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Newsbrief: Giuliani Surges, Terrorists Targeted, Hurricane Season’s Slow Start

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CBS News Poll Shows Giuliani Way Ahead

In the latest CBS News poll former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani seems to have surged ahead of the other candidates, widening his lead on major challengers by much more than expected and doubling the percentage of the nearest challenger. The poll of likely Republican primary voters shows Giuliani with a 38% lead, followed by undeclared candidate Fred Thompson at 18%, Mitt Romney at 13% and John McCain at 12%. Popular speculation that Romney was developing momentum because of his victory in the Iowa Straw Poll seems to have been off the mark, and Giuliani has moved to a position where it may be his election to lose. Further polling suggests surprisingly strong support for Giuliani among conservative and religious groups despite his relatively socially liberal attitudes. With the earliest primaries having been moved up into January, candidates have less time than expected to catch Giuliani now that he has become the clear Republican front runner.

For more see: CBS News

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard to be Targeted as Terrorists

This week the administration is expanding the War on Terror to target new terrorist organizations, focusing on Iranian and Syrian backed groups like Fatah al-Islam in Lebanon, but more significantly, specifically designating the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization. This allows the government to go after their fund raising apparatus and assets here in the United States and to try to cut off the money which they funnel to a variety of terrorist organizations in Lebanon and Palestine.

Following the model of the Chinese Red Army, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard has developed substantial international business interests and a powerful fund raising apparatus as well as an espionage network. They have units deployed in a variety of areas training and supporting terrorist and insurgent activity. Attacking their financial structure may be an effective way to reduce their effectiveness without challenging Iran’s government directly.

For more see: Washington Post, The Australian

Tropical Storm Erin Heading for Gulf Coast

After retracting embarrassing predictions of an above average hurricane season made earlier this year, the NOAA may be relived to be able to report that now that we are well into hurricane season the first few tropical depressions are managing to creep their way towards the United States. After earlier tropical depressions petered out in the Atlantic, tropical storm Erin is now in the Gulf of Mexico and headed for the Texas Gulf Coast. Winds are at a fairly modest 40 miles an hour as the storm is 250 miles from land, with a projected landfall somewhere south of Houston.

A tropical storm watch was issued this morning for the southern Gulf Coast, but it is unlikely that Erin will turn into a major hurricane. The storm has already spun off some smaller storms which have done some minor damage, and the storm is likely to contribute to Texas’ bizarre cool summer weather by breaking the first actual hot spell of the season after only a week of real summer-like temperatures. Thiings may get more exciting when (likely) hurricane Dean comes in behind Erin with much stronger winds.

For more see: Click2Houston and NOAA.

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About Dave Nalle

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Those of us who suffered through the first 7 years, 8 months and 10 days of Giuliani’s mayoralty, before he was to our amazement declared a national saint on 9/11/01, can only hope that the more Americans are exposed to his bristly, condescending, generally appalling personality, the more they will be alienated by him. [The relatively few voters who are paying attention at the moment may not be a very representative sample.]

    The thought of him as president is just….too awful to contemplate. In a world where the US is already perceived as the Big Bully on the Block, he’s the biggest bully around.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I suspect that Thompson’s number in the latest poll is a lot lower than it would be if he were actually a declared candidate.

    Thompson’s charm and level-headed good sense, along with his libertarian leanings are going to win him a lot of support as soon as he commits.

    Dave

  • Clavos

    Changing the subject (but still on topic):

    As Erin churns towards Texas, Tropical Storm Dean chugs across the Atlantic, and is forecast to enter the Caribbean sea by Friday morning. The current 5 day track shows Dean proceeding WNW for the next several days, and approaching the Yucatan coast in the vicinity of Cozumel and Cancun by Monday.

    Who knows, Dave, you might get back-to-backs!

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    The current projection shows Erin dying on the coast and turning north to drop slow, non-intense rain all over the northern gulf coast, so if Dean gets here we ought to be able to survive.

    Am I nuts or did we already have a Dean a few years ago?

    Dave

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Checked the radar. Erin still looks big but weak. Dean looks like it’s going to be a lot more intense. Looks like fun times in Port Arthur.

    Dave

  • Clavos

    Yes, we did, though I can’t remember how far back.

    According to the National Hurricane Center’s website FAQs:

    “The Atlantic basin, which falls under Regional Association IV, has a six year supply of names with 21 names for each year. Why 21 names? Well, the letters Q, U, X, Y and Z are not used because names beginning with those letters are in short supply (you would need at least 3 male and 3 female names for each letter, plus a back-up supply for those retired).”

    When a storm causes significant damage and/or loss of life, its name is retired. Thus, there will never be another Andrew or Katrina.

    BTW, as of the 2300 EDT Bulletin, Dean is likely to be the season’s first major hurricane, reaching Category 4 by Monday, when it approaches the Yucatan.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “CBS News Poll Shows Giuliani Way Ahead”

    Yeah, well, Lieberman was polling quite well for the Democrat nomination at this point in 2003, and we all know how that turned out…

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “tropical storm Erin is now in the Gulf of Mexico and headed for the Texas Gulf Coast. Winds are at a modest 14 miles an hour”

    14 MPH? How exactly is that a tropical storm?

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    It’s not but that’s because Dave got it wrong.

    From his Click2Houston link:

    “At 10 p.m., the storm was 200 miles south-southwest of Galveston and moving northwest at 14 mph. Maximum sustained winds were at 40 mph.”

    The speed a storm travels and the speed of wind within are two different things.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Quite correct, El B, I grabbed the wrong number out of the sentence I was referencing. I’ve now corrected the article. 40mph is still fairly leisurely for a hurricane, but 14 would be more like a mild breeze.

    Dave

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    In discussing two out of my three items you folks seem to have missed what I think is the most significant one, going after the assets of the Revolutionary Guard. If there’s a single organization aside for al Qaeda which funds large amounts of terrorism world wide, they’re it. Cutting off some of their resources might be a truly meaningful step in the war on terror.

    Dave

  • Nancy

    Or is it just BushCo ramping up their rhetoric against Iran so’s they can justify an invasion shortly? Sorry, but after all the lies we’ve gotten from this administration, if they claim the sky is blue, I’m not going to believe them at this point.

  • http://www.booklinker.blogspot.com Deano

    I just wanted to say that I’m watching my namesake hurricane with bated breath.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Where do you live, Deano? Will you get to watch it any more directly than through the net?

    Dave

  • http://www.booklinker.blogspot.com Deano

    Nowhere close to the hurricane’s path. I’m just going to passively watch my namesakes relentless path of destruction…

    If it just peters out in the middle of nowhere I will probably take to drink….

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    But will you weep if it does real damage?

    I hear that if we sacrifice someone with the same name to the hurricane god the storm will turn aside.

    Hey, want to come visit me here in Texas?

    Dave

  • http://www.booklinker.blogspot.com Deano

    Been to Texas before. Reminds me of what an old U.S. cavalry officer once noted:

    “If I owned Hell and I owned Texas, I’d rent out Texas and live in Hell.”