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Archive Edition for   Sunday, January 30, 2005Go to Current Page
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Quoted in this edition:

Ace of Spades HQ
  Ann Althouse
The American Street
  Jenny Greenleaf
  Hesiod @AmStreet
  Gary Farber
  Andrew Sullivan
The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler
  Emperor Darth Misha I
  Roger Kimball
Associated Press
  Anne Gearan
  Siobhan Mcdonough
  Donna Abu-Nasr
  Erica Werner
  Hamza Hendawi
  Deb Riechmann
  Bassem Mroue
Backcountry Conservative
  Jeff Quinton
Balloon Juice
  John Cole
  Nicky Barranger
  Gregory Djerejian
Belmont Club
Betsy's Page
  Betsy Newmark
Billings Gazette
  Becky Shay
Boston Globe
  Nina Easton
Brad DeLong's Semi-Daily Journal
BrothersJudd Blog
  Orrin Judd
  Peter Burnet
The Buck Stops Here
  Stuart Buck
Burnt Orange Report
  Jim Dallas
Captain's Quarters
  Captain Ed
  Tully @Centerfield
  Andrew Quinn
  Rickheller @Centerfield
Chicago Sun Times
  Mark Steyn
  Robert Novak
  Arthur Chrenkoff
The Corner
  K. J. Lopez
  Andrew Stuttaford
  Cliff May
  Lambert @Corrente
Crescat Sententia
  Will Baude
Crooked Timber
  Henry Farrell
Daily Kos
  Armando @DailyKos
  Damian Penny
  Daniel Drezner
Dean's World
  Mary Madigan
  Frederick Maryland
  Steve Antler
  Ed Cone
Ezra Klein
  Ezra Klein
Fox News
Globe and Mail
  Borzou Daragahi
  Richard Williams
  Julia Day
Gut Rumbles
  Shahar Smooha
Harry's Place
  Marcus @HarrysPlace
  David T
  Harry @HarrysPlace
Hit and Run
  Nick Gillespie
  Michael Young
Houston Chronicle
  Ramsey Clark
  Hugh Hewitt
INDC Journal
  Bill @INDCJournal
Informed Comment
  Juan Cole
  Glenn Reynolds
Israel news and commentary from IsraPundit
  Akiva Marks
  Tom Maguire
Kesher Talk
  Judith Weiss
The Left Coaster
  Steve Soto
Little Green Footballs
  Charles Johnson
Los Angeles Times
  Rone Tempest
  Marc Cooper
  Janet Hook
The Mahablog
  Barbara O'Brien
Mathew Gross
  Mathew Gross
Michael J. Totten
  Jeremy Brown
Michelle Malkin
  Michelle Malkin
The Moderate Voice
  Joe Gandelman
  Greg Piper
Mudville Gazette
  Matt Stoller
  Chris Bowers
  Jerome Armstrong
New York Times
  Dexter Filkins
  Hassan M. Fattah
  David D. Kirkpatrick
  Marc Santora
  Gregg Easterbrook
  Steven R. Weisman
  Jodi Wilgoren
  Todd S. Purdum
  David Brooks
  Bakhtiar Dargali
  New Donkey
No More Mister Nice Blog
  Steve M.
  Norm Geras
  Michael Ignatieff
Obsidian Wings
  Charles Bird
  Von @ObsidianWings
Outside The Beltway
  Robert Tagorda
  Leopold Stotch
  Kate @OTB
  Josh Chafetz
  Pejman Yousefzadeh
  Steven Taylor
  DJ Drummond
  Alexander K. McClure
Power Line
  The Big Trunk
  Steve Bainbridge
protein wisdom
  Jeff Goldstein
Questions and Observations Blog
  Cori Dauber
  Luke Baker
  Matt Spetalnick
  Saul Hudson
  Steve Holland
  Peter Kaplan
  Paul Taylor
Roger L. Simon
  Roger L. Simon
Sadly, No!
  Sadly, No!
  Brian Micklethwait
Secular Blasphemy
  Jan Haugland
Shot In The Dark
  Mitch Berg
The Sideshow
  Avedon Carol
Silent Running
  Wind Rider
skippy the bush kangaroo
  Cookie Jill
Slant Point
  Scott Sala
a small victory
  Michele Catalano
Stephen Pollard
  Stephen Pollard
Taegan Goddard's Political Wire
  Taegan Goddard
the talking dog
  Talking Dog
  Jeralyn Merritt
  Jack Fairweather
  Clare Chapman
  Viveca A. Novak
Times of London
Unqualified Offerings
  Jim Henley
  Stephen Green
The Volokh Conspiracy
  Todd Zywicki
Wall Street Journal
  Vauhini Vara
War and Piece
  Laura Rozen
The Washington Monthly
  Kevin Drum
Washington Post
  Richard Morin
  Doug Struck
  Paul Farhi
  Ceci Connolly
  Steve Hadley
Weekly Standard
  Peter Berkowitz
  Fred Barnes
Winds of Change.NET
  Andrew Olmsted
  Kevin Aylward

Iraqis Brave Bombs to Vote in Their Millions
  By / Reuters   —   Permalink 
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Some came on crutches, others walked for miles then struggled to read the ballot, but across Iraq, millions turned out to vote Sunday, defying insurgents who threatened a bloodbath.
Steve Soto: Voting was heavier than expected in Baghdad, Fallujah, and Mosul, and there were reports of long lines in many places.
Mitch Berg: The Iraqis are getting a fairer election, it seems, than the people of Milwaukee, and value the opportunity, turning out in amazing numbers, more than most Americans.
Daniel Drezner: Both the wire service reports and blog accounts suggest that the turnout has been higher than expected.
Ace: The MSM's Response to the Iraqi Election — Cross posted at The Urban Grind On the one hand, you have joyous Iraqi's...
Joe Gandelman: But above all by RESISTING terrorist threats — as more than 70 percent of the Iraqis did today, as they bravely headed...
Pejman Yousefzadeh: In any event, the facts on the ground show Senator Kerry to be clueless and desperate: "Some came on crutches, others...
Also: Harry @HarrysPlace, Jan Haugland, Barbara O'Brien, McQ, Bill @INDCJournal, Cori Dauber, Jonah Goldberg, Roger L. Simon, Hindrocket, Dean Esmay, Nick Gillespie, Norm Geras

Transcript for Jan. 30
  MSNBC   —   Permalink 
This is a rush transcript provided for the information and convenience of the press. Accuracy is not guaranteed. In case of doubt, please check with:
Tom Maguire: Those of us who wondered whether the unanswered questions about Kerry's Vietnam service would be kicked around again...
Kate @OTB: "- Sen.John Kerry, Meet The Press, Jan.30 2005."
Ann Althouse: Kerry on "Meet the Press." The Kerry interview on today's "Meet the Press" is exactly what you would expect.
Judith Weiss: Dept: John Kerry, who seems unable to pass up an opportunity to make himself look dyspeptic and antiquated, held a press conference to piss on the election.
Charles Johnson: Well, here you go, if you can stomach another heaping helping of John F. Kerry's by-now tiresomely predictable...
The Big Trunk: Mama told me not to come — John Kerry appeared on NBC News' Meet the Press this morning and MSNBC has posted the transcript.
Also: Captain Ed, Taegan Goddard, PoliPundit, Orrin Judd, Wind Rider, K. J. Lopez

Amid Attacks, a Party Atmosphere on Baghdad's Closed Streets
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
BAGHDAD, Iraq, Jan. 30 - After a slow start, voters turned out in very large numbers in Baghdad today, packing polling places and creating a party atmosphere in the streets as Iraqis here and nationwide turned out to cast ballots in the country's first free elections in more than 50 years.
Joe Gandelman: One piece of evidence that this vote became more than just "an election" but an event with special historical, almost...
Steve Antler: Total irony, this Cavett guy. UPDATE III: Via Instapundit — NYT reports party atmosphere in Baghdad.
Glenn Reynolds: (Both via The Corner). UPDATE: The New York Times is even reporting a "party atmosphere" in Baghdad.
Daniel Drezner: Dexter Filkins' account in the New York Times is positively effusive: "[If] the insurgents wanted to stop people in Baghdad from voting, they failed.
Captain Ed: Gray Lady Acknowledges Victory — The New York Times gives an unequivocal look at the astounding victory for democracy...
Orrin Judd: 8 MILLION IRAQIS VS. 13 DEMOCRATS: Insurgent Attacks in Baghdad and Elsewhere Kill at Least 24 (DEXTER FILKINS and JOHN...
Also: Josh Chafetz, James Joyner, Bigwig, Andrew Sullivan, Steve M.

High Turnout in Baghdad Points to Early Success
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
BAGHDAD, Iraq, Jan. 30 - After a slow start, voters turned out in very large numbers in Baghdad today, packing polling places and creating a party atmosphere in the streets, which were closed to traffic but full of children playing soccer, and men and women, some carrying babies.
Joe Gandelman: Iraqis Overwhelmingly Endorse Democracy And Defy Terrorism — Alyawarinkymiddlefinger_1 Iraqi Voters Send Insurgents A...
Jan Haugland: The NYT: After a slow start, voters turned out in very large numbers in Baghdad today, packing polling places and...
Von @ObsidianWings: Today, we see the fruits of his steadfastness: A vote that, by initial accounts, was a spectacular success.
Kevin Drum: The New York Times says there was a "party atmosphere" on the streets of Baghdad.
McQ: Even the NYTimes couldn't find a way to report it negatively: "The voting in Baghdad streets of Baghdad were closed to...
John Cole: At any rate, it appears that even the NY Times can find no way to spin this negatively: "After a slow start, voters...
Also: Steve Antler, Gregory Djerejian, Ed Cone, Matthew Yglesias

Fowler 1, Dean 0
  By / Time   —   Permalink 
A dent was knocked into the aura of inevitability surrounding Howard Dean's run to be the next Democratic Party chair Sunday afternoon when the executive committee of state party chairs voted to endorse Donnie Fowler rather than Dean.
Jenny Greenleaf: Fowler endorsed by State Dem Chairs' executive committee — The executive committee of the Association of State...
Matt Stoller: Executive Committee of the ASDC Picks Donnie — The son of former DNC Chair Don Fowler was endorsed by the Executive...
Jeff Quinton: Donnie Fowler jumps ahead of Howard Dean — Time "A dent was knocked into the aura of inevitability surrounding Howard...
Orrin Judd: ROVE WEPT: Fowler 1, Dean 0: The former Vermont governor's candidacy to lead the DNC hits a snag (VIVECA A. NOVAK, Jan...
Steve Soto: Party Insiders Vote Against Dean This Afternoon — Just when we thought it was possible that the national party would be...
Kevin Drum: However, the state party chairs met today and Time reports that they decided to endorse Donnie Fowler.

Rice: Iraqi Election Tops Expectations
  By / AP   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the Iraqi elections went "better than expected" Sunday, despite conflicting reports about the extent of voter turnout in areas plagued by intimidation and violence.
Jeff Goldstein: If you have time today, take John Cole's challenge.
Ace: Kerry Talks Down Iraq Election [Say Anything] [quote] AP - "It is hard to say that something is legitimate when whole portions...[end quote]
Michelle Malkin: Here's a taste: [snipped quote] While Iraqis rejoice, Ramsey Clark weeps. John Kerry pouts. Feminists are AWOL.
Mitch Berg: Leftypolitician, George Soros project and failed presidential candidate John Kerry: [snipped quote] I guess the 1866 and 1872 US elections should be recalled, right?
Roger L. Simon: [The MSM-ed. ] And John Kerry sounds like a reactionary jerk. And this man seems equally irrelevant.
Sadly, No!: Hack in two acts — Wednesday, January 26, 2005: "Bush Urges Iraqis to Vote, Lowers Expectations" Sunday, January 30,...

Voting, Not Violence, Is the Big Story on Arab TV
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
AMMAN, Jordan, Jan. 30 - Sometime after the first insurgent attack in Iraq this morning, news directors at Arab satellite channels and newspaper editors found themselves facing an altogether new decision: should they report on the violence, or continue to cover the elections themselves?
Robert Tagorda: In the end, however, even Al Jazeera's coverage is relatively glowing, as the New York Times explains (via Greg...
Gregory Djerejian: Arab Press Watch — [snipped quote] — Hassan Fattah in the NYT Of course, if you're Juan Cole, Bahrain '02, say, was more of a democratic event than today's historic elections.
Hindrocket: But it's heartening to see the New York Times report that "Voting, Not Violence, Is the Big Story on Arab TV":...
Ann Althouse: That's the headline — at least for now — on this NYT report: [snipped quote] Beautiful!

Soros Says Kerry's Failings Undermined Campaign Against Bush
  Bloomberg   —   Permalink 
Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) — Billionaire investor George Soros, the biggest financial contributor to the failed effort to defeat President George W. Bush in November's election, said Democratic challenger John Kerry was a flawed candidate.
Steve Bainbridge: Soros — George Soros is blaming the messenger: [snipped quote] I love the fact that left-liberals like Soros just don't get it.
Taegan Goddard: Soros Blasts Kerry — Billionaire investor George Soros — who spent $26 million in the failed effort to defeat...
Joe Gandelman: Department of DUH — Didn't we know this already?
Orrin Judd: NO, THE OTHER GEORGE: Soros Says Kerry's Failings Undermined Campaign Against Bush (Bloomberg, 1/30/05) "Billionaire...
Greyhawk: Memo to Next Democratic Presidential Candidate — When you're turn comes to be George Soros' bitch, don't screw it up.
K. J. Lopez: BAD INVESTMENT — Soros says Kerry was a "flawed" candidate.

Turnout Appears High as Iraq Vote Ends
  WaPo   —   Permalink 
BAGHDAD, Jan. 30 — Iraqis voted in their first democratic election in nearly half a century Sunday with many observers saying the day appeared to have yielded higher turnout than expected and less violence than feared.
Insurgents killed about two dozen people, including a U.S. Marine.
Kevin Drum: The Washington Post reports that the election "yielded higher turnout than expected and less violence than feared."
Lambert @Corrente: Anyhow, here's something that's closer to a bottom line: "The turnout appeared to follow predicted lines: High in the...
Armando @DailyKos: The Iraq Election: Defining Success — Is the Iraq Election a success? The early reporting is that there is good turnout among the Shia and Kurds.
Daniel Drezner: The Washington Post reports that, "Carlos Valenzuela, the United Nations' chief election adviser in Iraq, told CNN that...
Bill @INDCJournal: (Faleh Kheiber/Reuters) WaPo: "Iraq's first democratic election in nearly half a century neared its conclusion Sunday...

Polls Close in Historic Iraqi Elections
  Fox News   —   Permalink 
BAGHDAD, Iraq — The polls in Iraq have closed, ending the country's first open elections in more than 50 years and setting a course for what U.S. officials hope will be a long democratic future.
All around the country, Iraqis defied threats of violence and cast their votes.
Pejman Yousefzadeh: When 72% of eligible voters come out and exercise their rights, it becomes hard to deride an election where turnout was supposed to be abysmally low.
Ace: Second, there's this: "BAGHDAD, Iraq — The polls in Iraq have closed, ending the country's first open elections in...
Leopold Stotch: 72 Percent Turnout in Iraqi Elections — Polls are closed in Iraq, and it's being reported that 72 percent of eligible voters cast ballots.
Hindrocket: Turnout is being estimated at around 72 percent of eligible voters.

Insurgent Attacks in Baghdad and Elsewhere Kill at Least 24
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
BAGHDAD, Iraq, Jan. 30 - After a slow start, voters turned out in very large numbers in Baghdad today, packing polling places and creating a party atmosphere in the streets as Iraqis here and nationwide turned out to cast ballots in the country's first free elections in 50 years.
Ann Althouse: Then, I clicked on the link for the article and the headline is now: "Insurgent Attacks in Baghdad and Elsewhere Kill at...
Jan Haugland: NYT backs down from upbeat election headline — The NYT item I linked below had a very positive headline: "Amid Attacks, a Party Atmosphere on Baghdad's Closed Streets."

Iraqis clash at polling station
  BBC   —   Permalink 
Iraqis have clashed with demonstrators against the election outside a polling station in Manchester.
About 200 demonstrators were chased by another group who burned their flags, while other Iraqis clashed with police.
David T: Or this story - bizarrely and coincidently involving the manager of Oldham Athletic - from Manchester: About 200...
Andrew Stuttaford: The BBC reports that "about 200 demonstrators were chased by another group who burned their flags, while other Iraqis clashed with police."
Norm Geras: The demonstrators were from an Islamic group; the ones who got upset with them were... Iraqis: [snipped quote] Who knows, maybe it could prefigure something wider.
Jan Haugland: Election violence in England — Violence broke out as Iraqis were about to vote, in Manchester in England!
Orrin Judd: Iraqis clash at polling station (BBC, 1/30/05) [snipped quote] Should have burned the demonstrators.

Millions of Iraqis Vote; Attacks Kill 35
  By / Reuters   —   Permalink 
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Millions of Iraqis flocked to vote in a historic election on Sunday, defying insurgents who killed 35 people in a bloody assault on the poll.
Voters, some ululating with joy, others hiding their faces in fear, cast ballots in higher-than-expected numbers in Iraq's first multi-party election in half a century.
Jan Haugland: PS: The early turnout figure, at first estimated to a stunning 72 % of the electorate, has later been cast into doubt.
DeLong: Iraqi Elections Going Well — Reuters reports: "Top News Article | Millions of Iraqis flocked to vote in...
Andrew Olmsted: TOP TOPICS "The people have won." The elections are over.

Bombers strike as Iraqis vote
  CNN   —   Permalink 
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) — Iraq's historic election day is nearing its close with the independent election commission reporting a 72 percent nationwide turnout by mid-afternoon amid attacks and threats of attacks to disrupt the vote.
Ace: When I woke up just now, the Iraqis had finished— in record numbers, without the widespread violence everyone, including me, had feared.
Andrew Quinn: More Election Thoughts 72%. The terrorists have failed. Freedom has prevailed.
Jim Dallas: There were several cowardly bombings in Baghdad, as well as other acts of violence. Will the elections produce a clear winner?
Roger L. Simon: Wowee! 72% voter turnout in Iraq. Democracy triumphs! Don't gloat with your friends who said we did the wrong thing.
Ezra Klein: In fact, odds are neither our military nor cable bureaus will be playing a big role in them... Update: Well scratch my predictive powers, there was plenty of violence.
Akiva Marks: "CNN: Iraqis vote amid violence - BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) — Polls have closed and ballot counting has begun after Iraq's...
Also: Rickheller @Centerfield, John Cole

Chairman Kim's dissolving kingdom
  Times of London   —   Permalink 
FAR across the frozen river two figures hurried from the North Korean shore, slip-sliding on the ice as they made a break for the Chinese riverbank to escape a regime that, by many accounts, is now entering its death throes.
Charles Johnson: Another Crack in the Wall — Is the anti-human communist edifice of North Korea beginning to collapse?
Andrew Stuttaford: TROUBLE IN PARADISE? Interesting report from North Korea.
Glenn Reynolds: AXIS OF EVIL UPDATE: "In interviews for this article over many months, western policymakers, Chinese experts, North...

Reporters' log: Iraqi elections
  BBC   —   Permalink 
Voting is under way across Iraq to elect a transitional Iraqi assembly amid unprecedented security and threats from Iraqi insurgents to attack polling booths.
BBC correspondents report on the latest events from across the region.
Jan Haugland: Also look at the BBC's reporters' log. The 72% turnout estimates are probably guesstimates, but if true it is astonishing .
Wretchard: The BBC reporter's notebook gives area-by-area impressions of the voting.
Laura Rozen: Here's MSNBC on the vote so far. Update: Nice coverage of voting day from the BBC here and here.
McQ: The BBC gave an hour by hour, place by place update: "We have seen voting here in the capital, and in the streets close to the BBC office the atmosphere was almost euphoric.
Arthur Chrenkoff: Ben Brown from Basra: "Turnout here has been extraordinary.
Ed Cone: Iraq election coverage from BBC. Early reports look quite good.
Also: Glenn Reynolds

Bush Aims To Forge A GOP Legacy
  WaPo   —   Permalink 
When President Bush stands before Congress on Wednesday night to deliver his State of the Union address, it is a safe bet that he will not announce that one of his goals is the long-term enfeeblement of the Democratic Party.
New Donkey: But Tom Edsall and John Harris of the Washington Post manage to convey something of importance in today's brief but...
Betsy Newmark: The Washington Post theorizes that Bush is choosing policies that will build the GOP base. And what is so surprising about that?
Rickheller @Centerfield: Undermining The Democrats — The Washington Posts Thomas Edsall reports on the potential political benefits of the Bush...
Kevin Drum: Thomas Edsall and John Harris do a good job of deconstructing this in the Washington Post today. It's worth reading.
Orrin Judd: ONLY TOOK THEM 5 YEARS TO FIGURE HIM OUT: Bush Aims To Forge A GOP Legacy: Second-Term Plans Look to Undercut Democratic...
Taegan Goddard: Weakening Democrats to Build a Legacy — The Washington Post notes that "a recurring theme of many items on" President...

Who's Dying in Our War?
  By / LAT   —   Permalink 
CAMP ANACONDA — Some months after the Americans took over the sprawling Balad Air Base, about 50 miles north of Baghdad, someone posted an enigmatic sign on the main gate asking: "Is Today the Day?"
Hugh Hewitt: So I unwrapped the Sunday Los Angeles Times. The cover story on the magazine? "Who's Dying in Our War."
Cookie Jill: who is dying in our war? so asketh the los angeles times magazine.
Roger L. Simon: Via Hugh Hewitt, the headline of my hometown LAT this morning is "Who's Dying in our War?" [The MSM-ed.
K. J. Lopez: "TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF THEIR PATRIOTISM AND SERVICE" — Californians were greeted this morning with a LATimes Mag story titled "Who's Dying in Our War?"

Iraqis vote amid violence
  CNN   —   Permalink 
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) — The polls have closed on Iraq's first free election in a half century, with the independent election commission reporting a 72 percent turnout of registered voters nationwide by mid-afternoon amid attacks and threats of attacks to disrupt the vote.
Joe Gandelman: (More than 72 percent of the Iraqis — better turnout than in U.S. elections— headed to the polls.)
Glenn Reynolds: CNN is reporting a 72% turnout. [Later: Some readers think that will turn out to be high, with the final number more like 60%.
John Cole: Congrats, Iraqi's — From what I hear on MSNBC and CNN, turnout in Iraq has been fantastic- up to 72%.

Iraq is going to be just fine
  By / Chicago Sun Times   —   Permalink 
In Europe, the wise old foreign-policy ''realists'' scoff at today's elections in Iraq — Islam and democracy are completely incompatible, old boy; everybody knows that, except these naive blundering Yanks who just don't have our experience, frankly.
Judith Weiss: UPDATE: Let's let Mark Steyn have the last word. "... if you rummage through the archives, you'll find that I wanted...
Betsy Newmark: Mark Steyn points out the weakness of all those Realpolitik diplomats who preferred stability with dictators than instability wiht democracy.
K. J. Lopez: IRAQ IS GOING TO BE JUST FINE — Mark Steyn: [snipped quote] Nod to Roger Kimball.
Roger Kimball: Journalists struggled to put a positive spin on the day's events, but the video images of tyranny's traitors choosing a...
Glenn Reynolds: MARK STEYN: [snipped quote] Read the whole thing. Though actually, as noted below, the coverage has been better than most of us expected.

Fanfare and fear mark Iraq elections
  Reuters   —   Permalink 
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Some came on crutches, others walked for miles then struggled to read the ballot, but across most of Iraq millions turned out to vote on Sunday, defying insurgent threats of a bloodbath.
Steve Soto: Iraqi Vote Goes Well, And What It May Mean — Polls have closed in Iraq this Sunday, and although it will be awhile...
Norm Geras: Look — I don't do photos here. But just look. And look. Look. Look. Look. Look. Look. Look. Look. Look.

Iraqi voters defy the bombers
  Guardian   —   Permalink 
Millions of Iraqis defied a surge of bombings and suicide attacks yesterday to go to the polls in greater than expected numbers for the first democratic elections for 50 years. The electoral commission's provisional estimate of turnout was 57%.
Avedon Carol: Iraqi voters defy the bombers Millions of Iraqis defied a surge of bombings and suicide attacks yesterday to go to the...
Steve Soto: Degree Of Sunni NonParticipation Now Becoming Clear — Tomorrow's Guardian reports that revised estimates in Iraq put...

Bombs keep Sunnis away
  Times of London   —   Permalink 
WHILE Shiite areas of Iraq's capital rushed to embrace a new dawn of democracy yesterday, daybreak in many Sunni areas of western Baghdad was grimly predictable: bursts of gunfire in the half light followed by an ominous silence.
Steve Soto: But as more and more details come out about today's vote, it appears that many Sunni areas were empty of voters and...
Stephen Green: Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before — Reporting from Baghdad, Times (of London) reporters James Hider and...

60 pc turnout despite threats
  By / Telegraph   —   Permalink 
On foot, on crutches and in wheelchairs Iraqis defied the death threats of extremists and voted in their millions yesterday in their country's first free election in half a century.
Avedon Carol: Telegraph 60 pc turnout despite threats On foot, on crutches and in wheelchairs Iraqis defied the death threats of...
Captain Ed: Turnout Numbers Settle In At 60% The London Telegraph reports in its morning edition that the estimated turnout in the...

Voter turnout in Iraq reflects an electorate eager to grasp democracy, U.S. pollsters say
  By / AP   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON (AP) Even with widespread violence in Iraq, voters there showed a passion for democracy by apparently turning out in numbers comparable to a typical election in the United States.
Lambert @Corrente: Sayeth Republican pollster Frank Luntz: "''Americans will watch the pictures over the next few days and you'll see support for the war increase,'' said Luntz.
DJ Drummond: A Thought For The Day — The results are early, but even the Associated Press is starting to acknowledge the obvious:...

In defense of Saddam Hussein
  By / Houston Chronicle   —   Permalink 
In late December, I traveled to Amman, Jordan, and met with the family and lawyers of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. I told them that I would help in his defense in any way I could.
The news, when it found its way back to the United States, caused something of a stir.
Captain Ed: Ramsey Clark does his cover version of the Rolling Stones' "Sympathy For The Devil" in the op-ed pages of the Houston...
Michelle Malkin: MEANWHILE, RAMSEY CLARK WEEPS FOR SADDAM — Ramsey Clark, the terrorists' lawyer, has an op-ed piece out today in the Houston Chronicle in defense of Saddam Hussein.
Mitch Berg: [UPDATE: Almost nobody] As I write this, the reports read that there were over 40 dead yesterday, all Iraqis, mostly cops and soldiers and the eight homicide bombers.

A 'stop-Dean' effort arises at DNC forum
  By / Boston Globe   —   Permalink 
NEW YORK — A replay of the 2004 Iowa caucuses unfolded in New York this weekend at a meeting to preview candidates to lead the Democratic Party; six men appealed to voters in an attempt to bend or to bypass the seemingly unstoppable juggernaut of support behind a Green Mountain doctor named Howard Dean.
Kevin Drum: The Boston Globe has a good rundown on the race today. However, the state party chairs met today and Time reports that they decided to endorse Donnie Fowler.
K. J. Lopez: Some Dems cautiously voicing concern about the frontrunner for DNC chair.

Kofi Annan's son admits oil dealing
  Times of London   —   Permalink 
THE son of the United Nations secretary-general has admitted he was involved in negotiations to sell millions of barrels of Iraqi oil under the auspices of Saddam Hussein.
Kojo Annan has told a close friend he became involved in negotiations to sell 2m barrels of Iraqi oil to a Moroccan company in 2001.
Charles Bird: From the London Times: [snipped quote] In the transaction in question, Kojo was retained by [snipped quote] to help seal the deal.
Glenn Reynolds: UNSCAM UPDATE: [snipped quote] I suspect that the new Iraqi government will not be amused.
Captain Ed: Kojo Brokered Oil For UNSCAM After All — Amid the cheering of the Iraqis over their first taste of true freedom, the...
Betsy Newmark: The London Times reports that Kofi Annan is starting to admit his role in helping to sell Saddam's oil.

US lowers expectations for Iraq vote
  By / Reuters   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Unable to deliver on its lofty goal of bringing democracy to Iraq through the January 30 elections, the Bush administration is pressing a damage-control campaign to lower expectations for the vote.
Hugh Hewitt: Wretchard kept a clipping file, and in it is the assessment of U of M professor Juan Cole from two weeks ago: "'These...
Wretchard: Cole earlier characterized the Iraqi electoral process as a "joke" in a Reuters article.

Iraqis fight a lonely battle for democracy
  By / Observer   —   Permalink 
The election in Iraq is without precedent. Never, not even in the dying days of Weimar Germany, when Nazis and Communists brawled in the streets, has there been such a concerted attempt to destroy an election through violence - with candidates unable to appear...
Joe Gandelman: And all of this was within the context of unprecedented attempts to beat the electorate into non-participatory...
McQ: But as Michael Ignatieff notes in the Observer: "The election in Iraq is without precedent.
Arthur Chrenkoff: As Michael Ignatieff writes, "just as depressing as the violence in Iraq is the indifference to it abroad.
Gregory Djerejian: As Michael Ignatieff wrote today: "The election in Iraq is without precedent.
Harry @HarrysPlace: Decency — Great piece on the Iraqi elections in the Observer today from Michael Ignatieff: Liberals can't bring...
Norm Geras: The silence and the jubilation — In today's Observer, Michael Ignatieff has some relevant observations: "Why do so few...
Also: Peter Burnet, Stephen Pollard

10-year-old supports vote of Iraqi people
  By / Billings Gazette   —   Permalink 
If Shelby Dangerfield were an adult in Iraq today, she would risk her life for the chance to vote.
Because she is a 10-year-old Billings girl, Shelby won't be going to the polls. But she will be will be showing her support by wearing ink on her finger - just like those Iraqis who have voted.
Scott Sala: Original story from the great Red State of Montana, as blogcast by Michelle Malkin. UPDATE: someone has the domain already.
Michelle Malkin: BLUE INK SOLIDARITY shelby.gif Ten-year-old Shelby Dangerfield of Billings, Montana, has launched a campaign to show...

Bloggers Share the View From Election Day in Iraq
  By / WSJ   —   Permalink 
Bloggers have been buzzing about Iraq's first free election in half a century. These Web logs – whose authors run the gamut from professional journalists to ordinary Iraqis looking to share their observations – have been chronicling the situation in Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein.
Glenn Reynolds: THE WALL STREET JOURNAL (free link) is rounding up election-blogging from Iraq. UPDATE: Adam Keiper has put together a slideshow of photos from the elections.
Josh Chafetz: UPDATE: The WSJ rounds up election blogging from Iraq.

The Times' 'Blazing Straddle'
  By / LAT   —   Permalink 
An experimental column in which the Los Angeles Times invites outside critics to stomp vigorously upon a Los Angeles newspaper that willfully puts cartoons on the front page of its Opinion section.
Ezra Klein: This week, Marc Cooper, of The Nation and The LA Weekly, steps up to the plate and swings at "objectivity", particularly in the paper's Iraq reporting.
Laura Rozen: The Nation's and LA Weekly's Marc Cooper calls on the newspaper establishment to shake up the normal formulaic way of reporting news: [snipped quote] It would be more fun to read.
Kevin Drum: Today's column isn't bad, though: Marc Cooper complains that the conventions of journalistic objectivity produce bland,...

Bush passionate on Social Security
  By / Chicago Sun Times   —   Permalink 
In contrast to the blase attitude among many Republican movers and shakers, George W. Bush is described by political associates as energized about Social Security reform to a degree not matched on any other domestic issue.
Alexander K. McClure: Robert Novak reports that Bayh's vote against Condoleeza Rice is the first-step in an appeal to the liberal wing of his party.
Taegan Goddard: Bayh's Vote Increases 2008 Speculation — Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN), "feared by Republicans as a dangerously moderate...
Orrin Judd: Nice timing Senator Bayh... MORE: Less moderate Bayh (ROBERT NOVAK, January 30, 2005, Chicago SUN-TIMES) "Sen. Evan...

Arabs Mesmerized by Iraqi Elections
  By / AP   —   Permalink 
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia - A young man smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee in a Saudi cafe worries that Iraq 's elections could lead to civil war. On the banks of the Nile, a student strolling with his girlfriend dismisses the polls as a sham meant to place a pro-American government in Iraq.
K. J. Lopez: "ARABS MESMERIZED": "ANYTHING BUT INDIFFERENT" — "RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — A young man smoking cigarettes and...
Ed Cone: This is the banner headline at the NYT site, very large type at the top of the page, linking to this article: Iraqi...

In pictures: Iraqis vote
  BBC   —   Permalink 
Polls have officially closed in Iraq's first multi-party elections in decades.
Voting was extended to allow those still queuing at polling stations to cast their ballots, while in some areas counting has begun.
The poll took place amid an unprecedented security operation.
Marcus @HarrysPlace: More pictures here.
Peter Burnet: HOPE AND COURAGE — In pictures: Iraqis vote (BBC, January 30th, 2005)

An Israeli rediscovers his Iraqi roots
  By / Haaretz   —   Permalink 
AMMAN - There was nothing surprising about the stunned looks I got last Friday as I stood at the entrance to the girls school in Swafiyeh, handed the guards and the representative of the Iraqi elections committee an Israeli passport and declared my wish to...
Judith Weiss: There is at least one exception, but he had to go to Amman, Jordan to do it. This is a nice idea.
Norm Geras: Read about the Israeli of Iraqi birth registering to vote and voting (in Jordan) in the Iraqi election: [snipped quote] (Thanks: Linda G.)
Cliff May: HISTORIC VOTE — Laurie Mylroie is sending around this piece from Ha'aretz about an Iraqi Jew, now an Israeli, wanting to vote in the Iraqi election — and being welcomed to do so.

A Crack in the Broken-Windows Theory
  By / WaPo   —   Permalink 
What causes some neighborhoods to thrive, while others decay? It's a question that has fascinated social scientists for decades and led directly to the Broken Windows theory, which holds that ignoring the little problems — graffiti, litter, shattered glass — creates a sense of irreversible decline that leads people to abandon the community or to stay away.
Avedon Carol: A recent study reveals A Crack in the Broken-Windows Theory, meaning that nothing has changed since studies 30 or 40...
Stuart Buck: A Crack in the Broken-Windows Theory — Here's a very interesting article discussing the "broken windows" theory.

Rice: Election Exceeds Expectations
  AP   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the Iraqi elections went "better than expected" today, despite incomplete reports about the extent of voter turnout in areas plagued by intimidation and violence.
Pejman Yousefzadeh: ANOTHER UPDATE: The cluelessness is just incredible. What is it about Massachusetts Senators?
K. J. Lopez: THERE WAS AN ELECTION HERE, RIGHT? You read this (Kerry vs. Bush admin) and you wonder.

They Invested Years in Private Accounts
  By / LAT   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON — Back in 1997, proponents of overhauling Social Security met with the man who would become their most powerful convert: Texas Gov. George W. Bush, whose presidential ambitions were beginning to gel.
Ezra Klein: But if Democrats have ignored the Rosetta Stone, the LA Times hasn't, and their staff archaeologists have emerged with...
Orrin Judd: They Invested Years in Private Accounts: Conservatives who want to alter Social Security have long worked to nudge public opinion.
Kevin Drum: For over two decades, reports Janet Hook in the LA Times today: [quote] "It could be many years before the conditions are such...[end quote]

Iraq votes as attacks hit Baghdad
  BBC   —   Permalink 
Suicide attacks and explosions have killed 22 people - mainly in Baghdad - as voters take part in Iraq's first multi-party elections for 50 years.
Correspondents said there were crowds and smiles in the south and north as voters made their choices for a 275-member national assembly.
Talking Dog: We'll start our Sunday morning's coverage of the Iraq election (polls closed at 1400 GMT... or a few minutes ago as I write this at 0930 EST) with this roundup from the Beeb.
Captain Ed: An election is what Iraq needed, as the country's election commission estimates that 72% of eligible voters stormed the...

To Some, 'Chief Justice Scalia' Has a Certain Ring
  WaPo   —   Permalink 
According to Thomas's friends, he has let it be known he does not relish a repeat of the 1991 confirmation hearing at which opponents aired charges that he had sexually harassed a female staffer.
"It would be another ordeal.
Will Baude: Sunday Fluff — Via How Appealing, I found an interesting if rehashed article by Charles Lane about the possibility of a Chief Justice Scalia.
Betsy Newmark: The Washington Post also stokes the drumbeat for a Chief Justice Antonin Scalia.

Defiant Iraqis Vote in Their Millions Despite Bombs
  By / Reuters   —   Permalink 
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Some came on crutches, others walked for miles then struggled to read the ballot, but across most of Iraq millions turned out to vote Sunday, defying insurgent threats of a bloodbath.
Captain Ed: Luke Baker writes about the "festive voting" and the enthusiasm of Iraqis for democracy: "Some came on crutches, others...
Charles Johnson: The Powerful Lure of Democracy — Even as John Kerry goes on Meet the Press to spread more negativity, and mainstream...

Sen. Barbara Boxer Steps Into Spotlight
  By / AP   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON - Sen. Barbara Boxer (news, bio, voting record) has always spoken up, but the California Democrat seems to have gotten a lot louder lately. Her opposition to Condoleezza Rice 's secretary of state nomination was so combative that it was parodied on Saturday Night Live.
Cookie Jill: mcCaffrey told friends when he enlisted that he expected to be assigned to homeland security duties, such as guarding...
Taegan Goddard: The AP runs a similar article, noting Boxer "has never been more in the spotlight."

Iraqi Voters Stream to Polls; 33 Die in Attacks
  By / Reuters   —   Permalink 
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Millions of Iraqis flocked to vote in a historic election Sunday, defying insurgents who killed 33 people in bloody attacks aimed at wrecking the poll.
Voters, some ululating with joy, others hiding their faces in fear, cast ballots in higher-than-expected numbers in their first multi-party election in half a century.
McQ: The Purple Badge of Courage — Indelible and obvious to those who would kill them for participating, nevertheless they came in the millions.
Nick Gillespie: Some Came on Crutches... The scene in Iraq, via Reuters: [snipped quote] Whole account here.

Seven Candidates Scramble to Lead the Party That Lost
  NYT   —   Permalink 
For Democrats looking for free food in New York, there was a cheesecake reception on Friday night and a bagel reception yesterday morning, courtesy of Donnie Fowler Jr. Across town, Simon Rosenberg, one of Mr. Fowler's competitors to be Democratic Party chairman, took the Rev. Al Sharpton to lunch at the Four Seasons.
Taegan Goddard: An Intense Race for DNC Chairman — The New York Times says "candidates for the job of Democratic chairman are campaigning as if it were the presidential nomination itself."
Betsy Newmark: The New York Times looks at the jockeying to be head of DNC. Then, in the midst of the story, they have a totally gratuitous cut at GOP chairmen.

'If you don't take a job as a prostitute, we can stop your benefits'
  By / Telegraph   —   Permalink 
A 25-year-old waitress who turned down a job providing "sexual services'' at a brothel in Berlin faces possible cuts to her unemployment benefit under laws introduced this year.
Ann Althouse: Now that Germany has legalized prostitution, brothels seek employees by ordinary methods, and the unemployed may face...
Steve Bainbridge: Old Europe Becoming a Self-Parody — When people a couple of hundred years from now talk about the decline and fall of...
Pejman Yousefzadeh: WITH A TWIST Well ... um ... oh, just read (I don't know what to say to this): "A 25-year-old waitress who turned...
Captain Ed: German Government Transforms Itself Into Pimps — The German government has told an unemployed woman that unless she...
Tully @Centerfield: Those Uber-Civilized Germans 'If you don't take a job as a prostitute, we can stop your benefits' [snipped quote] Euro-socialism, anyone?
Stephen Pollard: Get thee to a brothel — The beneficent state.

Talk of Taxes, Social Security and Blogs at G.O.P. Retreat
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va., Jan. 29 - Republican members of the House and Senate turned their attention to the politics of changing the tax code and the lessons of President Bush's campaign on Saturday, the second day of a party retreat here.
Chris Bowers: The crisis is so obviously fabricated that at the Republican Party retreat they are openly trying to change the deadline...
Greyhawk: Republican Retreat — Heh: [snipped quote] Indeed.
Jerome Armstrong: Social Security & blogging — The GOP meeting over the weekend is closed to the press, so there's not much more than a...
Mathew Gross: Republican Blogging — This is appropriate: [snipped quote] Indeed it can.

Iraq's Historic Vote Begins
  Fox News   —   Permalink 
BAGHDAD, Iraq — Iraqis are lining up to vote in the country's first open elections in more than 50 years despite a string of terror attacks. Officials said the first two hours of voting — which passed without an outrageous amount of bloodshed or violence — would set the tone for the day.
Arthur Chrenkoff: Update: Fox comes pretty close: "Iraqis are lining up to vote in the country's first open elections in more than 50 years despite a string of terror attacks.
Damian Penny: The Iraqis have spoken — Fox News puts turnout at 72%.

With Occasional Smiles, Iraqis Brave Bombs to Vote
  By / Reuters   —   Permalink 
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Some smiled, some were stoic and others kept their faces hidden as Iraqis trickled to the polls Sunday, braving anti-U.S. insurgents determined to drown the historic vote in blood.
Fear of attack hung heavy over the first multiparty poll in 50 years.
Judith Weiss: Even Al-Reuters says: "In Falluja, the devastated Sunni city west of Baghdad that was an insurgent stronghold until a...
Nick Gillespie: Early Returns in Iraq — [snipped quote] That officer is in Mosul, [snipped quote] Whole Reuters report here.

U.S. Is Close to Eliminating AIDS in Infants, Officials Say
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
AIDS among infants, which only a decade ago took the lives of hundreds of babies a year and left doctors in despair, may be on the verge of being eliminated in the United States, public health officials say.
Andrew Sullivan: Pulitzer material. A FANTASTIC SUCCESS: The reduction of HIV in infants and mother-to-child transmission.
Pejman Yousefzadeh: SAVING THE CHILDREN — This is marvelous news: "AIDS among infants, which only a decade ago took the lives of hundreds...

Polls Open, Voters File in Across Iraq
  By / AP   —   Permalink 
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraqis voted Sunday in their country's first free election in a half-century, defying threats of violence from insurgents determined to sabotage the balloting. As he cast his vote, President Ghazi al-Yawer called it Iraq 's first step "toward joining the free world."
Captain Ed: While the Fox cameras show light traffic at the Green Zone polling station, the first hour of the election has passed...
Hindrocket: Voting is underway; so far, so good.

Jim Capaldi
  By / Guardian   —   Permalink 
With his handsome boxer's face and a singing voice of bruised soulfulness, Jim Capaldi might have achieved the degree of fame that fell upon his friend Steve Winwood.
Jeralyn Merritt: Paper Sun. The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys... Jim Capaldi, drummer for Traffic, has died of cancer at 60.
Avedon Carol: I am proud to have been his writing partner on so many songs." Guardian obit.

Iraq to Vote Shadowed by Threat of Bloodbath
  By / Reuters   —   Permalink 
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Insurgents threatened a bloodbath on Sunday when Iraqis go to the polls in an election intended to unite the country and quell violence but which could instead foment sectarian strife.
Iraq was under security lockdown for Iraq's first multi-party elections in nearly half a century.
Barbara O'Brien: Reuters says one other American and 17 Iraqis were killed by insurgents today. The insurgents threaten a bloodbath on election day.
Joe Gandelman: Iraqis Start Going To The Polls — Iraqis are have reportedly started to go to the polls already in the country's first free elections in years — despite threats of a "bloodbath."
John Cole: The Damning "But" — The Damning But (aka the "Copperhead Conjunction") is out in full force: Reuters- "Iraq to Vote...
Jeralyn Merritt: Insurgents today promised a bloodbath for Sunday. [snipped quote] Bush today said we will stay in Iraq after the election.

'Collapse': How the World Ends
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed.
By Jared Diamond.
Illustrated. 575 pp. Viking. $29.95.
Henry Farrell: Faith in progress — Brad DeLong spares me the effort of completing a half-written post about how badly Gregg...
Josh Chafetz: GREGG EASTERBROOK HAS A FANTASTIC REVIEW of Jared Diamond in the NYT Book Review.
DeLong: Why Oh Why Can't We Have a Better Press Corps?
Orrin Judd: SUBTRACT DETERMINISM AND IT COLLAPSES: How the World Ends: a review of COLLAPSE: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed.

Shiite Faction Ready to Shun Sunday's Election in Iraq
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
BAGHDAD, Iraq, Jan. 28 - Less than 48 hours before nationwide elections here, Nasir al-Saedy, one of the city's most popular Shiite clerics, stood before a crowd of 20,000 Iraqis and uttered not a single word about the vote.
Sheik Saedy spoke of faith, humility and the power of God.
Cori Dauber: If You Had Numbers, You Would Have Used Numbers — This front page Times article, headlined, "Shiite Faction Ready to...
Greyhawk: Here's the actual quote from the story: "BAGHDAD, Iraq, Jan. 28 - Less than 48 hours before nationwide elections here,...
Gregory Djerejian: Ziad Qadam, an unemployed 27-year-old Shi'a, from Sadr City All these quotes come from a couple Dexter Filkins dispatches from Iraq.
Steve M.: A Zogby/Abu Dhabi TV poll says only 9% of Sunnis will vote in the election — and The New York Times reports on an...

Eight more Iraqis killed on election eve
  CNN   —   Permalink 
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) — With just hours to go before Iraq's election, at least eight people have been killed in two bombings at a U.S. -Iraqi military center.
Steven Taylor: Update 2: CNN has a write-up: Deadly attacks escalate in countdown to elections [snipped quote] Update 3: Via MSNBC: 2...
Roger L. Simon: Weak Insurgency So Far — As of 6PM Saturday Baghdad time, the carnage predicted for the day before the election has not transpired.
Talking Dog: That would be the biggest embassy of any country in the world, our American embassy to Iraq, which suffered a rocket attack today, killing two Americans.
Ann Althouse: Voting in Iraq. Voting has begun in Iraq. We watch with hope and with admiration at the courage each voter displays.

Hamas Victory Rally Erupts Into Violent Shootout With Rival Fatah Faction, Wounding More Than 25
  ABCNEWS   —   Permalink 
Palestinians chant Islamic slogans, as they participate in a Hamas movement rally in the southern Gaza town of Rafah, Saturday Jan. 29, 2005. The Islamic group won an overwhelming victory in local elections in 10 Gaza towns, in a setback for the Fatah Party of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.
Jan Haugland: Fatah and Hamas in shootout — A rare confrontation between Hamas and Fatah in Gaza: A political rally by the militant...
The Big Trunk: Beware of Hudna — That hudna spirit is breaking out all over Gaza: [snipped quote] As Charles Johnson never fails to exlaim, by all means let's give these people a state!
Betsy Newmark: Hamas and Fatah seem to have the same maturity level as the Sharks and the Jets. Just deadlier and their dancing isn't as well choreographed.

Iraqis Prepare To Go to Polls Amid Threats Of Violence
  By / WaPo   —   Permalink 
BAGHDAD — Iraq on Sunday will hold its first free elections in nearly half a century, the fruit of 14 years of conflict with the United States that saw two wars, economic sanctions that impoverished the country, the chaos of a dictatorship's collapse and now occupation by foreign troops battling a violent opposition they helped create.
Taegan Goddard: The Washington Post notes similar surveys: "Public opinion polls show 80 percent want the Americans out of their country.
Jim Henley: Knock Wood - Time differences being what they are, Iraqis in Iraq should start voting soon. (Voting by exiles has been happening all day.)

Under Pressure, Qatar May Sell Jazeera Station
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON - The tiny state of Qatar is a crucial American ally in the Persian Gulf, where it provides a military base and warm support for American policies. Yet relations with Qatar are also strained over an awkward issue: Qatar's sponsorship of Al Jazeera, the provocative television station that is a big source of news in the Arab world.
Ace: On another note, the government of Qatar is looking to sell Al Jazeera, as a result of complaints by top Bush administration officials.
Orrin Judd: GEORGE SOROS SEEMS A NATURAL PURCHASER: Under Pressure, Qatar May Sell Jazeera Station (STEVEN R. WEISMAN, 1/30/05, NY...
Michael Young: The Qatari government is reportedly trying to unload Al Jazeera, allegedly due to myriad outside pressures, particularly from the U.S. and Gulf Arab regimes.

For Iraqi Expatriates in the U.S., a Chance to Savor the Vote
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
SOUTHGATE, Mich., Jan. 28 - Ali Mohammed, who spent eight years in the Abu Ghraib prison in Saddam Hussein's Iraq, called the owner of the grocery store where he is a stock clerk before sunup on Friday to say he was putting on his best suit, the charcoal pinstripe he usually saves for weddings.
Cori Dauber: On the one hand, articles like this one on the front page of the Times, include powerful passages about how much the vote means to this community.
Jeralyn Merritt: Iraqis Divided Over Elections — The expats who have chosen to vote are delighted. But Iraqis remain very divided over the elections.
Jeremy Brown: Iraqi Exiles at the Polls by Jeremy Brown There was an article in today's New York Times that gives a vivid picture of...

Flashback to the 60's: A Sinking Sensation of Parallels Between Iraq and Vietnam
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON, Jan. 28 - Not quite 38 years ago, enmeshed in a drawn-out war whose ultimate outcome was deeply in doubt, Lyndon B. Johnson met on Guam with the fractious generals who were contending for leadership of South Vietnam and told them: "My birthday is in late August.
Cori Dauber: Take the article in today's paper, "Flashback to the 60s: A Sinking Sensation of Parallels Between Iraq and Vietnam."
Orrin Judd: QUAGMIRISM: Flashback to the 60's: A Sinking Sensation of Parallels Between Iraq and Vietnam: Nearly two years after the...
Greg Piper: Just in case you forgot... Iraq will be an awful quagmire of Indochina proportions.
Billmon: Signs of the Times — [snipped quote] New York Times November 9, 2003 [snipped quote] New York Times

In Pictures: Fantasy coffins
  BBC   —   Permalink 
Isaac Adjetey Sowah's showroom in a suburb of Accra, has some of the most colourful coffins to be found anywhere.
The Bible coffin is one of his more conventional designs. The snail in the background has been ordered by a snail seller.
Ace: Never Too Late To Slice Like a Hammer (WuzzaDem) hammercoffin.jpg Via BBC News: Think it's crazy to shell out anywhere between $5,000 and $20,000 for a casket?
Ann Althouse: Click through the pictures: you don't want to miss the gynecologist's coffin.
McQ: You've gotta see this — Fantasy coffins. Click through all 10 pictures. I especially identified with the beer bottle coffin.
Gary Farber: THE ARGUMENT FOR CREMATION is here: [snipped quote] Who wouldn't want to be buried in these? The Rest Scale: 3 out of 5; seven more pictures here.

BBC apologises for misinterpreting Iraqi death stats
  Reuters   —   Permalink 
LONDON, Jan 29 (Reuters) - The BBC apologised on Saturday for erroneously reporting that U.S.-led and Iraqi forces may be responsible for the deaths of 60 percent of Iraqi civilians killed in conflict over the last six months.
Kevin Aylward: Update: Turns out the numbers aren't on Kennedy's side. The BBC was lying... The corrected BBC report is here.
Orrin Judd: BBC apologises for misinterpreting Iraqi death stats (Reuters, 1/29/05) "The BBC apologised on Saturday for...
Charles Johnson: BBC Forced to Apologize — In their eagerness to smear the United States, the BBC has once again been caught lying about...

Don't Mind Me. I'm Just Doing My Job
  By / WaPo   —   Permalink 
Reporters who cover the White House are accustomed to being spun by administration officials. The modern presidential toolbox includes carefully rationed press conferences, say-nothing spokesmen, dead-of-night releases of unfavorable news, and phony "town hall" meetings composed solely of sycophantic supporters.
Jack: I have requested of my readers to not trust their immediate, knee-jerk emotional response, but instead to think about the issue raised in The Washington Post article quoted.
Skippy: no such thing as a free lunch or free press in awol's america paul fehi, a washpost reporter was thrown out of the...

The Bushies' New Groove
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
F. Scott Fitzgerald said there are no second acts in American life. That's got to be one of the most untrue truisms ever uttered. As everybody from Donald Trump to Ozzy Osborne can tell you, there are nothing but second acts in American life.
Barbara O'Brien: The Turning Point — In today's New York Times, the Vegetable writes that the Bushies are brimming with confidence and looking forward to great accomplishments.
Orrin Judd: AND A STEADY HAND TO PULL THAT LOAD BEHIND: The Bushies' New Groove (DAVID BROOKS, 1/29/05, NY Times) [snipped quote] In...
Josh Chafetz: ALSO IN THE NYT, David Brooks writes about the changed "feel" of the Bush Administration. It doesn't sound half-bad.
Laura Rozen: New PNAC letter. Meantime, David Brooks declares springtime for soft power.

Ghana's fantasy coffin attraction
  By / BBC   —   Permalink 
Even Ghana's director of tourism may have to admit that Accra has its work cut out competing with other tourist destinations in Africa. Yet just outside the capital, is the suburb of Teshi and it is here that tourists are coming to look at a relatively new tradition - the fantasy coffin makers.
Brian Micklethwait: The fantasy coffin makers of Ghana — We curse and rage at the BBC here, a lot, but you have to admit that this is a great story.
Ann Althouse: Check out the fantasy coffins from Ghana, many of which take a form that represents the line of work once pursued by the dead person.
Ace: Article here, more pictures here.

Bush: U.S. Must Stay in Iraq After Election
  By / Reuters   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Under pressure to start bringing U.S. troops home from Iraq after Sunday's election, President Bush said on Saturday that the U.S. mission must keep going to help the new government get its footing.
Barbara O'Brien: But Bush is saying the troops must stay, and he refuses even to suggest a timetable for withdrawal.
Jeralyn Merritt: Bush today said we will stay in Iraq after the election.

Swede's Sermon on Gays: Bigotry or Free Speech?
  WaPo   —   Permalink 
STOCKHOLM — One Sunday in the summer of 2003, the Rev. Ake Green, a Pentecostal pastor, stepped into the pulpit of his small church in the southern Swedish village of Borgholm.
Gary Farber: Anyone who knows me at all, or has read much of my writings knows where I stand on this, but it doesn't hurt to say so again and again, from time to time.
McQ: A Washington Post article poses that question in its title. The situation in question takes place in Sweden: [snipped quote] Whew.
Frederick Maryland: Reports today's Washington Post: [snipped quote] I was pleased to read that there were gays in Sweden who, however much...
Orrin Judd: WHERE MORALITY IS SIMILAR TO IMMORALITY: Swede's Sermon on Gays: Bigotry or Free Speech?

Fear reigns across Iraq on the eve of election
  By / Globe and Mail   —   Permalink 
BAGHDAD — The man agrees to meet, but only during daylight in a parking lot out in the open. He eyes the surroundings suspiciously as he jumps into the car, which races out into late-morning traffic.
Jim Dallas: Juan Cole points to a poll that shows the UIA (the group associated with, et alia, moderate Shi'a clerics) to have a large plurality, but not a majority.
Juan Cole: Zogby: 9% of Sunnis Will Vote — Stong Majority of Iraqis Wants US Out Borzou Daragahi of AP reports an Iraqi poll that...

White House has high stake in Iraqi election
  By / AP   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON (AP) The White House is keenly watching the Iraqi election because it could affect U.S. military action there and sap President Bush's political strength here and abroad if the balloting doesn't lead to stability.
Barbara O'Brien: Deb Riechmann of the Associated Press writes, "The White House is keenly watching the Iraqi election because it could...
Steve Soto: Exhibit A of this problem occurred just today when hours after the president's radio address extolling the bravery of...

Bush Urges Parents to Turn Off Indecent TV
  By / Reuters   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush said parents should turn off their televisions if they feel the programs being broadcast violate their standards of decency.
Acidman: Do what you want to with both. That's why I believe that the FCC has no business playing Censor of the Airwaves.
Michele Catalano: Quote of the Day — And, just maybe, a Bush quote that everyone can applaud.
Wind Rider: Turn it off! Talk about stifling ideas!

They Always Bash Bush First
  By / Weekly Standard   —   Permalink 
LOCAL CRITICS HAVE FOUND IN President Bush's second inaugural address an excellent opportunity to remonstrate, revile, and ridicule the president. Only they've had to rewrite the speech to do it.
The Big Trunk: In the new issue of the Weekly Standard, Professor Peter Berkowitz does the honors in an article that is valuable to...
Betsy Newmark: Paul Berkowitz deconstructs how Washington Post writers and columnists deliberately misinterpreted the President's Inaugural Address so that they could better ridicule it.

Tax-Exempt Hospitals' Practices Challenged
  By / WaPo   —   Permalink 
TUPELO, Miss. — When Tim Gardner was born at the hospital here 53 years ago, it was just "one little building on the hill" in a town best known as Elvis Presley's birthplace.
Avedon Carol: Reading The Washington Post — The only article that really caught my eye in the morning paper was Tax-Exempt Hospitals'...
Tully @Centerfield: Tax-Exempt Hospitals' Practices Challenged 46 Lawsuits Allege That Uninsured Pay the Most As the cost of medical care...
Gary Farber: THE JOYS OF LIVING IN THE U.S. WITHOUT HEALTH INSURANCE. Darn those trial lawyers for their meddling interference!

A Day of Iraqi Hope
  By / WaPo   —   Permalink 
The Iraqi elections tomorrow will mark an important milestone in the history of that country. The Iraqi people well understand the importance of the elections, and they are moving forward with courage and determination in the face of brutal violence and calculated intimidation aimed at preventing the elections and defeating democracy.
Gregory Djerejian: Which leads me to another point, also made by Steve Hadley in a kind of coming-out as National Security Advisor in...
Cori Dauber: But in the midst of that piece comes some information that's very interesting: while the press has been representing the...

The Long Road to a Vote
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
BY the time you read this, I'll have packed my suitcases into the car and will be headed for Nashville, Tenn., one of the five American cities where Iraqi exiles in this country are gathering to vote in the Iraqi national elections this weekend.
Judith Weiss: This guy drove from Plano, TX to Nashville, TN to vote. More. Not all the Iraqi voter intimidation is happening in Iraq.
Cori Dauber: This piece is simultaneously one of the most emotionally powerful statements about what having the vote can mean to...
Damian Penny: His column explains what this election is all about: In 1976, when I was 15, my older brother and I left behind our...

The Ruthless Party
  By / Weekly Standard   —   Permalink 
Brooks is correct. Democrats misunderstand their situation. Their view is that Republicans have been mean and bruising while they've been too nice and forgiving. That's right. They think former Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle, who was plainly obsessed with obstructing Bush at every turn, was too kindly.
Avedon Carol: At The Weekly Standard, High Fruitbat Fred Barnes calls Democrats The Ruthless Party. Exhibit A: Famous far-left terrorist wild-man Tom Daschle.
Betsy Newmark: Fred Barnes calls for Bush and the White House to be tougher on the obstructionist Democrats or they will face a situation of the Democrats blocking everything on Bush's agenda.
PoliPundit: Obstructionist Democrats — Fred Barnes on Democrat obstructionism: [snipped quote] This "obstructionism" isn't just a political tactic.

Watchdog condemns 'persistent harassment' of al-Jazeera
  By / Guardian   —   Permalink 
International media watchdog Reporters Without Borders has protested at what it calls the "persistent harassment" of Arab satellite news channel al-Jazeera.
And it has called on the Iraqi government to reverse the August 2004 decision made by the interim leadership to shut down al-Jazeera's Baghdad office.
Ace: Ailing Al Jazeera — Via Britain's "Al Guardian" Surprisingly, Al Jazeera is not so popular in the Middle East.
Emperor Darth Misha I: Boo-Hoo-F**king-Hoo... Thanks, LC & IB (and part of the Management) Sir George for giving us this link.

Meal from Hell Whets Appetite for US-Iran Clash
  By / Reuters   —   Permalink 
DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - Call it the meal from hell.
A World Economic Forum dinner designed to promote dialogue between Iran and the United States on Friday night began with a comic strip series of diplomatic and gastronomic blunders, and ended with a sharp exchange over nuclear weapons.
Arthur Chrenkoff: Maybe that's why, with the world attention turned to Mesopotamia, the Forum is degenerating into even more of a farce
Orrin Judd: Meal from Hell Whets Appetite for US-Iran Clash (Paul Taylor, 1/29/05, Reuters) "Call it the meal from hell.

Iraqi Leaders Urge Voting As Bomb Kills 8
  By / AP   —   Permalink 
BAGHDAD, Iraq - A suicide bomber attacked a police station Saturday in a Kurdish town, killing eight people, and insurgents blasted polling places in several cities on the eve of landmark elections in which the president acknowledged many Iraqis will not vote because of fears for their lives.
Hesiod @AmStreet: And the early exit polls show… 8 dead — On the eve of the Iraqi elections which will justify the deaths of an...
Armando @DailyKos: Iraqi Insurgents Bomb Polling Places; 7 U.S. Soldiers Killed — It continues: [snipped quote] Did I say this is a mess already?

Blue Oyster Cult, Playing Along With 'More Cowbell'
  By / WaPo   —   Permalink 
There was something missing the other night when Blue Oyster Cult, the '70s stadium rockers, kicked into their signature song, "(Don't Fear) The Reaper," in a gig at the Rams Head Tavern in Annapolis.
Fans of the band, and of "Saturday Night Live," knew exactly what the song needed: More cowbell.
Ace: Second, I read the paper-version of the Washington Post, and I caught a story I missed earlier today online: "There was...
Todd Zywicki: Blue Oyster Cult was in town last night (I did not attend, I went to a disappointing Jane Monheit performance at the...

Bomb scare shuts polling station   —   Permalink 
A SYDNEY polling booth for Iraqis voting in their country's historic election was shut down for an hour today after a punch-up involving protesters and a subsequent bomb scare.
Mary Madigan: Anti-democracy by Mary Madigan In Australia, extremists harassed Iraqis leaving a polling station by threatening them and taking photographs.
Ace: Dhidiots — [snipped quote] Tim also notes who's making a cameo on jaggoff #1's T-shirt. Super cool. the UNPOPULIST