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Archive Edition for   Wednesday, November 24, 2004Go to Current Page
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Quoted in this edition:

Ace of Spades HQ
Agence France Presse
American Enterprise Institute
  David Frum
American Prospect
  Greg Sargent
The American Street
  Kevin Hayden
  Andrew Sullivan
Angry Bear
Associated Press
  Barry Schweid
  George Jahn
  Tini Tran
  Aleksandar Vasovic
Backcountry Conservative
  Chad Evans
Balloon Juice
  John Cole
Beautiful Atrocities
  Jeff @BeautifulAtrocities
Begging to Differ
  Kriston @BeggingToDiffer
Belmont Club
Betsy's Page
  Betsy Newmark
Boston Herald
  Brett Arends
Brad DeLong's Semi-Daily Journal
BrothersJudd Blog
  Orrin Judd
Burnt Orange Report
  Byron L
Captain's Quarters
  Captain Ed
CBS News
Chris C Mooney
  Chris Mooney
The Claremont Institute
  John Eastman
  Tom Karako
The Corner
  Rich Lowry
  Lambert @Corrente
  Xan @Corrente
  Jason Van Steenwyk
Daily Kos
  Meteor Blades
  Tom Schaller
  Damian Penny
Dan Gillmor's eJournal
  Dan Gillmor
Dean's World
  Dean Esmay
  Eugene Oregon
Denver Post
  The Denver Post
Dr. Frank's What's-it
  Dr. Frank
  Steve Antler
  Ed Cone
Electablog* U.S. Ambassador to Cyberspace
  David Allan Pell
  Medium Lobster
Fox News
Fraters Libertas
  The Elder
Harry's Place
  Harry @HarrysPlace
Herald Sun
  Andrew Bolt
Hit and Run
  Jacob Sullum
Houston Chronicle
  Joe Stinebaker
INDC Journal
  Bill @INDCJournal
  Glenn Reynolds
  Tom Maguire
L.A. Observed
  Kevin Roderick
Lean Left
  Kevin T. Keith
  Kevin Raybould
The Left Coaster
  Steve Soto
  Mary @LeftCoaster
The Liquid List
  Shawn @LiquidList
Little Green Footballs
  Charles Johnson
Los Angeles Times
  Greg Miller
  Patrick J. McDonnell
  Charles Duhigg
The Mahablog
  Barbara O'Brien
Mark A. R. Kleiman
  Mark Kleiman
Mathew Gross
  Mathew Gross
Matthew Yglesias
  Matthew Yglesias
MaxSpeak, You Listen!
  Max B. Sawicky
Media Matters for America
Michael J. Totten
  Jeremy Brown
Michelle Malkin
  Michelle Malkin
The Moderate Voice
  Joe Gandelman
The National Debate
National Review
  Kenneth Tanner
New York Observer
  Joe Hagan
New York Post
New York Sun
  Jamie Dettmer
New York Times
  Gina Kolata
  Andrew C. Revkin
  Nicholas D. Kristof
  Tamar Lewin
  Douglas Jehl
  Jacques Steinberg
  Ronnie Earle
No More Mister Nice Blog
  Steve M.
NY Daily News
Obsidian Wings
  Sebastian Holsclaw
  Hilzoy @ObsidianWings
Off the Kuff
  Charles Kuffner
Opinion Journal
  Bridget Johnson
  Fred Barnes
Outside The Beltway
  Steve Verdon
  Robert Tagorda
  James Joyner
  David Adesnik
Pacific Views
  Natasha @PacificViews
  Ezra Klein
  Jesse Taylor
  Pejman Yousefzadeh
The People's Republic of Seabrook
  Jack Cluth
  Jayson @PoliPundit
  Lorie Byrd
Power Line
  The Big Trunk
  Jay Rosen
  Greg Ransom
  Steve Bainbridge
Questions and Observations Blog
  Dale Franks
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
  Cori Dauber
  Dan Whitcomb
  Michael Georgy
  Evelyn Leopold
The Right Coast
  Mike Rappaport
The Rittenhouse Review
  James Martin Capozzola
Roger Ailes
  Roger Ailes
Roger L. Simon
  Roger L
  Ronald Rovers
Seattle Times
  Ralph Thomas
Secular Blasphemy
  Jan Haugland
The Sideshow
  Avedon Carol
Silent Running
  Wind Rider
a small victory
  Michele Catalano
Southern Appeal
  Steve Dillard
  Joel Foreman
Stephen Pollard
  Stephen Pollard
Suburban Guerrilla
  Susan Madrak
t a c i t u s
  Bird Dog
Taegan Goddard's Political Wire
  Taegan Goddard
  Sam Rosenfeld
  Nick Confessore
  Julius Strauss
  Radley Balko
  Michelle Malkin
  Will Collier
The Volokh Conspiracy
  Eugene Volokh
Vox Popoli
  Vox Day
  Dwight Meredith
War and Piece
  Laura Rozen
The Washington Monthly
  Kevin Drum
Washington Post
  Anne Applebaum
  Brian Faler
  Dana Milbank
  Anthony Shadid
  Jonathan Weisman
White House
Wired News
  Katie Dean
World O'Crap

Powell: U.S. Rejects Ukraine Vote Results
  By / AP   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON (AP) - Secretary of State Colin Powell said Wednesday the United States cannot accept the results of elections in Ukraine, which the opposition says was marred by fraud.
Avedon Carol: Food for thought — I was just thinking, isn't this about the time John Kerry should be making a statement saying how...
Sebastian Holsclaw: More on the Ukraine — Bush's policy team took the proper stance on the Ukraine election despite the fact that stance...
Bird Dog: Update [2004-11-24 13:18:47 by Bird Dog]: Colin Powell speaks up, stating succinctly that "we cannot accept this result...
Roger L: And one other thing - when democracy's in danger, you don't call Brussels.
Captain Ed: Meanwhile, the US pushed its Russian relationship further by rejecting the results and calling for a review of the...
Joe Gandelman: Putin On The Fritz — The United States has broken with Russian President Minsiter Vladimir Putin by saying it doesn't...
Also: Smash, KJL

Declaration of Independence Banned at Calif School
  By / Reuters   —   Permalink 
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A California teacher has been barred by his school from giving students documents from American history that refer to God — including the Declaration of Independence.
John Eastman: More on Declaration Ban — Cupertino's ban on a teacher giving students the Declaration of Independence, described by...
Bird Dog: From Reuters: [snipped quote] What's almost as bad as the censorship is the fact that omitting religious references gives a false account of American history.
Orrin Judd: SECULARISM IS ANTI-AMERICANISM: Declaration of Independence Banned at Calif School (Dan Whitcomb, 11/24/04, Reuters) "A...
Dean Esmay: Religious Hostility in California — It is any wonder why even atheists have noticed a certain climate of overt...
Tom Karako: Declaration of Independence Banned — In CA, a fifth grade teacher has been banned from distributing the Declaration of Independence, due to its reference to God.

Heflin wants House seat back or a new election
  By / Houston Chronicle   —   Permalink 
State Rep. Talmadge Heflin will ask the state House of Representatives today to overturn the results of his failed re-election bid and either order him returned to the Legislature or call for a new election.
Byron L: Finally, I've archived the Houston Chronicle story on the race today in the extended entry, so we'll have the full story here once the Chronicle archive expires.
Kevin Drum: They should suck it up and accept the will of the people. Unless, of course, they're Republicans.
Charles Kuffner: Heflin to challenge election — You know, I try not to curse or swear on this site, but I'm having a hard time controlling myself.
Susan Madrak: GET OVER IT — Funny, they have no problem with recounts when a Republicon loses: [snipped quote] And of course the fix is in.

Powell: U.S. Cannot Accept Ukraine Results
  By / AP   —   Permalink 
Secretary of State Colin Powell said Wednesday the United States does not consider legitimate the results of elections in Ukraine, which the opposition says was marred by fraud.
He challenged leaders of the former Soviet bloc nation "to decide whether they are on the side of democracy or not."
Steve Soto: So when exactly did the Bush Administration think elections are illegitimate if they do "not meet international...
Kriston @BeggingToDiffer: Powell and Ukraine — Yes, it's ha-ha funny that the State Department has decided not to recognize the results of...
Joe Gandelman: This wasn't the first time the U.S. signalled it's displeasure but Powell's more-forceful comments underscored the...
Hecate: Please bow your heads for a moment of silence .

Rossi wins in recount of governor's race
  By / Seattle Times   —   Permalink 
When the final votes in the race for governor in the state were tallied shortly after noon today, Republican Dino Rossi won the election by just 42 votes over Democratic Attorney General Christine Gregoire.
With a margin that small, a second recount — this one by hand — is almost a sure thing.
Bird Dog: Rossi Wins by 42 Votes — He won the count by 261, and now he's won the recount by an insane 42 votes, the Seattle Times reports.
Michelle Malkin: THE NEVER-ENDING ELECTION — Republican Dino Rossi has won the gubernatorial recount in Washington State.
Greg Ransom: ROSSI WINS GOVERNOR'S RACE IN WASHINGTON — by 42 votes. Democrat party official promise to plunge the state into a Florida style hand recount black-hole.

Look Who Isn't Talking
  By / Opinion Journal   —   Permalink 
Since Nov. 2, I've had an icky feeling in the pit of my stomach. As an ardent Bush backer, my queasiness has nothing to do with the glorious election results, but is prompted by a murder that occurred the same day in Amsterdam.
Hindrocket: In today's Wall Street Journal, Bridget Johnson notes the strange case of the artists who failed to bark: "Dutch...
Charles Johnson: Look Who Isn't Talking — Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh is slaughtered on an Amsterdam street in broad daylight by an...
Vox Day: Hollywood cowards — [snipped quote] Keep in mind, this is the same crowd that insists on the artistic purity of...
Jeremy Brown: Here's Johnson from a WSJ article that Roger links to today: [snipped quote] Johnson identifies as a conservative and speaks of a growing conservative culture within Hollywood.
Cori Dauber: So, asks a piece in this morning's OpinionJournal, where's the outrage over the murder of a Dutch filmmaker for making a movie?
Roger L: Meanwhile, have a look at this piece in the WSJ, which confirms what I've been saying on this blog for some time...
Also: Joel Foreman, Andrew Sullivan, Ace, KJL

Iran Wants to Change Conditions of Freeze
  By / AP   —   Permalink 
VIENNA, Austria - Iran is seeking a last-minute exception to its commitment to stop all uranium enrichment activities by demanding the right to operate around two dozen centrifuges, diplomats said Wednesday.
Charles Johnson: Iran Behaves As Expected — If you didn't see this one coming you were either not paying attention, or you work for the...
Wind Rider: Less than 48 hours — That's all that Iran could hold out before starting to squirm and wiggle in a bid to get out from...
Bill @INDCJournal: No Surprise There — AP: Iran Wants to Change Conditions of Freeze [snipped quote] I believe we've already covered this.
Captain Ed: Now the mullahcracy insists that an exemption must be made for two dozen centrifuges so that Iran can continue its...
Ace: So Much For European Diplomacy — The Iranians can't even live with the non-verifiable "deal" they've struck; they're...

Falluja Rebels Had Enough Arms to Rule Iraq -U.S.
  By / Reuters   —   Permalink 
NEAR FALLUJA, Iraq (Reuters) - Arab militants and insurgents who ruled the volatile city of Falluja before a U.S.-led offensive this month had enough weapons to take over all of Iraq , Marine officers said on Wednesday.
Charles Johnson: Enough Weapons to Rule Iraq — According to Marine spokespeople, the virulent outbreak of Islamist madness in Fallujah...
Ace: Fallujah Terrorists Had Enough Arms to "Rule Iraq" — It seems this is the first gun-confiscation program that the...

Data on Deaths From Obesity Is Inflated, U.S. Agency Says
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that its widely publicized estimate that 400,000 Americans die each year from being too fat is wrong and that it will submit a new, lower figure to the medical journal that published its original estimate last March.
Jacob Sullum: But as The New York Times (belatedly) notes, it was apparent that something was screwy with the number even before the...
Chris Mooney: Not so Fat — Previous reports to the contrary, we now learn that obesity hasn't overtaken smoking—yet—a s the leading cause of preventable death.
Radley Balko: And now, finally, the CDC admits that even the facts we do have have been exaggerated.
Tom Maguire: The Date Were More Inflated Than We Are — Happy Thanksgiving from the Times: "Data on Deaths From Obesity Is Inflated,...

U.S. and 7 Countries Weigh New Findings on Arctic Climate
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
The United States and the seven other countries with Arctic territory today expressed concern about profound changes in the Arctic climate and said they would consider new scientific findings concluding that heat-trapping emissions were the main cause.
Mike Rappaport: The US and seven other countries have been discussing changes in the Arctic climate, but does the evidence support the concern?
David Allan Pell: Guess what W and his crew are planning to do about it? Nothing.

Attacking Condi   —   Permalink 
Dr. Condoleezza Rice, President Bush's national security adviser and now his secretary of state nominee, has been the subject of nasty, demeaning and disrespectful cartoons and commentary.
Roger Ailes: Those Who Can't Do — Phoning in another of his boilerplate "Democrats are playing the blacks" columns (macro...
Michelle Malkin: QUOTE OF THE DAY — [snipped quote] -Dr. Walter Williams
Betsy Newmark: Walter Williams looks at the virulent attacks on Condi Rice by other blacks and by liberals and says that there hasn't been anything like that in his political experience.

Apocalypse (Almost) Now
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
If America's secular liberals think they have it rough now, just wait till the Second Coming.
The "Left Behind" series, the best-selling novels for adults in the U.S., enthusiastically depict Jesus returning to slaughter everyone who is not a born-again Christian.
Barbara O'Brien: As you know, I wake up every morning thinking about which Christian moral principles I can undermine that day.
Kevin T. Keith: Taking Fanatics Seriously — Nicholas Kristoff has a somewhat confused editorial in today's New York Times that nonetheless stumbles across an important point.
Shawn @LiquidList: Mr. Kristof has a great column this morning about my favorite people to blog about - Christian fundamentalists.

The silencing of Theo van Gogh
  By / Salon   —   Permalink 
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands — On the morning of Nov. 2 in a busy street in east Amsterdam, a 26-year-old Dutch Moroccan named Mohammed Bouyeri pulled out a gun and shot controversial filmmaker Theo van Gogh, who was riding a bike to his office.
Andrew Sullivan: Salon's piece has some interesting background. I didn't know that van Gogh had produced 25 films and programs, or that he was killed 911 days after Pim Fortuyn.
Dr. Frank: "The moment these considerations stop you from speaking out, that's the moment freedom of speech stops..." Further background on Theo van Gogh from

The New Iron Curtain
  By / WaPo   —   Permalink 
Before the election, the government mobilized groups of thugs to harass voters. On the day of the election, police prevented thousands of opposition activists from voting at all. Nevertheless, when the votes were counted, it was clear that the opposition had won by a large margin.
Robert Tagorda: He gets significant opportunities to give true legitimacy to the noble agenda of spreading democratic ideals, but he...
Eugene Volokh: Anne Applebaum, whose Slate articles on international issues I always much liked, has a piece in the Washington Post about the Ukraine elections.

Ohio judge denies recount request
  AP   —   Permalink 
TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — A federal judge denied a request by third-party presidential candidates who wanted to force a recount of Ohio ballots even before the official count was finished.
Judge James G. Carr in Toledo ruled Tuesday that the candidates have a right under Ohio law to a recount, but said it can wait.
John Cole: The Cult of Victimhood — From CNN: "A federal judge denied a request by third-party presidential candidates who wanted...
RCox: MORE FODDER FOR OLBERMANN: A federal judge denied a request by third-party presidential candidates who wanted to force a...

The Next Phyllis Schlafly
  By / American Prospect   —   Permalink 
With the attention of the political world now turning to the 2006 midterm elections, the GOP is already preparing one facet of their strategy: They're hoping to use the looming battles over judicial nominations to rile up their evangelical base and to paint...
Eugene Oregon: The Perception of Power — The American Prospect has an article on Kay Daly and the Coalition for a Fair Judiciary.
Steve Dillard: You know that you've hit the big time when . . . the lefties start penning hit pieces about you. Congrats Kay! Well done.

Dan's fall is Nixonian
  NY Daily News   —   Permalink 
To the end, Gunga Dan liked to play the part of the crusading journalist, a regular reporter just digging up the facts. That was his TV persona. In real life, his hubris made him more like Richard Nixon than Walter Cronkite. And like Nixon, the coverup was his downfall.
Joel Foreman: Tricky Dick became Tricky Dan. I'm sure Rather's fall will be chalked up as another victory for Right Wing Nuts and those Crazy Evangelicals everywhere.
Greg Ransom: WATERGATE, RATHERGATE: [snipped quote] BONUS — Dan Rather, Investigative Reporter.

Dan Rather Says He'd Have Liked Another Decade
  By / New York Observer   —   Permalink 
"I love this job," said 73-year-old CBS News anchor Dan Rather on Tuesday, Nov. 23, a few hours after he announced that he would retire as managing editor and anchor of the CBS Evening News, and 41 years and one day after he reported that John F. Kennedy had been assassinated in Dallas, where he was CBS News' bureau chief.
RCox: JOE HAGAN CHASES OLBERMANN DOWN THE WORMHOLE — WormholeJoe Hagan is taking no prisoners in his NYTV column in today's New York Observer article on KO - OLBERMANN'S RECOUNTDOWN.
Ace: Keith Olbermann's Recountdown — Great piece: "When Senator John Kerry finally came out of hiding on Friday, Nov. 19,...

Dollar Sinks to New Low Against Euro
  AP   —   Permalink 
LONDON (AP) - The U.S. dollar sank to another record low against the euro in European trading Wednesday morning. Gold prices rose.
The euro hit a record high of $1.3167 in morning trading, then eased to $1.3150, up from $1.3085 late Tuesday.
Steve Antler: UPDATE: Testing new lows but still (as we write) seemingly orderly.
Mathew Gross: Much of this discussion is spurred by Stephen Roach's comment from earlier in the week: [snipped quote] Rising interest...

Grace, gratitude and God
  By /   —   Permalink 
My 4-year-old daughter recently learned to say grace at mealtimes. I taught her the same little prayer my mom taught me in childhood:
At first, my daughter questioned the need for reciting this strange passage. "Why do we have to thank God?" she wondered.
SLZoll: Bitchy and self-righteous cousin Michelle Malkin uses the momentary silence to tell everyone about her own adorable...
Michelle Malkin: GRACE, GRATITUDE, AND GOD — My Thanksgiving column is here. Hope you all have a wonderful holiday tomorrow.

The Lance Cpl.Who Left Wall St.
  New York Observer   —   Permalink 
No one who knew Dimitrios Gavriel, 29, was surprised when he joined the Marines, even though it seemed an unlikely choice for an Ivy League-educated Manhattan research analyst. In 1998, just a few months after moving to New York City, Mr. Gavriel had written in his diary: "I feel like I'm swimming in a sea with sharks working on Wall Street."
Greg Ransom: ANOTHER AMERICAN HERO FALLS. (Via Powerline, which also has some good quotes on Rathergate.)
The Big Trunk: In memory of Dimitrios Gavriel — Our friends at RealClearPolitics have posted this devastating column from today's New York Observer: "The Lance Cpl. who left Wall St."

Rather Quitting as CBS Anchor in Abrupt Move
  NYT   —   Permalink 
Dan Rather announced yesterday that he would step down next year as anchor and managing editor of "CBS Evening News." The move came two months after he acknowledged fundamental flaws in a broadcast report that raised questions about President Bush's National Guard service.
Avedon Carol: What you'd Rather have — Judging by Memeorandum (here[*] and here[*] and here[*], not to mention here and here[*]), the...
The Big Trunk: Coincidentally, from Rather's comments yesterday the USA Today story quotes Rather's reference to Bob Dylan's song...
Betsy Newmark: Even the New York Times doesn't pretend that Rather's retirement from CBS Nightly News is not related to the National Guards story fiasco.
Ace: Not Even Great Press From the Times Update: They call his resignation "abrupt" and say it's due to the Rathergate mess:...
Tom Maguire: Gonna Walk (Before They Make Me Run) The NY Times talks with Dan Rather about his impending retreat from the anchor chair at CBS News.
Orrin Judd: LYING HIS WAY OUT THE DOOR: Rather Quitting as CBS Anchor in Abrupt Move (JACQUES STEINBERG and BILL CARTER, 11/24/04, NY Times) [snipped quote] Sure.

Battle on Gay Pride Shirts Leads to Suit Against School
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
The American Civil Liberties Union filed suit yesterday against a Missouri high school that twice admonished a gay student for wearing T-shirts bearing gay pride messages. The suit charges that the school violated the youth's constitutional right to free expression.
Jack Cluth: When last I checked, freedom of speech and expression was still part of the Bill of Rights — Battle on Gay Pride Shirts...
Eugene Volokh: The First Amendment in high school: The New York Times reports: [snipped quote] If the ACLU's factual claims is right, this is a pretty clear First Amendment violation.

Ohio Democrats Offer Support for Recount Effort
  By / WaPo   —   Permalink 
The Ohio Democratic Party announced this week that it is supporting a third-party-led effort to force the battleground state to recount its presidential vote.
Captain Ed: The Victim Party Continues Its March From Reality — The Democratic Party continues its crusade for victimhood and the...
KJL: ERRRR — More recount talk in Ohio.

  New York Post   —   Permalink 
Dan Rather announced yesterday that he will retire in March as anchor of the CBS Evening News — though he'll hang on as a correspondent for both editions of "60 Minutes."
"I have always been and remain a 'hard-news' investigative reporter at heart," Rather said in a statement.
Charles Johnson: A Rather Ugly Exit — The New York Post has an on-point editorial about Dan Rather, Mary Mapes, and their coldly...
Ace: And then the Post's editorial page weighs in.

Bush Wants to Bolster CIA but Doesn't Offer Specifics
  By / LAT   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON — President Bush has ordered what may be a major expansion of the CIA, calling for the beleaguered agency to add thousands of analysts and spies as part of an ongoing buildup in the war on terrorism, according to a White House memorandum released Tuesday.
Jesse Taylor: Installing a new National Security Director who would take power away from the CIA. - Increase CIA personnel by 50%.
Kevin Drum: Apparently so, according to the LA Times. He's not planning to pay for it, of course, but that hardly even rates a yawn anymore.

Havel Sends Message to Ukrainian People
  RFE/RL   —   Permalink 
(Prague/Washington—November 23, 2004) Former Czech President Vaclav Havel sent the people of Ukraine a message of solidarity today, as the streets of the capitol, Kyiv, filled with protestors angry with the alleged manipulation of election results that...
Harry @HarrysPlace: Vaclav Havel has expressed his solidarity with the protestors: Dear Citizens, Allow me to greet you in these dramatic...
Damian Penny: In a sane world, he'd be UN Secretary-General — InstaPundit has been pushing Vaclav Havel for the position.
Ed Cone: Vaclav Havel to the people of Ukraine: "I wish you strength, perseverance, courage and good fortune with your decisions."
Wretchard: Vaclav Havel has issued a statement in support of Yushchenko (via Instapundit again), according to Radio Free Europe, but the statement is couched in very general terms.
Jan Haugland: As hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians are protesting what all independent observers call widespread electoral fraud,...
Glenn Reynolds: HERE'S VACLAV HAVEL'S STATEMENT on the Ukrainian elections. And here are more blog photos from Kiev.
Also: Ginny @ChicagoBoyz

Bush the Insurgent
  By / Opinion Journal   —   Permalink 
The scheming in Washington as President Bush prepares for his second term is easily explained. It's the insurgents versus the Washington establishment, and the insurgents are winning.
Mr. Bush finds himself in the unusual position—for a president, anyway—as leader of the insurgents.
Jayson @PoliPundit: Mr. Bush hasn't. He wants to impose a breathtakingly conservative agenda in his second term …" (Emphasis added.)
PoliPundit: Post-Reaagn — Fred Barnes, on the difference between Bush and Reagan: "Mr. Bush's agenda is post-Reagan in its...
Orrin Judd: THE COWBOY'S NOT FOR TURNING: Bush the Insurgent: A president who won't kowtow to DC's establishment.

C.I.A. Says Pakistanis Gave Iran Nuclear Aid
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON, Nov. 23 - A new report from the Central Intelligence Agency says the arms trafficking network led by the Pakistani scientist A. Q. Khan provided Iran's nuclear program with "significant assistance," including the designs for "advanced and efficient" weapons components.
Kevin Hayden: I'm thankful George Tenet was doing his job to undercut nuclear proliferation, even as he was being undercut with Bodybag Bush's urge to 'do' Iraq.
Laura Rozen: Very interesting. This gives credence to at least one of the NCRI's most recent claims.

Revolution in Ukraine
  By / Telegraph   —   Permalink 
Ukraine's pro-western opposition leader called last night on army and police units to join his revolution as thousands of supporters braved sub-zero temperatures and driving snow to confront riot police outside the presidential palace.
Damian Penny: Ukranian Revolution — Extraordinary scenes in Ukraine, where hundreds of thousands have taken to the streets to keep...
Captain Ed: Ukraine Convulses — The botched election in the Ukraine appears to have touched off a popular uprising, threatening the pro-Russian existing government with a pro-Western putsch.

Live reports from Ukraine
  By / Denver Post   —   Permalink 
The excerpts below are edited for grammar and spelling, and posted in order with the most recent e-mail at the top.
Kuchma issues statement saying Yushchenko's oath of office is a farce. He wants to gather all parties for a meeting in the morning.
Wretchard: Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators are in the streets surrounding Yanukovich's headquarters; Russian Special Forces...
Glenn Reynolds: UPDATE: Schaffer reports here, too. ANOTHER UPDATE: TulipGirl has more reports.

Internet Message Purportedly From Insurgents Details Strategy and Challenges
  ABCNEWS   —   Permalink 
While its authenticity can't be proven, the message seems to provide a valuable perspective on both the insurgents' strategy and the challenges they face.
The new message opens with a plea for advice from Palestinian and Chechen militants as well as Osama bin Laden supporters in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
McQ: On the terrorist side a few problems have cropped up since Fallujah (according to an email displayed on an "insurgent"...
Orrin Judd: FALLUJAH = TET: Web Posting May Provide Insight Into Iraq Insurgency (Bill Blakemore, 11/23/04, ABC News) [snipped quote] Nothing like getting advice from fellow losers.
Wretchard: ABC News reports: [snipped quote] It would be unwise to conclude that the insurgents are on the run without further...

Dan Rather Stepping Down
  CBS News   —   Permalink 
(CBS) Dan Rather announced Tuesday that he will step down as anchor and managing editor of the CBS Evening News in March, 24 years after his first broadcast in that position.
Rather will continue to work full-time at CBS News as a correspondent for both editions of 60 Minutes, as well as on other assignments for the news division.
Tom Maguire: Even the CBS version alludes to the obvious.
Captain Ed: UPDATE: CBS has its own report on Rather's resignation, and it seems a bit strange for a retrospective on a presumably...
Steve M.: DAN RATHER STEPPING DOWN — For as long as I can remember, he seemed half nuts.
Joe Gandelman: A Rather Long Time To Wait — Dan_1 CBS let nature take its course and announced the expected retirement of CBS News...
Jay Rosen: I found it sad that the official announcement, as well as the news story at, included no mention, at all, of the...
Medium Lobster: Dan Rather to Retire — Dan Rather has announced that he'll be stepping down as anchor of the CBS Evening News this March after a reign of terror of 24 years.
Also: Mitch Berg, Jeff Goldstein, Jeralyn Merritt, Skippy, Jan Haugland, Cori Dauber, DJ Drummond, Christopher Kanis, Magpie @PacificViews, Greg Ransom, Richard TPD, Jim Treacher, Taegan Goddard, Edward _, Smash

Longtime Anchor Plans to Step Down in March
  ABCNEWS   —   Permalink 
Nov. 23, 2004 — Dan Rather announced today he will step down as anchor and managing editor of the "CBS Evening News" on March 9 — 24 years to the day after his first broadcast as the network's anchor.
Will Collier: Ever. The Pajamahadeen are triumphant—Dan Rather is out. This year just keeps getting better, and better, and better.
Andrew Sullivan: Notice the ABC News story barely mentions the memo-gate fiasco. Rather's tenure as CBS anchor was bound to end some time soon.
Roger L: Best Proof of the Existence of God Since St. Anselm — According to ABC, Dan Rather is stepping down as anchor of the CBS Evening News.
Pejman Yousefzadeh: I've waited a goodly long time to read this announcement: [snipped quote] Lest anyone believe that I think news anchors...
Glenn Reynolds: PEJMAN YOUSEFZADEH (now back at his regular site) observes: "I won't cry for Rather.
Jesse Taylor: A Step Forward — Dan Rather is allegedly going to leave CBS in March, according to ABC News.
Also: Matthew Yglesias, Jon Henke, Charles Johnson, Ace

Economic 'Armageddon' predicted
  By / Boston Herald   —   Permalink 
Stephen Roach, the chief economist at investment banking giant Morgan Stanley, has a public reputation for being bearish.
But you should hear what he's saying in private.
Roach met select groups of fund managers downtown last week, including a group at Fidelity.
Steve Verdon: Stephen Roach: Economic Armaggedon Here We Come — Stephen Roach as claimed that the U.S. as better than a 10% chance of avoiding economic armaggedon.
Atrios: Armageddon — Morgan Stanley chief economist Stephen Roach is a wee bit bearish.
Dan Gillmor: 'Bearish' Doesn't Capture Top Economist's Worry — Boston Herald: Economic 'Armageddon' predicted.
Meteor Blades: US of A Headed for Economic Armageddon? If you're like me, you take economic prognostications with a salt shaker (and a back-up) close at hand.
Dwight Meredith: Strong and Getting Stronger — Via Atrios we find that Stephen Roach, chief economist of Morgan Stanley, is more than a...
Vox Day: Economic armageddon — From the Boston Herald: [snipped quote] I tend to agree with Roach.
Also: Susan Madrak, Kevin Raybould, Greg Ransom, Ezra Klein

Rather to Step Down in March After 24 Years as CBS Anchor
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
Two months after acknowledging that he could not authenticate documents central to a broadcast report that raised fresh questions about President Bush's National Guard service, Dan Rather has decided to step down as anchor and managing editor of the "CBS Evening News" on March 9, on what will be his 24th anniversary behind the anchor desk.
Jay Rosen: (See the New York Times account. Here's the CBS announcement. ) I have been interviewed today about it, so I might as well explain what I think.
Hindrocket: UPDATE: The New York Times says the report on the investigation is due early next month: "The inquiry's two panelists,...
Charles Johnson: The Rathergate Investigation — According to the New York Times, the investigative panel looking into the fraudulent CBS...
James Martin Capozzola: An interesting coincidence, I think, that CBS news anchor Dan Rather announced his impending retirement (to take effect...

Dan Rather to Step Down as CBS Anchor
  Fox News   —   Permalink 
NEW YORK — Veteran network news anchor Dan Rather (search) announced Tuesday that he would vacate his chair at "CBS Evening News" (search) in March, the 24th anniversary of his taking over the job from Walter Cronkite (search).
Captain Ed: Rather Resigned — CBS has announced Dan Rather's resignation from the anchor and managing editor positions for CBS Evening News.
Bill @INDCJournal: Smells Like ... ... victory? [snipped quote] Unfortunately, it only smells like victory, because ... 1.
Hindrocket: Rather Relieved — CBS has announced that Dan Rather will step down as evening news anchor in March.

Falwell called NOW "the National Order of Witches"
  Media Matters for America   —   Permalink 
Reverend Jerry Falwell, national chairman of the Faith and Values Coalition and Moral Majority founder, labeled the National Organization for Women (NOW) the "National Order of Witches," said he was going to invite People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals...
Avedon Carol: Immoral media — Media Matters has two recent examples of the genteel and compassionate voices of our ruling party's supporters: Falwell called NOW "the National Order of Witches".
Xan @Corrente: Sometimes all you need, though, is the right motivation to re-up: (via Media Matters via Atrios) [snipped quote] Such gracious winners, arent' they?
Natasha @PacificViews: Quick Hits — Jerry Falwell explains that NOW really stands for the National Order of Witches.
Atrios: National Organization of Witches — Since no one in the media pays much attention to the kind of values that the good...

Mass Offensive Launched South of Baghdad
  By / AP   —   Permalink 
BAGHDAD, Iraq — Some 5,000 U.S. Marines, British troops and Iraqi forces launched a new offensive Tuesday aimed at clearing a swath of insurgent hotbeds across a cluster of dusty, small towns south of Baghdad.
McQ: Meanwhile in Baghdad, its business as usual as British, US and Iraqi troops, 5,000 strong, kick off an operation: "The...
Lambert @Corrente: iWaq: More proof that we're winning — Here's a great, great line: [snipped quote] I love it... "An apparent attempt to...
James Joyner: Mass Offensive Launched South of Baghdad — Mass Offensive Launched South of Baghdad (AP) [snipped quote] One hopes this series of operations begins to destroy the insurgency.
Dale Franks: Activity in Iraq — Now that the nest of vipers in Fallujah has been cleared out, it looks like we're turning our attention to other troublesome areas as well ".
Chad Evans: U.S. Launches New Offensive South of Baghdad - Associated Press [snipped quote] Violence in the area has surged, though...
Ace: Massive Offensive Launched Against Terrorists — About time: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - Some 5,000 U.S. Marines, British troops...

UN: 150 Sex Abuse Charges in Congo Peacekeeping
  By / Reuters   —   Permalink 
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United Nations is investigating about 150 allegations of sexual abuse by U.N. civilian staff and soldiers in the Congo, some of them recorded on videotape, a senior U.N. official said on Monday.
Bird Dog: Annan has the wrong vision and he's beset by a mammoth oil-for-food scandal, no-confidence votes by UN employees, sexual...
Charles Johnson: United Nations Sex Scandal in Congo — UN: 150 Sex Abuse Charges in Congo Peacekeeping. (Hat tip: LawHawk.)
Lorie Byrd: More U.N. Misdeeds — Michelle Malkin has a post about the U.N.'s "Abu Ghraib." How long will Kofi Annan keep his job, anyway?
Captain Ed: The UN peacekeepers in the Congo have abused and raped scores of refugees while supposedly protecting them from...
Eugene Oregon: And amid the calls for UN or AU peacekeeping troops to be deployed to Darfur, I guess we ought to keep this in mind
Glenn Reynolds: IT'S NOT JUST UNSCAM — The U.N. has other problems: [snipped quote] Yeah, I know that pointing out the double standards...
Also: Michelle Malkin, Clayton Cramer

Rather to Step Down After 24 Years as CBS Anchor
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
Two months after acknowledging that he could not authenticate documents central to a broadcast report that raised fresh questions about President Bush's National Guard service, Dan Rather announced today that he would step down as anchor and managing editor of the "CBS Evening News" on March 9, on what will be his 24th anniversary behind the anchor desk.
Joe Gandelman: Meanwhile, the most damning tidbit comes from the NY Times which notes that Rather seems to be jumping ship now before...
Bird Dog: Preemptive Retirement Announcement — After getting his journalistic credibility shellacked last October with his...

Report: Yankees to offer Pedro $50 million
  MSNBC   —   Permalink 
The New York Yankees will offer free-agent pitcher Pedro Martinez a four-year deal worth $50 million, but a major-league source says the star wants $60 million, the Bergen County Record reported Tuesday.
The newspaper also said the Boston Red Sox raised their offer to their former star to $38 million.
Harley: Elsewhere, on MSNBC to be precise, it appears that the Yankees are about to offer Pedro fifty million dollars.
James Joyner: Yankees to Offer Pedro Martinez $50 Million — Report: Yankees to offer Pedro $50 million (MSNBC) [snipped quote] Heck, who doesn't want $60 million?
Michele Catalano: [insert daddy joke] Report: Yankees to offer Pedro $50 million. I feel like I need to wash my hands repeatedly after seeing that headline.

An Israeli Hawk Accepts the President's Invitation
  By / WaPo   —   Permalink 
Those looking for clues about President Bush's second-term policy for the Middle East might be interested to know that, nine days after his reelection victory, the president summoned to the White House an Israeli politician so hawkish that he has accused Ariel Sharon of being soft on the Palestinians.
Laura Rozen: Bush met with former Soviet dissident and Israeli hardliner Natan Sharansky a couple weeks back, when he was in town...
Taegan Goddard: According to the Washington Post, President Bush met with Sharansky and White House advisers for over an hour on...
Natasha @PacificViews: Secrecy — Via Democracy Now: [snipped quote] According to the Washington Post, this secrecy about his middle name is something of a lifelong fetish for Mr. Gonzales.
Orrin Judd: W AND HIS MENTOR: An Israeli Hawk Accepts the President's Invitation (Dana Milbank, November 23, 2004, Washington Post)...

Statement on Ukrainian Elections
  White House   —   Permalink 
The United States is deeply disturbed by extensive and credible indications of fraud committed in the Ukrainian presidential election. We strongly support efforts to review the conduct of the election and urge Ukrainian authorities not to certify results until investigations of organized fraud are resolved.
Bird Dog: Now THIS is What a Stolen Election Looks Like — You know something is wrong in the Ukraine when the White House issues...
Glenn Reynolds: THERE'S A WHITE HOUSE STATEMENT on the Ukraine elections: [snipped quote] Stay tuned.

A Kinder, Gentler Copyright Bill?
  By / Wired News   —   Permalink 
The Senate passed a scaled-back version of a controversial copyright bill Saturday, keeping a provision that imposes severe penalties on people caught with camcorders in movie theaters but scrapping other provisions that copyright-reform activists had criticized.
Dan Gillmor: Copyright Bill Scaled Back — Wired News: A Kinder, Gentler Copyright Bill?
Kevin Raybould: A Small Victory — The fair use killing bill I spoke about a few days ago has been gutted: [snipped quote] This is not done, however.
Ezra Klein: To Reeeewind... The GOP must've read my post (or thought up the blindingly obvious strategy for themselves), because...
Matthew Yglesias: Fast Forward Safe — For now, at least.

Iraq minister brands Al-Jazeera a 'terror channel'
  AFP   —   Permalink 
DUBAI (AFP) - Iraqi Defence Minister Hazem Shaalan branded the popular Arabic-language satellite television Al-Jazeera a "channel of terrorism", in a newspaper interview.
That brought a sharp reaction from the broadcaster, which expressed its "utter outrage" at what it said was an "unsubstantiated allegation".
Jeff @BeautifulAtrocities: On Al Jazeera's exploiting the video as a recruiting tool: Other foreign networks made different decisions.
Charles Johnson: Iraqi Minister: Al Jazeera is a "Terror Channel" — A pretty gutsy statement from Iraqi Defense Minister Hazem Shaalan: "Al-Jazeera is a channel of terrorism.

This Time, Iraqis Fought a Good Fight in Fallouja
  By / LAT   —   Permalink 
FALLOUJA, Iraq — Upon his triumphant entry into this former rebel bastion following a U.S.-led assault, the top American commander in the country singled out Iraqi troops for special tribute.
"Iraq needs leaders like you," Army Gen. George W. Casey declared last week to the U.S.-trained officers arrayed before him.
McQ: Speaking of the Iraqis, seems they earned their spurs in Fallujah.
Wretchard: Another story from the LA Times reports: "Staff Sgt. Adel Ahmed led a reporter to a spot outside a yellow schoolhouse in central Fallouja.
Orrin Judd: BREAKING THE CYCLE OF DEPENDENCY: This Time, Iraqis Fought a Good Fight in Fallouja: U.S. forces give proteges kudos for digging up intelligence, storming mosques and other tasks.
Jason Van Steenwyk: And things are even better when those freshly blooded troops are Iraqis.
Cori Dauber: So huge points to the LA Times for their article today, but you really have to wonder where the rest of the press has been on this one.

Death by numbers
  By / Herald Sun   —   Permalink 
A recent claim that 100,000 Iraqis have died since the war in Iraq, mostly at the hands of Americans, is misleading, statistical junk.
JUST days before Americans voted for a president, Britain's Lancet medical journal rushed out a survey with the best bad news from Iraq any activist could want.
Damian Penny: Lies, damned lies, and Gwynne Dyer — Andrew Bolt, in Australia's Herald Sun, writes yet another damning refutation of...
Stephen Pollard: This piece, however, rips the analytical foundations of the figure apart, and shows that it is, indeed, baseless. (via Melanie Phillips.)

More Iraqi Army Dead Found in Mosul; 2 Clerics Slain
  Reuters   —   Permalink 
MOSUL, Iraq, Nov. 22 - A leading Sunni cleric was killed in a drive-by shooting in the northern city of Mosul on Monday, and American military officials in the city discovered the bodies of at least four more Iraqi Army soldiers killed by gunshots to the head.
McQ: However in Mosul, the news isnt' as good: "Insurgents are kidnapping and killing Iraqi soldiers and national guardsmen...
Mike Rappaport: One of clerics had called for a boycotting of the January elections in Iraq, and the other was a member of a group associated with that position.
Cori Dauber: Today there's a story that appears on page A-12 of the national print edition, headlined "More Iraqi Army Dead Found in...
Rich Lowry: A FALLUJAH TIDBIT — From the New York Times: "Insurgent attacks around the country have fallen sharply - to about 90 a...

Courageous Crooners
  By / NRO   —   Permalink 
U2 continues to defy the conventions of rock on its latest, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, whittling away at the romantic and transient roots of the form on songs like "Miracle Drug" and "A Man and a Woman," and — on their 11th studio album in 28 years — defeating an egocentric tradition that has left many of the best performers and acts in ruins.
The Elder: Piggybacking on Saint Paul's immortal closing words in his post on the return of Twins Geek —"Don't suck"— Bono offers...
Steve Dillard: "Courageous Crooners: U2 Dismantle[s] an Atomic Bomb": Kenneth Tanner has an excellent review of U2's latest album over at NRO.

Offensive Launched South of Baghdad
  By / WaPo   —   Permalink 
BAGHDAD, Nov. 23 — More than 5,000 U.S. , British and Iraqi troops launched an offensive Tuesday against a swath of territory south of Baghdad where armed insurgents have roamed through the streets, imposed stringent Islamic law and carried out kidnappings and summary executions at checkpoints along the main roads.
Cori Dauber: REFUSAL TO COMMIT — The Post is holding off on a description of the new offensive south of Baghdad.
Tom Schaller: Add Jabala to Fallujah and Mosul as the third city against which the U.S., er, coalition forces (is that a Brits over...

The Question of CAIR
  By / American Enterprise Institute   —   Permalink 
Two weeks ago, the National Post and I were served with a notice of libel by the Canadian branch of the Council on American Islamic Relations, or CAIR. The Post and I are not alone.
Charles Johnson: CAIR Goes After Frum and National Post — The Council on American Islamic Relations, commonly identified by mainstream...
The Big Trunk: Cairless love — David Frum has an extremely troubling account of his close encounter with the Council on American...

Media largely ignored Berkeley study on Florida voting irregularities
  Media Matters for America   —   Permalink 
The mainstream media have mostly ignored a statistical study conducted by faculty and students of the University of California at Berkeley sociology department on voting irregularities in Florida in the 2004 presidential election that found major discrepancies...
Mary @LeftCoaster: Media Matters reports that after the Berkeley study on voting anomolies in Florida was mostly ignored, two later studies on that same topic were given even less attention.
Avedon Carol: The scoop — Courtesy of Media Matters for America, we learn that not only has the media ignored the story of the...

Smoking 'em out
  By / LAT   —   Permalink 
Harley Bates is steaming. He pushes past the off-duty cop standing in front of his ranch and charges the reporter and photographer.
"Get the hell off my land!" he says.
"You're scaring people taking their pictures as they drive in!"
Kevin Roderick: Reporter vs. smokers — For the cover story in today's Outdoors section, Times staff writer Charles Duhigg goes to Utah...
Kevin Drum: MARLBORO COUNTRY...Charles Duhigg's story in the LA Times today about Philip Morris' annual adventure fest for...

Dean Steps Up His Bid for Leadership of Democratic Party
  By / New York Sun   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON - A former presidential candidate, Governor Dean, is stepping up his lobbying effort to succeed Terence McAuliffe as chairman of the Democratic National Committee and is canvassing for support on Capitol Hill, House members said.
Joe Gandelman: Howard Dean Means It When He Says He Wants To Be Demmie Chief — The Democratic party's potential Jack Krevorkian is...
Pejman Yousefzadeh: It looks as if Howard Dean is serious about wanting to be the new Chairman of the Democratic National Committee:...
Taegan Goddard: The New York Sun says Dean "is stepping up his lobbying effort" to head the party.
PoliPundit: Dean for the DNC — Go Howard Dean!

A Moral Indictment
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
Austin, Tex. — It is a rare day when members of the United States Congress try to read the minds of the members of a grand jury in Travis County, Tex. Apparently Tom DeLay's colleagues expect him to be indicted.
Mark Kleiman: Ronnie Earle speaks out — He lays it on the line in this NYT op-ed from Wednesday.
Steve Bainbridge: In today's NYT, Earle piously opines: "The open contempt for moral values by our elected officials has a corrosive effect.
Nick Confessore: But at any rate, here's a pretty good op-ed by the guy, in today's New York Times. The key bit: [snipped quote] Well said.
Captain Ed: Earle Doth Protest Too Much — Ronnie Earle took his fight against Tom DeLay to the pages of the New York Times today,...
Charles Kuffner: Ronnie Earle fights back — I'm thinking we might have ourselves a theme in this. [snipped quote] I don't think I can improve on that.
Byron L: Republican Moral Values — Read Ronnie Earle's Op-Ed in the New York Times today: [snipped quote] I couldn't say it any better, Ronnie.
Also: Josh Marshall, Laura Rozen, DemFromCT, Kriston @BeggingToDiffer

Rather to leave anchor desk in March
  AP   —   Permalink 
NEW YORK (AP) — Dan Rather, embattled anchor of the "CBS Evening News," announced Tuesday that he will step down in March, on the 24th anniversary of taking over the job from Walter Cronkite.
James Joyner: Dan Rather to Leave Anchor Desk in March — Rather to leave anchor desk in March (CNN) [snipped quote] The scandal and...
Andrew Sullivan: IN DENIAL: Here's an MSM classic: [snipped quote] Allegedly?

Dan Rather Stepping Down From 'CBS Evening News' in March; Will Continue Work As Correspondent
  ABCNEWS   —   Permalink 
NEW YORK Nov 23, 2004 — Dan Rather, embattled anchor of the "CBS Evening News," announced Tuesday that he will step down in March, on the 24th anniversary of taking over the job from Walter Cronkite.
Kevin Roderick: March it is. November 23, 2004 • LINK
Damian Penny: Dan is Done — Dan Rather is stepping down as CBS Evening News anchor in March.

Ukraine Opposition Leader Claims Victory
  By / AP   —   Permalink 
KIEV, Ukraine - Opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko defiantly claimed Ukraine's presidency Tuesday, taking a symbolic oath of office in parliament, as around 200,000 of his orange-clad supporters massed outside in the frigid streets of Kiev demanding the disputed election be overturned.
David Adesnik: PEOPLE POWER IN THE UKRAINE: We can only hope that the democratic movement led by Viktor Yuschenko will prevail over the...
Max B. Sawicky: DEMOCRACY HAPPENS — These people should just get over it. Don't get mired in conspiracy theories on the Internets.

'Virgin Mary' Cheese Sandwich Auctioned for $28,000 (Update1)
  Bloomberg   —   Permalink 
Nov. 23 (Bloomberg) — A grilled-cheese sandwich said to bear the image of the Virgin Mary has been sold for $28,000 in an Ebay Inc. auction, according to the online casino that bought it from a woman in Hollywood, Florida.
KJL: $28,000 FOR GRILLED CHEESE Surely someone can fork up $28,000 for Corner cheese if someone can afford that much for a "Virgin Mary sandwich"!
Stephen Pollard: There's money in cheese — I've got a raspberry which looks like St Luke. How much am I bid?

Republicans Finding Ways To Account For Overhaul
  By / WaPo   —   Permalink 
Republican budget writers say they may have found a way to cut the federal deficit even if they borrow hundreds of billions more to overhaul the Social Security system: Don't count all that new borrowing.
Hilzoy @ObsidianWings: Nothing They Do Surprises Me Any More. From the Washington Post: [snipped quote] Right. Deficits cause three sorts of problems.
Max B. Sawicky: As we predicted here, the Bushies provide further signs that they are going to jump up the Federal deficit to finance...
Kash: From the Washington Post: [snipped quote] I think this is a great idea.
DeLong: Not including Bush's Social Security overhaul in the budget "kind of makes a farce of the budget process," Conrad...
Atrios: A Cunning Plan — I do believe Baldrick is running things: Republican budget writers say they may have found a way to...
Sam Rosenfeld: I'm having massive technical trouble trying to access the full results, but in the meantime here are some highlights and...
Also: Kevin Drum, Susan Madrak