by Jennifer Harper
INSIDE THE BELTWAY
February 22, 2010
This photo taken Sept. 11,
2001, by the New York City Police Department
and obtained by ABC News,
which claims to have obtained them under the Freedom of Information Act,
shows smoke billowing from
the grounds of World Trade Center in New York.
(AP Photo/NYPD via ABC
News, Det. Greg Semendinger)
A lingering technical question about the
Sept. 11 terrorist attacks still haunts some, and it has
political implications: How did 200,000 tons of steel disintegrate and drop
in 11 seconds?
A thousand architects and engineers want to
know, and are calling on Congress to order a new investigation into the
destruction of the Twin Towers and Building 7 at the World Trade Center.
"In order to bring down this kind of mass in
such a short period of time, the material must have been artificially,
exploded outwards," says Richard Gage, a San Francisco architect and
founder of the nonprofit Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth.
Mr. Gage, who is a member of the American
Institute of Architects, managed to persuade more than 1,000 of his peers to
sign a new petition requesting a formal inquiry.
"The official Federal Emergency Management
and National Institute of Standards and Technology reports provide
insufficient, contradictory and fraudulent accounts of the circumstances
of the towers' destruction. We are therefore calling for a grand jury
investigation of NIST officials," Mr. Gage adds.
The technical issues surrounding the collapse of
the towers has prompted years of debate, rebuttal and ridicule.
He is particularly disturbed by Building 7, a 47-story skyscraper, which was
not hit by an aircraft, yet came down in "pure free-fall acceleration." He
also says that more than 100 first-responders reported explosions and
flashes as the towers were falling and cited evidence of,
"multi-ton steel sections ejected laterally
600 ft. at 60 mph" and the "mid-air pulverization of 90,000 tons of
concrete & metal decking."
There is also evidence of,
nano-thermitic composite material found
in the World Trade Center dust," Mr. Gage says.
The group's petition at
www.ae911truth.org is already on its way to members of Congress.
"Government officials will be notified that
'Misprision of Treason,' U.S. Code 18 (Sec. 2382), is a serious federal
offense, which requires those with evidence of treason to act," Mr. Gage
"The implications are enormous and may have
profound impact on the forthcoming Khalid Shaikh Mohammed trial."
JUST SO YOU KNOW
It's done broke.
But given enough duct tape, Gorilla Glue
and a few safety pins, we'll get by, perhaps.
Only 5 percent of Americans say our
system of government is "broken and cannot be fixed," according to a
CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey of 1,023 adults released
The vast majority - 81 percent - say,
yes, it's broken "but can be fixed."
An optimistic 14 percent insist the
government "isn't broken."
Some don't buy any of it, though.
"With metronomic regularity, we go through
these moments in Washington where we complain about the government being
broken. These moments have one thing in common: The left is having
trouble enacting its agenda," George Will told ABC's "This Week" on
"No one, when
George W. Bush had trouble reforming
Social Security, said, 'Oh, that's terrible - the government's broken.'
THINK ABOUT IT
"For years, we have had information stands
about the war commanders. But the supreme commander was missing. We need
to remember the man who led our country in the war."
- Vladimir Makarov, chief of
Moscow's advertising and information committee, on his decision to
decorate the city with posters of Josef Stalin on May 9, which Russia
marks as the 65th anniversary of the Soviet defeat of Nazi Germany
during World War II.
Political operatives should remember that people still crave viable, timely
content and friendly community that has not been sullied by technology's
bells and whistles.
Witness conservative goddess Michelle Malkin,
who has sold
Hotair.com - a spirited political blog she
founded in 2006 - to Salem Communications, which syndicates such talk-radio
heavyweights as Bill Bennett, Hugh Hewitt and Michael Medved, among other
Mrs. Malkin has emerged from her experience with insight about
communications in the often chaotic media/political/ideological realm. For
one thing, the "clean, simple, user-friendly format" has stayed the same,
she says in a farewell message.
And the answer to attracting a loyal audience
did not lie in a burdensome multiplatform extravaganza, either.
"To survive, we needed to adapt, respond to
market forces, and adjust the business focus to meet readers' revealed
preferences. Like the teleprompter reader-in-chief always says, 'Change
is never easy.' I made the decision to redirect our resources away from
original video reluctantly," Mrs. Malkin says.
"But we looked at the metrics, we looked at the bottom line, and we
listened to you. You wanted a 24/7, up-to-the-minute, one-stop,
all-purpose conservative blog and aggregator. You wanted an Internet
water cooler to hang out with your friends - a place where you could
find all the political coverage you needed, but also a place where you
could get comic relief, humpbot videos, the latest 'Duuudes' and 'Hmmms'
and 'Heart-aches,' and off-beat stories of the day."
A limerick on a Monday? Aw, go ahead.
This is courtesy of longtime friend-of-Beltway
and "Politickles" author F.R. Duplantier:
At the Winter Olympics, aghast,
All the skiers see someone fly past;
They're left out in the cold
As Obama gets gold:
No one's ever gone downhill so fast!
POLL DU JOUR
84 percent of U.S. voters say the
situation in Afghanistan is important to national security
47 percent believe the U.S. can win in
30 percent say victory is not possible
23 percent are not sure
42 percent approve of President Obama's
handling of the war in Afghanistan
79 percent of Democrats and 24 percent
of Republicans agree
63 percent of Republicans say "winning
the war" is the most important goal
64 percent of Democrats say "ending the
war as soon as possible" is more important