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Friday, Jan. 18, 2008 4:01 AM

Former chess champion Bobby Fischer has passed away at age 64.


There's irony in the fact that former Congressman Mark Siljander's staff included conservative pundit Debbie Schlussel, who bills herself as having 'unique experience on radical Islam/Islamic terrorism,' and lists, among her 'achievements,' exposing a U.S. Attorney's 'secret dealings' with Hamas money launderers and terrorists. (Schlussel's real credentials include informing her readers that the Virginia Tech shooter 'had to be a Paki' and similar Fear Islam! nonsense.)

Siljander was indicted for being involved with an Islamic charity that was funneling money to the Taliban and al-Qaeda, to the tune of over $130,000. The indictment also specifies that Siljander was asked to help remove the charity, the Islamic American Relief Agency, from a Senate-compiled list of terrorist-linked organizations.

Oh, dear. And Ms. Schlussel, whose bio also mentions her extensive work 'undercover' to expose assorted Islamic plots and evildoing, is simply shocked that her former boss - as tough an anti-Islamist as she's ever known - Could Possibly Be One Of Them.

On one hand, politicians want to tell us how to treat the American flag; on the other hand, they'll tell us 'where to stick the pole,' which is what Mike Huckabee said about the Confederate Flag during a campaign stop in South Carolina.

Huckabee also continued to play the 'common man' card, affirming that we need a president who understands people who are living paycheck to paycheck.

Right. The field includes politicians and lawyers, some of whom have invested their 'personal fortune' into their campaigns ... and they're trying to convince the American people they're just plain folks, scraping to buy milk and eggs.

Maybe it's time to stop electing millionaires to public office.

John McCain's campaign staff needs to check the news more often. McCain was pushing for making President Bush's tax cuts permanent ... but Bush has begun to back down from that position in light of an ailing economy.

Paul Dhaliwal, one of the survivors of the San Francisco Zoo tiger mauling, apparently told Carlos Sousa's father that they had been standing on the railing, shouting and waving at the animals prior to the attack.

A search by police has not revealed any incriminating evidence on the brothers' cell phones, though the car contained an open bottle of vodka, a small quantity of marijuana, and materials used to spoof drug tests - the last item significant only because Paul Dhaliwal was on probation for a drunken driving incident. (Dhaliwal's blood alcohol level, tested after the attack, was 0.16 - twice the legal limit.)

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