could have continued. With that, perhaps, the bill might have been able to scrape together the 60 votes needed for cloture. Without the 50th vote, Reid released the senators [who had been arm-twisted into voting to table the amendment, but only if their votes could be part of a victorious effort], and Baucuss amendment survived, 52-45.
As it was, no further amendments could be considered before cloture, as unanimous consent was required to move to another one. Opponents were quick to object.
Reids staff knew at that point, they were toast, said a GOP Senate aide. I dont think Reid knew it. He asked what they could do at that point [on the floor], and somebody on our side yelled, You cant do anything! See you at cloture!
How A Victory Turned Into A Rout: Probably obvious to most of you, but when Senators realized they wouldn't win on cloture, many abandoned ship. Because they didn't want their last vote on the matter to be a vote for amnesty without security.
— Ace As I wrote last time we (thought we) won, now that all the Open Borders crowd has gone on record for months calling the current situation intolerable and shrieking about the need for enforcement at the border -- can we now, you know, get some enforcement at the border?
Or was that all just a lie to get the amnesty through? I'm sure that's what it was, but they have made certain representations they cannot easily walk away from now.
In reporter Todd Bensman's recent series for the San Antonio Express-News , he detailed the tide of illegal immigrants who come to America from high-risk countries that support or harbor terrorists. Using data from the Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Bensman discovered that more than 6,000 illegals from 46 "countries of interest" have been apprehended along our southern border since 2001. the number who managed to sneak through is much higher, probably between 30-40,000. Federal authorities have no idea about the whereabouts of these potential terrorists. Under current enforcement policies, most will remain at large, with the opportunity to plan new attacks on our soil.
We also know that Al Qaida views our southern border as a "secondary" infiltration route for smuggling operatives into the U.S (bringing them in with legal documentation remains the preferred method). Intelligence sources tell us that there was "great concern" about a possible Al Qaida-Mexico connection three years ago. Officials were so concerned that all ranking Al Qaida terrorists then in custody were questioned about possible strikes originating from Mexico, or using that country as a transit point. The terror group clearly understands that our southern border remains open, and we've taken only modest steps to stop the flow of illegals.
If you want proof of that, consider the 700 mile security fence, approved last year by Congress for the U.S.-Mexican border. The money has been appropriated, but at last report, less than 15 miles of fence had actually been built--despite clear evidence that barriers in other areas have reduced illegal immigration by as much as 50%.
— Ace ...because I think positive reinforcement is almost as effective as the negative sort.
The order of voting, as a guide to when Senators voted. This list is partly misleading, because it's just not the case that those who voted later all did so only when they saw the bill was going down; Corker, of course, declared against this weeks ago, but is somewhat late in actually voting. Still, at least you can see who voted which way.
New Hampshirites might want to make sure Sununu knows his vote was appreciated, and that Gregg knows he's political damaged goods. Not that it will matter with Gregg; I'm told that he delights in conceiving of himself as always The Smartest Guy In The Room, so your plebian opionions matter not a whit to him. They may matter during his next election, though.
And Bennett... voting in favor of it in exchange for a couple of penny-ante pork project federal offices in Utah. Good God.
— Ace Like that very old SNL sketch called Dangerous But Incompetent, fortunately:
The car bomb found in London's West End contained 60 litres of petrol, a large amount of nails and several gas canisters, police have revealed.
Detectives believe they have foiled a major terror attack after the "big" explosive device was discovered in a Mercedes early this morning.
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said the UK is "currently facing the most serious and sustained threat" and authorities are doing everything they can to protect the public.
Police said if the bomb had gone off it could have caused "significant injury or loss of life".
Bomb squad officers defused it after police received reports of a suspicious vehicle close to the Tiger Tiger nightclub in Piccadilly shortly before 2am.
An ambulance crew, who treated a person in the club in an unrelated incident, reported that there was smoke inside the car.
The bomb was in the Haymarket, near the popular Regent Street shopping area, and security sources say it could have been timed to coincide with Gordon Brown's first day as Prime Minister.
An eyewitness said a man had crashed the vehicle into bins near Tiger Tiger and then ran off, before the alarm was raised.
The timing coincided with hundreds of revellers leaving nightspots.
The massive quantity of petrol along with several propane gas cylinders could have combined to create a massive explosion.
There was so much petrol in the vehicle that the highly flammable vapour it gave off is believed to have looked like smoke.
The area was cordoned off by officers who examined the metallic green car, outside an American Express foreign exchange, and then discovered the device.
So it seems like it was intended to be a suicide car bombing, but the bomber screwed up his detonation device when he crashed, producing only smoke. And the terrorists continue their childish fascination with any company or landmark with "American" in the title, as if we don't know the message they're sending.
They're scanning London's extensive CCTV surveillance system now, which should reveal his face from about thirty angles. Then again, he's probably already fled to Pakistan.
More... Live-blogging (with lots of links) at PJM, and of course by Allah. Allah thinks it's a homegrown idiot, which most of these latest bombers are, of course, but without the technical expertise often provided by a fly-in-fly-out AQ bomb-maker:
As a readily available combustible material, the propane gas held in such cylinders might be considered by someone unable to source high explosives
A witness reported nails were lying on the floor of the car, which Mr Alford said was another indication the bomb makers were inexperienced.
Nails could be considered as an additional way of extending the potential damage and lethal range of the device but putting them on the floor is an incompetent way of building a bomb. They would go straight into the ground, he said.
Thank Allah that radical Islam tends to stunt one's reasoning and scientific competency. As Gunny said, "I'm sure if God wanted you over that obstacle he would have miracled your ass over it."
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