Featuring the works and commentary of Andrew Bruss

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Bush administration mastermind slams Palin

Photo courtesy of MSNBC
Karl Rove told The Daily Telegraph that Sarah Palin's upcoming reality show on the Discovery Channel hurts her chances at the presidency. The King-Maker/Senior Advisor to George W. Bush  commented, "I am not certain how that fits in the American calculus of 'that helps me see you in the Oval Office."

Palin is quoted on the show saying, "I would rather be doing this than in some stuffy old political office," between cuts of her dog-sledding and kayaking. Rove said that lines like this will come back to haunt her. "There are high standards that the American people have for [the presidency] and they require a certain level of gravitas," Rove said. "They want to look at the candidate and say 'that candidate is doing things that gives me confidence that they are up to the most demanding job in the world."

Rove has been active in the midterm elections, campaigning for Republican candidates through the work of American Crossroads, a tax-exempt organization that avoids scrutiny from the Federal Election Commission. Not-Witch Christine O'Donnell's victory over Republican Rep. Mike Castle is likely to have secured the former seat of Vice President Joe Biden to the Democratic Party. On the heels of O'Donnell's victory, Rove questioned her chances of winning. 

Palin shot back, "Bless his heart. We love our friends, they're in the machine, the expert politicos. But my message to those who say that the GOP nominee is not electable, or that they're not even going to try, well I say, 'buck up!'"

Both Rove and Palin are commentators on Fox News Channel.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Iran training Taliban to use surface-to-air missiles

The Washington Examiner is reporting that Iranian military advisors are training Taliban fighters to use surface-to-air missiles against U.S. and its NATO allies in Afghanistan. U.S.-supplied surface-to-air missiles brought the Soviet Union to its knees in Afghanistan, and an introduction of SAM technology onto the battlefield would be a game changer.

Due to Afghanistans rough terrain, coalition forces are dependent on aircrafts to transport troops and supplies. If our primary means of transportation in Afghanistan is compromised, the effect could revolutionize the battlefield in a way very similar to the use of IED's throughout Iraq.

Although the Iranians are training the Taliban to use SAM's, it is unknown if the Taliban has the weapons systems themselves.

Monday, October 25, 2010

ADL addresses bullying

At the Anti-Defamation League's national conference, a round-table discussion was held on issues relating to bullying and the Massachusetts state law that has given educators more tools to combat the problem. Read my coverage in the Jewish Advocate here...

Friday, October 22, 2010

Interfaith organization puts gubernatorial hopefuls to the test

Last weekend I covered a forum organized by the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization that got all four candidates for the Bay State's highest office to answer "yes" or "no" regarding their support of the 3 ballot questions, as well as issues ranging from settling Haitian refugees, credit card usury, and funding youth programs. You can read my coverage of the event in The Jewish Advocate here...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

U.S. to sell Saudi's $60b in weaponry

The Department of Defense has brought a deal before Congress to sell Saudi Arabia up to $60b in military hardware, including 85 F-15's, UH-60 Black Hawk's, and Apache attack helicopters. In addition to giving them more "birds in the air," the deal is expected to include advanced radar technology.

It's no secret that Iranian regional hegemony is a an equal, if not greater threat to Saudi Arabia than it is to the United States. Sunni Arab allies of the United States such as Egypt, Jordan, and the Saudi's are equally disturbed by the Shia Persian power's nuclear program, and this deal would boost the strength of its regional allies by providing a deterrent against an attack from any Ayatollahs who shall remain nameless.

Monday, October 18, 2010

LCD Soundsystem photo gallery

LCD Soundsystem came through Boston on what is rumored to be their last tour in support of their rumored-last album, and I was there on behalf of Glide Magazine to get a few photos. Enjoy!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Brandeis' President-elect discuses campus hate speech

I've had an article published on the address Frederick Lawrence, Brandies' President-elect gave to the ADL National Committee on hate speech on college campuses.

The former B.U. Law Professor and Dean of G.W. Law gave a very reasoned argument about why provocative, and often times offensive expression is encouraged on campuses. However, he noted that the line is drawn when people are meant to feel threatened or delegitimized

When asked how he would handle the recent suicide at Rutgers University, he noted that college president's are only "one phone call away" from being in their peers shoes, and for that very reason, he wouldn't critique that schools handling of the situation.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Foxman defends ADL's position on Lower Manhattan Mosque

Last week I reported on the Anti-Defamation League's National Conference at Boston's Sheraton Hotel for The Jewish Advocate. During the event, ADL National Director Abe Foxman was confronted by members in attendance who requested that the organization change it's position on the Lower Manhattan Mosque. Foxman, who feels as though their position has been misrepresented by the media, wrote an article in The Huffington Post to explain their position.

As for the question from his organization's member, Foxman replied: “I respectfully say to you, read what we said, not what others said we said.”

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Marine Corps considering new class of Cyber-Warriors

Ever since the Department of Defense created its Cyber-Defense program in 2009, the US has been gradually catching up with the army of hackers countries like China have up their sleeve. The recent use of the Stuxnet virus against the Iranian nuclear program has demonstrated to the world how powerful cyber-warfare can be, and earlier today, Lt. Gen. George Flynn, deputy commandant for combat development and integration, told a House Armed Services Committee panel that a new breed of "Cyber-Warriors" is in our future.

The teams that pilot UAV's from Nellis Air Force Base could be considered Cyber-Pilots, so the announcement of Cyber-Warriors should be of no surprise. Flynn was tight lipped about the role these Tron-esque soldiers would play in future conflicts, but he did say that given the extensive training they would undergo, these recruits would be expected to serve for lengthy periods of time. 

Friday, October 8, 2010

Tom Donilon: Right guy for the job?

Deputy National Security Advisor Tom Donilon is slated to replace his boss, General James Jones, when he steps down as President Obama's right hand man on all things threatening. Donilon has plenty of credentials to support his hiring, but according to Bob Woodward's "Obama's Wars," there are plenty of reasons this news will not be welcomed by defense insiders.

Jones was quoted telling Donilon, "You have no credibility with the military. The book also quotes Secretary of Defense Rober Gates as saying Donilon would be a "disaster" as a Jones' replacement. During an Afghanistan strategy pow-wow, Jones was said to be displeased with his deputy's conduct and asked to speak with him after the meeting. Jones' concern was that Donilon made far-reaching comments about Iraq and Afghanistan without having visited either country. He advised his deputy to see these places for themselves, telling him, "The White House, Situation Room, interagency byplay, as important as they are, are not everything."

Although there is cause for concern, his lack of street-cred does not necessarily rule him out as a competent advisor. After all, Condoleezza Rice, George W. Bush's first National Security Advisor/second Secretary of State, had little practical experience in defense issues. At Stanford University she was an assistant professor who specialized in Soviet Russia, which no longer existed when she served in the White House. That worked out in the end... didn't it?

BREAKING: Obama's National Security Advisor to Retire

Obama's National Security Advisor, General James Jones, is set to retire today, according to David Makovsky, Director of the Project on the Middle East Peace Process at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

He is currently speaking as I write this at the Anti-Defamation League's Annual National Committee Meeting, discussing the peace process between Israeli's and Palestinians. He has spoken in depth about the leadership gap facing the Arab world when Egypt's Hosni Mubarak and Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah pass away.

I will continue to follow this story as it unfolds...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

iPhone coming to Verizon?

According to The Wall Street Journal, "Apple Inc. plans to begin mass producing a new iPhone by the end of 2010 that would allow Verizon Wireless to sell the smartphone early next year,' said people briefed by Apple."

Apple fans have been waiting for the worlds most popular smartphone to disseminate to other wireless providers since its launch in January, 2007. Buzz has been building that Verizon would be the next network to carry the iPhone since word went out that Apple decided to use Qualcomm Inc. to supply CDMA technology as an alternative wireless technology for non-AT&T iPhones.

No official word has come from the notoriously secretive Apple about whether or not they will be launching a Verizon iPhone in the first quarter of 2011... but having the Journal getting into this conversation is certain to stimulate the rumor mill even more.

Israeli Tilt-Roter UAV Debuted

Israeli Aerospace Industries unveiled the Panther tilt-rotor drone today, providing the Jewish State with another notch on its belt as a world leader in UAV Technology.  Like the V-22 Osprey, the Panther can take off like a traditional helicopter and then fly like a fixed wing aircraft once in the air. Aviation Weekly reported, "An intriguing option is the Panther's ability to hover or land quietly in enemy territory, conduct surveillance like a ground sensor and then take off again." The IAI has produced large, long-range UAV's, as well as the Mosquito, which weights 1.1 lbs and has a flight average of 30-40 minutes. The Panther was designed to fill in the operational gaps between their largest and smallest UAV's. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

NFL throws a flag at Russ Feingold

The NFL has asked Senator Russ Feingold to stop using footage of players dancing in the end zone as part of a campaign ad that targets the GOP's premature celebration prior to the upcoming election. It's no coincidence that Feingold, who represents Wisconsin, utilized footage of then-Minnesota Viking Randy Moss pretending to moon the crowd because the Vikings are the arch rivals of the Green Bay Packers. GOP-mouthpiece The Weekly Standard chose to run this news as an opportunity to slam the Democratic incumbent for misconduct, even though he has championed campaign reform and co-wrote the McCain-Feingold law on campaign finance.

I don't blame the NLF for continuing their policy of enforcing the copyright of past footage, but I will give a tip of the hat to Feingold's people for creativity.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Taliban infiltrates Afghan forces

Seeing as low-level soldiers in the Taliban and Afghan army have been known to work for the highest bidder, this should come as no surprise.