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Archive Edition for   Wednesday, December 22, 2004Go to Current Page
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Quoted in this edition:

Ace of Spades HQ
  Ann Althouse
American Prospect
  Matthew Yglesias
  Andrew @AndrewSullivan
  Steven @AndrewSullivan
  Steven Menashi
Angry Bear
  Angry Bear
Associated Press
  Rebecca Cook
  Dusan Stojanovic
  Jeannine Aversa
  Brian Melley
  Liz Austin
  Michael McDonough
  Mara D. Bellaby
  Leigh Strope
Backcountry Conservative
  Jeff Quinton
  Jack Balkin
Balloon Juice
  John Cole
Begging to Differ
  Kriston @BeggingToDiffer
  Gregory Djerejian
Belmont Club
Betsy's Page
  Betsy Newmark
Boston Globe
  Paul Sabin
BrothersJudd Blog
  Orrin Judd
Burnt Orange Report
  Nathan Nance
  Byron LaMasters
  Jeff Jarvis
Captain's Quarters
  Captain Ed
  MWS @Centerfield
Chris C Mooney
  Chris Mooney
Citizen Smash
CJR Campaign Desk Home
  Susan Q. Stranahan
  Thomas Lang
Clayton Cramer's BLOG
  Clayton Cramer
The Corner
  Jonah Goldberg
  John J. Miller
  Rod Dreher
  Lambert @Corrente
Crescat Sententia
  Will Baude
  Paul Goyette
Daily Kos
  Kos @DailyKos
  Damian Penny
Dallas Morning News
The Decembrist
  Mark Schmitt
  Frederick Maryland
Detroit News
  Thomas Bray
  Michael Froomkin
  Steve Antler
Electablog* U.S. Ambassador to Cyberspace
  David Allan Pell
  John Gorenfeld
Gut Rumbles
Harry's Place
  Gene @HarrysPlace
  Harry @HarrysPlace
Hit and Run
  Jesse Walker
  Nick Gillespie
  Julian Sanchez
Houston Chronicle
  Clay Robison
  Hugh Hewitt
Informed Comment
  Juan Cole
  Glenn Reynolds
  Phillip Carter
  Tom Maguire
Kesher Talk
  Judith Weiss
L.A. Observed
  Kevin Roderick
Lean Left
  Kevin Raybould
The Left Coaster
  Steve Soto
  Mary @LeftCoaster
Little Green Footballs
  Charles Johnson
Los Angeles Times
  David Willman
  T. Christian Miller
  Richard A. Serrano
Mathew Gross
  Mathew Gross
Matthew Yglesias
  Matthew Yglesias
Michelle Malkin
  Michelle Malkin
The Moderate Voice
  Joe Gandelman
  Nathan Newman
The Nation
  Tony Judt
National Review
  David Freddoso
New York Post
  Amir Taheri
New York Times
  William Safire
  Eric Lipton
  Nicholas D. Kristof
  Richard W. Stevenson
  Elizabeth Becker
  Kirk Johnson
  Warren Hoge
  David Brooks
  Sam Dillon
Newhouse News
  James Lileks
No More Mister Nice Blog
  Steve M.
Not Geniuses
  Joe Drymala
Off the Kuff
  Charles Kuffner
Opinion Journal
Outside The Beltway
  James Joyner
  David Adesnik
Pacific Views
  Magpie @PacificViews
  Natasha @PacificViews
  Jesse Taylor
  Pejman Yousefzadeh
The Peking Duck
  Richard TPD
  Jayson @PoliPundit
  DJ Drummond
  Lorie Byrd
Politics from Left to Right
  Chris Nolan
The Poor Man
  The Poor Man
Power Line
  Greg Ransom
Questions and Observations Blog
  Jon Henke
  Dale Franks
  Cori Dauber
  David Morgan
Right Wing News
  John Hawkins
Roger L. Simon
  Roger L. Simon
Sacramento Bee
  Mark Follman
  Eric Boehlert
  Perry de Havilland
  Gabriel Syme
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Times
  Ralph Thomas
Secular Blasphemy
  Jan Haugland
Seeing The Forest
  Dave Johnson
Shot In The Dark
  Mitch Berg
The Sideshow
  Avedon Carol
Silent Running
  Wind Rider
skippy the bush kangaroo
  Cookie Jill
  Jacob Weisberg
Steve Clemons
  Steve Clemons
Steve Gilliard's News Blog
  Steve Gilliard
Suburban Guerrilla
  Susan Madrak
t a c i t u s
  Bird Dog
Taegan Goddard's Political Wire
  Taegan Goddard
Talking Points Memo
  Josh Marshall
  Jeralyn Merritt
  Garance Franke-Ruta
  Sam Rosenfeld
  Matthew Yglesias
  Mark Leon Goldberg
  Nick Confessore
Tech Central Station
  Stephen Schwartz
  George Jones
  Ben Shapiro
Unqualified Offerings
  Jim Henley
USA Today
Village Voice
  Rick Perlstein
  Will Collier
Wall Street Journal
  John Harwood
  MB Williams
The Washington Monthly
  Kevin Drum
Washington Post
  David S. Broder
  Karl Vick
  Thomas E. Ricks
  Josh White
  William Branigin
  Howard Kurtz
  Terry M. Neal
  Fareed Zakaria
Washington Times
  Stephen Dinan
  James G. Lakely
Weekly Standard
  Christopher Caldwell
Winds of Change.NET
  Joe Katzman
World O'Crap

Bush Plans a Media Blitz on Social Security
  By / Reuters   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush will spearhead an election-style public relations campaign early next year to try to convince Americans that Social Security is in urgent need of change but will keep dollar and cent details deliberately vague, analysts and officials say.
Nathan Nance: Even more on Social Security — Guest post by Nate Nance According to Reuters, Bush is planning a big campaign to "educate" people about how we need to "reform" Social Security.
Jesse Taylor: I'll hand deliver the playbook myself. There's a problem with Social Security, he says. And he has a plan. What's the plan.
Kevin Drum: THE BATTLE BEGINS....From Reuters: [snipped quote] I sure hope someone on our side is planning to spend $15 million on this.
Garance Franke-Ruta: The Bush administration, which knows a thing or two about how to persuade/bully a reluctant public into going along with...
Orrin Judd: AND THE BEAUTY IS THE TAXPAYERS FOOT THE PREIDENT'S BILLS: Bush Plans a Media Blitz on Social Security (David Morgan,...

The Blog of the Year, or the Year of the Blog?
  By / Newhouse News   —   Permalink 
Time magazine has named a Person of the Year — it's that Bush fellow you may have heard about. (He's been in all the papers.) The choice may strike some as smart or obvious, but you just know some staffers wanted to give the honor to those new single-serve coffee-pod machines.
DJ Drummond: At Newhouse News Service, where they give a distinctly different meaning to the word "news", James trots out what can only be graded a first-class tantrum.
Jeff Jarvis: You'll see.... : MORE: Uh-oh, there are more year-end wrap coming. I hate year-end wrap, except that they make the last week of the year easy for reporters and editors.
Glenn Reynolds: It's also worth noting what James Lileks says in his syndicated column for today: [snipped quote] Yeah, and you can actually fit that studio in a smallish briefcase, nowadays.
Hugh Hewitt: James' Newhouse column also touches on the blogosphere, but on its positive side.
Jesse Taylor: Gnat, Sound The Death Horn — Does anybody know when the "old media" "ended"?
Pejman Yousefzadeh: THE YEAR OF THE BLOG — James Lileks discusses the value of blogs and blogging in light of the Time Magazine award of...
Also: Betsy Newmark, The Big Trunk

Fastest growth found in 'red' states
  USA Today   —   Permalink 
Robust population growth continues to sweep the nation's Southern and Western states, according to estimates released Wednesday by the Census Bureau.
If the trend continues at its current pace, states in the Northeast and Midwest that have been population powerhouses since the 19th century will lose their dominance to Sun Belt states by 2010.
James Joyner: Census: Fastest Growth in Red States — Fastest growth found in 'red' states (USA Today) "Robust population growth...
Greg Ransom: AMERICAN's would rather live in Red States.
Orrin Judd: PERMANENT REALIGNMENT: Fastest growth found in 'red' states (Haya El Nasser and Paul Overberg, 12/22/04, USA TODAY)...
Betsy Newmark: Here's a story that must strike fear in the hearts of Democratic political operatives: the population growth in this country is in the sunbelt, i.e. red states.
Pejman Yousefzadeh: Those who are unhappy about the import of this story can console themselves with the thought that they can have even...
Jeff Quinton: Red State Population Gains — USA Today "Robust population growth continues to sweep the nation's Southern and Western...

Merry Christmas, Mr. Krauthammer
  By / American Prospect   —   Permalink 
"There's one group of people who get bullied all the time, and that's Christians," Pastor Patrick Wooden told the Los Angeles Times on December 17. "I know what it is like to be bullied. It is apartheid in reverse — the majority is being bullied by the minority."
John Cole: The Death of Christmas — I have to say I am with Matt on this whole 'death of Christmas' nonsense.
Matthew Yglesias: American Apartheid — A shocking tale of the Jewish/secularist war on American Christians and the few brave Jews like Charles Krauthammer willing to stand against this outrage.
Jack Balkin: The Passion of Matthew Yglesias JB Priceless.

GOP-leaning states in line for more Congress seats
  bizjournals   —   Permalink 
Arizona, Florida, Texas and Utah would each gain one seat in the U.S. House of Representatives if districts were reapportioned today, according to an analysis by American City Business Journals.
Iowa, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania, on the other hand, would each lose a seat.
Captain Ed: The Growing Republican Majority — Bizjournals published a study it conducted on population shifts within the United...
Taegan Goddard: Population Trends Continue to Favor GOP — "Arizona, Florida, Texas and Utah would each gain one seat in the U.S. House...
PoliPundit: Electoral Math — The Baby Gap continues to hurt the blue states: [snipped quote] This shift has been going on for decades.
Orrin Judd: WHY OBAMA WILL SWITCH: GOP-leaning states in line for more Congress seats (G. Scott Thomas, 12/22/04, American City...

Democrats: Gregoire wins by 8 votes
  Seattle Post-Intelligencer   —   Permalink 
Democrat Christine Gregoire will defeat Republican Dino Rossi by eight votes in the governor's race recount when King County reports results today, state Democratic Party Chairman Paul Berendt said last night.
James Joyner: Democrats Claim Washington Governorship — Democrats: Gregoire wins by 8 votes (Seattle Post-Intelligencer) "Democrat...
Taegan Goddard: The Seattle Post-Intelligencer notes that "as with nearly every twist in this incredible race, the Democrats' victory...
Mary @LeftCoaster: And as an update to Cal Pol's story about the Washington recount, it looks like Democrat Christine Gregorie has pulled ahead by 8 votes in the hand count.
Joe Gandelman: The latest: [snipped quote] With a vote this close, the outcome will be disputed forever and whichever side loses will...
Nick Gillespie: Whole thing here, courtesy of Freedom News Daily.
Orrin Judd: Democrats: Gregoire wins by 8 votes: Election officials dismiss claim as premature (CHRIS MCGANN AND CHRISTINE FREY, ,...
Also: The Big Trunk

Take Them Out to the Ballgame
  By / WaPo   —   Permalink 
Normally, any time that President Bush holds one of his rare, full-length news conferences, that's the top news event of the day. But on Monday, Bush's answers on Iraq, Social Security and other topics were overshadowed by the 12-minute "summit" meeting between D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams and D.C. Council Chairman Linda Cropp.
Skippy: called on account of reign - a skippy musing david broder, in the washpost, posits that partisanship in washington can...
Jesse Taylor: Only In Broderland — David Broder: [snipped quote] When an egomaniacal blowhard wants his political opponents to shut...
Lambert @Corrente: David Broder really is an idiot — The master purveyor of the slightly stale conventional wisdom has long since passed his Sell-by date.
Atrios: Broder — This is the dean of Washington punditry. Washington's just a floating cocktail party for him, and he's upset that the parties aren't as good as they used to be.

Wave of the Future
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
I now admit to having expected the war in Iraq to be won in a matter of months, not years. Saddam's plan to disperse his forces and conduct a murderous insurgency, abetted by his terrorist allies, was a surprise.
Joe Gandelman: A Safire Misfire Is Almost Satire — Let me start off by saying I've always liked William Safire, even when I disagreed...
Atrios: Duhhhh — Safire says: In return for today's grudging concession of tactical misjudgment, however, I claim this...
Steve Antler: More here. Via Milt Rosenberg. UPDATE: William Safire sees some of the same signs.
The Poor Man: If not us, then who? Starting today: Wave of the Future (remix)
Matthew Yglesias: TIME FOR HIM TO GO. William Safire's last column was pretty bad, but today's is just pathetic.

Big Cities Will Get More in Antiterrorism Grants
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON, Dec. 21 - Responding to repeated calls from big-city mayors, the Department of Homeland Security is shifting a larger share of its annual $3.5 billion in antiterrorism grants to the nation's largest cities, allowing them to accelerate purchases of equipment and training needed to better defend against - or at least rapidly respond to - an attack.
Tom Maguire: We Write Of Missing Persons — The NY Times tells us that big cities, including the greatest city in the world, will get more money in 2005 from the Homeland Security budget.
Glenn Reynolds: THE NEW YORK TIMES: A shamelessly pro-Bush rag?
MWS @Centerfield: This article in today's New York Times discusses the reallocation of antiterrorism funds from smaller cities to larger...

Supreme Court orders King County to count disputed ballots
  By / AP   —   Permalink 
OLYMPIA, Wash. — The state Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that King County should include hundreds of recently discovered ballots in the hand recount of the still-undecided governor's race.
Magpie @PacificViews: But things may have gotten a lot clearer today as the state Supreme Court has ordered that 723 recently discovered ballots be counted.
Betsy Newmark: It looks like Gregoire is going to be able to win in Washington since King County has discovered enough votes to put her over the top.

Conyers overlooks Detroit's election problems
  By / Detroit News   —   Permalink 
John Conyers, the highest-ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, is demanding an investigation into Ohio's voting. "We're talking ... about thousands of complaints about failure of process, coercion, suppression of the vote," Conyers asserted on public radio last week.
Avedon Carol: I guess nobody tells these people that they knew they were going to have a high turnout and deliberately refrained from...
Pejman Yousefzadeh: A chant that perhaps should be raised outside the offices of Representative John Conyers: [snipped quote] I really need not add any more to that.
Betsy Newmark: Thomas Bray chastises the awful John Conyers for ginning up controversy in the Ohio recount and ignoring the problems of Detroit, his home district.
Captain Ed: UPDATE: Thomas Bray at the Detroit News takes Conyers to the woodshed over his umbrage at Ohio while overlooking the...
John J. Miller: Second, Tom Bray of the Detroit News goes after left-wing congressman John Conyers for investigating the presidential...

The Case of the Ohio Recount
  By / Village Voice   —   Permalink 
The game is still afoot in Ohio. Taking advantage of a state law that allows presidential candidates to request an official recount if they finance it themselves, David Cobb of the Green Party and Michael Badnarik of the Libertarians raised $113,600 in mid November, largely from progressives nearly tapped out after the campaign.
Captain Ed: Village Voice Scolds Democratic Conspiracy-Mongers ... For Missing The Bigger Conspiracy — Rick Perlstein in the...
Orrin Judd: CRAZIER THAN NIXON: The Case of the Ohio Recount: In the whodunit over who won it, the true villain is slipping away...
Avedon Carol: And: Rep. John Conyers calls on TV networks and the AP to release raw exit poll data from the 2004 presidential...

Who's Afraid of Christmas?   —   Permalink 
The Christmas Deconstruction Alliance just does not get it. They are dumbfounded as they have not been able to secularize Christmas. They throw tantrums because of the tenacity with which the vast majority of us hold onto our Christian beliefs and traditions.
Avedon Carol: Blogger's notebook — Note to those dimwits at I'm a liberal and I always have a tree.
Andrew @AndrewSullivan: MALKIN AWARD NOMINEE: [snipped quote] - Donald R. May,
SLZoll: Who's Afraid of Christmas? by Donald R. May The liberal elite think their superior wisdom, and their control of...

Dems Claim Win in Wash. Governor's Race
  By / AP   —   Permalink 
OLYMPIA, Wash. - Democrats have claimed victory in the race for Washington governor by a razor-thin margin of eight votes, citing preliminary results of a hand recount they say puts Christine Gregoire in front for the first time. Republicans maintained the race was still too close to call.
Captain Ed: Gregoire By Eight: Dems — Democrats in the state of Washington claimed victory late last night, telling reporters that...
Smash: WASHINGTON STATE DEMOCRATS are claiming victory in the Governor's race after a third recount apparently gives their candidate a lead of eight votes, AP reports.
Sam Rosenfeld: It appears that Democrat Christine Gregoire has achieved a stunning reversal in the hand recount for the Washington...
Greg Ransom: HAND RECOUNT gives Democrat the Washington Governor's Race — a flip of votes in Seattle's Democrat controlled King county make the difference.

The National Institutes of Health: Public Servant or Private Marketer?
  By / LAT   —   Permalink 
Doctors have long relied on the NIH to set medical standards. But with its researchers accepting fees and stock from drug companies, will that change? A continuing examination by The Times shows an unabashed mingling of science and commerce.
Susan Q. Stranahan: Today, Los Angeles Times reporter David Willman writes that at least 530 NIH scientists have been paid large consulting...
Chris Nolan: It Could Happen Here — Today's LATImes has a long piece investigating the financial ties - stock grants, speaking fees...

Value words, a linguist advises Democrats
  Sacramento Bee   —   Permalink 
BERKELEY - George Lakoff is running late for a 10 a.m. interview, which he hastily rearranges for 10:30 at another location, where he is late once again.
It's no wonder.
Chris Nolan: Listen Up — The SacBee sent one of its enterprising reporters to Berkeley to interview "Progressive" heart-throb George...
Orrin Judd: WORD GAMES: Value words, a linguist advises Democrats (Blair Anthony Robertson, December 22, 2004, Sacramento Bee)...

When the Right Is Right
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
One of the most conservative, religious, fascinating - and, in many ways, admirable - politicians in America today is Sam Brownback, the senator from Kansas who is a leader of the Christian right.
Sure, Mr. Brownback is to the right of Attila the Hun, and I disagree with him on just about every major issue.
Joe Drymala: And of our press corps, Kristof is The Squeakiest.
Jeff Jarvis: Yet today Kristof writes: [snipped quote] I don't know why the bleeding hearts of the left have coagulated and hardened, but in many quarters, sadly, they have.
Jon Henke: Take Nick Kristof, for example... "So, all in all, I find Mr. Brownback perhaps the most intriguing man in Washington -...
James Joyner: Matter Meets Anti-Matter — Nicholas Kristoff has an intriguing piece this morning entitled, "When the Right Is Right."
Steve M.: It pains Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times to say that, because heaven knows he's not a conservative, but...
Jesse Taylor: I Just Don't Give A F**k — Why do I get the feeling this Nick Kristof column had a line about how Amnesty International never talks about issue X before it was edited out?
Also: Steven @AndrewSullivan, Michelle Malkin, Todd Pearson, John J. Miller, Steve Dillard, Orrin Judd

Suicide Bomber Said Cause of Iraq Attack
  By / AP   —   Permalink 
BAGHDAD, Iraq - U.S. troops and armored vehicles clamped down on Mosul a day after an attack on a nearby base in which 22 people were killed — almost all of them Americans. The military said a suicide bomber probably carried out the blast, the deadliest single attack on U.S. troops since the war began.
Captain Ed: UPDATE: Apparently, the explosion came from inside the tent after all: "U.S. troops and armored vehicles clamped down...
Steve Soto: Second, as evidenced by the comments of Iraqis in Mosul today, there will be plenty more willing Iraqis to follow in the footsteps of yesterday's butcher.

Economy Grows Faster Than Thought in 3Q
  By / AP   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON (AP) - The economy revved up its engine in the third quarter and advanced at an annual rate of 4 percent- even faster than previously thought.
The new reading on gross domestic product, released Wednesday by the Commerce Department, exceeded the previous estimate of a 3.9 percent growth rate for the July-to-September quarter.
Ace: Economy Grew Still Faster Than Believed in Third Quarter — Now it's up to 4%, having been revised from 3.7% and then to 3.9%.
Pejman Yousefzadeh: OVERACHIEVING — This is just the news item we want to hear going into the holidays: "The economy revved up its engine...

New Papers Suggest Detainee Abuse Was Widespread
  WaPo   —   Permalink 
The Bush administration is facing a wave of new allegations that the abuse of foreign detainees in U.S. military custody was more widespread, varied and grave in the past three years than the Defense Department has long maintained.
Lambert @Corrente: The lede from Pravda on the Potomac isn't much better: "The Bush administration is facing a wave of new allegations that...
Michael Froomkin: This tired acceptance, this learned helplessness, in the face of wrist slaps for the unlucky grunts (much more than a...
Gregory Djerejian: Torture Redux — Story here.
David Allan Pell: So it shouldn't surprise anyone that the more information we get, the more we find out that the detainee abuse was...
Mark Leon Goldberg: Of course, as we all now know, that turned out to be a big lie, and this Washington Post scoop provides further evidence...
Mathew Gross: And this is only the beginning: "New documents released yesterday detail a series of probes by Army criminal...
Also: Von @ObsidianWings, Jeralyn Merritt

Fastest growth found in 'red states'
  USA Today   —   Permalink 
Robust population growth continues to sweep the nation's Southern and Western states, according to estimates released today by the Census Bureau.
If the trend continues at its current pace, states in the Northeast and Midwest that have been population powerhouses since the 19th century will lose their dominance to Sun Belt states by 2010.
Steve Antler: Take your pick: supply-side, "elbow-room" Americanized Ricardo, or anything in between, there are a host of potential...
Clayton Cramer: Boom Town Boise — An article about population changes in the United States has a closing sentence that really captures...

Medical marijuana user being targeted by DMV, lawyer says
  By / AP   —   Permalink 
SACRAMENTO - The Department of Motor Vehicles postponed a driver license test for a medical marijuana user with a case before the Supreme Court after her lawyer claimed yesterday that she is being unfairly targeted for review without any driving violations.
Skippy: the kids at the daily cookie send us a sandiegouniontrib piece about a medical marijuana user targeted by the dept of motor vehicles.
Jeralyn Merritt: Her lawyer says it's because she's a medical pot user with a case before the Supreme Court. He's served a "cease and desist" notice on the DMV.

The Associated Press "insurgency"
  By / Salon   —   Permalink 
Conservative bloggers suggested Monday that an Associated Press photographer was complicit with militants who executed three Iraqi election workers on Baghdad's dangerous Haifa Street on Sunday.
Wretchard: Sixty Four Dollars — Salon claims that "conservative bloggers suggested Monday that an Associated Press photographer...
Cori Dauber: (You need to view a completely innocuous ad to get a free day pass and read the article.)
Jesse Taylor: Also, this Salon story pretty much shows why the conservative blogosphere needs less triumphalism and more getting the f**king story right.
Joe Katzman: Salon's Mark Follman has a reply piece titled The Associated Press "Insurgency" (must watch a short ad to view).
Roger L. Simon: The New Litmus Test — Mark Follman, writing for Salon (sorry, interminable commercial necessary to read what should be...
Steve Gilliard: Morons — Morning murder The Associated Press "insurgency" Conservative bloggers tar an AP photojournalist with...

Hispanic men moved to Bush
  By / Washington Times   —   Permalink 
President Bush's jump in support from Hispanic voters this election from 2000 was almost entirely among Hispanic men, nearly half of whom voted for him this year, according to a study released yesterday.
Jayson @PoliPundit: And this separate demographic trend would make any Democratic strategist reach for the Hemlock.
Orrin Judd: SCRAMBLE THE NATIVISTS FOR COUNTERATTACK: Hispanic men moved to Bush (Stephen Dinan, 12/22/04, THE WASHINGTON TIMES) [snipped quote] The Tancredists can't let that one stand.

The Jimmy Carter Honorary Golden Peanut of Gall
  By /   —   Permalink 
Jimmy Carter is at it again. After finally winning his lifetime underachievement award, the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, and joining Michael Moore in the presidential box at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, Carter has decided to monitor the scheduled Jan. 9, 2005, "Palestinian elections."
SLZoll: Ben Shapiro Ben's column, The Jimmy Carter Honorary Golden Peanut of Gall, derides Jimmy Cater, Michael Moore, Harry...
Betsy Newmark: Ben Shapiro has inaugurated the Jimmy Carter Honorary Golden Peanut of Gall . "Jimmy Carter is at it again.

Military Updates Mosul Attack Casualty Toll
  By / WaPo   —   Permalink 
BAGHDAD, Dec. 22 — An explosion tore through a crowded U.S. military mess tent in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on Tuesday, killing at least 22 people and wounding more than 70.
Skippy: update on mosul the washpost tells us that at least 22 people died in yesterday's attack, with more than 70 wounded:...
Blackfive: Update 12-22-04: The Washington Post says it may have been a bomb or a suicide bomber.

U.S. Contractor Pulls Out of Reconstruction Effort in Iraq
  By / LAT   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON — For the first time, a major U.S. contractor has dropped out of the multibillion-dollar effort to rebuild Iraq, raising new worries about the country's growing violence and its effect on reconstruction.
Taegan Goddard: Contractor Pulls Out of Iraq — [snipped quote] the Los Angeles Times reports.
KJL: MAJOR U.S. CONTRACTOR pulls out of Iraq. Ugh.
Steve Antler: Bad start for a holiday... This is bad news, genuine evidence things are not going well.

Bush's New Problem: More Carnage in Iraq Could Eclipse His Ambitious Domestic Agenda
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON, Dec. 21 - The deadly attack on a United States military base in northern Iraq on Tuesday scrambled the Bush administration's hopes of showing progress toward stability there, while making clear that the war is creating a nasty array of problems for President Bush as he gears up for an ambitious second term.
Matthew Yglesias: The New York Times's Richard Stevenson ably uses the "news analysis" format to cut through some of the cant that's...
Hugh Hewitt: The New York Times' Richard Stevenson begins his "news analysis," titled "Bush's New Problem: More Carnage in Iraq Could...

Washington governor's race could swing after hand recount
  CNN   —   Permalink 
(CNN) — Washington's most populous county is expected to announce its manual vote recount Wednesday, which could swing results in the closest governor's race ever in state history.
Steve Clemons: TOO CLOSE TO CALL IS BETTER THAN A LOSS: PROGRESS IN WASHINGTON STATE — There is a remarkable recount story unfolding in Washington State.
Frederick Maryland: According to CNN: "Washington's most populous county is expected to announce its manual vote recount Wednesday, which...

U.S. Cutting Food Aid Aimed at Self-Sufficiency
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON, Dec. 21 - In one of the first signs of the effects of the ever tightening federal budget, in the past two months the Bush administration has reduced its contributions to global food aid programs aimed at helping millions of people climb out of poverty.
Steve M.: Alas, on page A3 we find out just how much good all this jumping up and down has done: In one of the first signs of the...
The Poor Man: Moral Values — [snipped quote] $100 million is ~0.02% of the total value of the 2001 Bush tax cut received by the richest 1% of Americans.

Liberals must refight battles of the past
  By / Boston Globe   —   Permalink 
PRESIDENT BUSH has inspired comparisons with his pre-World War II predecessors Warren Harding, William McKinley, and Herbert Hoover and shown that the great struggles in American history never end. As Bush's second term approaches, several pre-World War II domestic issues predominate.
McQ: The second is by Paul Sabin in which he laments apparent lack of ability of the left to articulate its message, and is...
Orrin Judd: Liberals must refight battles of the past (Paul Sabin, December 22, 2004, Boston Globe) [snipped quote] Everyone who's...

Holland Daze
  By / Weekly Standard   —   Permalink 
THE SMALL CITY of Schiedam, on the Nieuwe Maas river near Rotterdam, has played a big role in the Dutch imagination of late. Five years ago, the historian/journalist Geert Mak entranced the country with a long narrative called My Father's Century.
Will Collier: In case you missed it, Christopher Caldwell has an interesting piece on the Islamification of the Netherlands and recent repercussions.
Roger L. Simon: UPDATE: Not that it is a blog, regarding Europe, I had missed Chris Caldwell's superb analysis of the situation in Holland. (hat tip: Sheryl)

Goodbye to All That?
  By / The Nation   —   Permalink 
"Anti-Semitism" today is a genuine problem. It is also an illusory problem. The distinction between the two is one of those contemporary issues that most divide Europe from the United States. The overwhelming majority of Europeans abhors recent attacks on Jews and Jewish institutions and takes them very seriously.
Judith Weiss: Would-be-outraged-to-be-c alled-a-self-hating-Jew Tony Judt is back in the news with another attempt to delegitimize Israel.
Pejman Yousefzadeh: FOR ANTI-SEMITISM I suppose that this odious column was predictable in terms of both cluelessness and awfulness, but it receives an outstanding retort.
Steven @AndrewSullivan: NO EXCUSE: Tony Judt thinks Israel is to blame for widespread anti-Semitism in Europe and elsewhere.
Jonah Goldberg: "JEWS EVERYWHERE" — Are understandably blamed for Israel's actions, according to Tony Judt. Here's an outstanding retort by Steven Menashi.

Gregoire catches Rossi, Democrats say
  By / Seattle Times   —   Permalink 
After losing the first two counts in Washington's closest-ever race for governor, it appears Democrat Christine Gregoire has pulled even with — or possibly overtaken — Republican Dino Rossi on the final day of a contentious statewide manual recount.
James Joyner: Update (1029): Not so fast, say the Republicans.
Michelle Malkin: WASHINGTON STATE RECOUNT — Rossi's toast.
Taegan Goddard: Recount Gives Lead to Gregoire — "After losing the first two counts in Washington's closest-ever race for governor, it...

"I Call the President Imam Bush": A Turning Point in Islamic and World History
  By / TCS   —   Permalink 
If one were to rely on the mainstream Western media, one would assume that the situation in Iraq represents nothing more than a disaster and a horrible error by the United States. This media spin, which is more pronounced and strident than any in recent memory, is based on two critical flaws in the way Western media work.
Orrin Judd: MOHAMMED'S METHODIST SUCCESSOR: "I Call the President Imam Bush": A Turning Point in Islamic and World History (Stephen...
Betsy Newmark: Stephen Schwartz is another reporter who doesn't think we're getting the full story about the Iraq elections.

Fighting On Is the Only Option, Americans Say
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
DENVER, Dec. 21 - Americans across the country expressed anguish about the devastating attack on a United States military base in Iraq on Tuesday. But it was the question of where the nation should go from here that produced the biggest sigh from Dallas Spear, an oil and gas industry worker from Denver.
Matthew Yglesias: Either way, while this data about American public support for staying the course is interesting, the real issues here have to do with Iraqi politics.
Steve Gilliard: Fighting On Is the Only Option, Americans Say By KIRK JOHNSON Published: December 22, 2004 [snipped quote] OK, so planning on sending your children to die in Iraq?

U.S. Cutting Food Aid That Is Aimed at Self-Sufficiency
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON, Dec. 21 - In one of the first signs of the effects of the ever tightening federal budget, in the past two months the Bush administration has reduced its contributions to global food aid programs aimed at helping millions of people climb out of poverty.
Nathan Newman: Announcing that, in a budget paying off billions to the Halliburtons of the corporate world, there was no money left,...
Jeralyn Merritt: By cutting food aid to the world's poor—breaking our prior agreements and leaving 5 to 7 million people in dire straits.
McQ: Well it seems that as a part of the planned cuts in spending that Bush and company promised during the election, we're cutting aid to hunger programs.
Mathew Gross: Bush Cuts Aid to Hungry — I guess they're only conservative when compassion is what is called for: [snipped quote] $100 million.

Union Activist Sets Sights on Future, Boldly Optimistic
  By / WSJ   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON — Steve Rosenthal could be forgiven the holiday blues. His labor to turn out votes against President Bush fell short last month, and his beloved union movement is in turmoil. The October defeat of his New York Yankees only worsened an autumn of anguish.
Mark Schmitt: Steve Rosenthal of Americans Coming Together proposes that the primary schedule begin with the five states that were...
Matthew Yglesias: Primarily Speaking — Josh Marshall moots an idea for mild primary reform.
Nick Confessore: Rosenthal, according to the Journal, has some ideas about the primary calendar: "He suggests Democrats place the five...
Josh Marshall: Steve Rosenthal profiled today by John Harwood in the Wall Street Journal. Rosenthal, Harwood writes, [snipped quote] That sounds like a damn good idea to me.

Precision of Base Attack Worries Military Experts
  By / WaPo   —   Permalink 
In April 2003, as the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq was ending, the Pentagon projected in a formal planning effort that the U.S. military occupation of the country would end this month.
Captain Ed: Returning to today's Washington Post, Thomas Ricks gets a few people on record acting as though Mosul was some kind of...
Gregory Djerejian: Hard Questions After Mosul — Mosul piece in the WaPo: "The major difference between the latest attack and the earlier...
Jim Henley: Welcome to my Nightmare - It's too soon to tell if today's Mosul attack (highclearing/highclearin g) was a lucky shot for the insurgents or the start of a baleful new trend.
Cori Dauber: They're all telling the same story, the easy story — it's totally cookie cutter, and they could just as easily have...
James Joyner: Precision of Base Attack Worries Military Experts — Precision of Base Attack Worries Military Experts (Thomas Ricks,...

Iraq insurgents ramp up attacks on U.S. troops in Samarra
  By / WaPo   —   Permalink 
SAMARRA, Iraq — Mortar rounds land outside Patrol Base Uvanni so often that soldiers inside barely lift their heads when another deafening thump disturbs the clear afternoon air.
Anti-tank mines appear in the dust a few yards from the entrance to the U.S. base, a brick building that was once part of a college campus.
Juan Cole: Press Roundup for Wednesday 12/22 — Josh White of the Washington Post reports that US soldiers at a base near Samarra...
Steve Gilliard: 1967 or 2004, you make the call every day these fire at Americans Iraq insurgents ramp up attacks on U.S. troops in...

Ozone hole casts southern shadow
  CNN   —   Permalink 
PUNTA ARENAS, Chile (AP) — The worst of the ozone hole has pulled back once more to Antarctica this southern spring, leaving behind a shadow of uncertainty for the people living at the bottom of South America.
Chris Mooney: Remember the Ozone Hole? It's still a problem, folks. And yes, we caused it.
Cookie Jill: kron" "chilean residents in punta arenas living under the ozone hole face intense radiation from the sky, - cnn"...

'A particularly difficult year' for the UN, Annan says
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
UNITED NATIONS, New York Secretary General Kofi Annan said Tuesday that allegations of corruption in the oil-for-food program had "cast a shadow" over the United Nations and made 2004 an especially troubled year for the international organization.
Lorie Byrd: The UN's Bad Year(s) Betsy Newmark makes a good point that the UN's bad year is only seen as bad for them now because...
Betsy Newmark: Kofi Annan says that last year was an "annus horibilus" for the UN. This year was the year that the corruption came to light.

Mom Sues Wal-Mart Over Daughter's Suicide
  By / AP   —   Permalink 
DALLAS (AP) - Near the end of her short life, Shayla Stewart, a diagnosed manic-depressive and schizophrenic, assaulted police officers and was arrested for attacking a fellow customer at a Denton Wal-Mart where she had a prescription for anti-psychotic medication.
Acidman: Wal-Mart has blood on its hands. One of their stores sold a shotgun to a deranged woman who then used the weapon to kill herself.
Wind Rider: Not that you'd have heard about this from any of the major news outlets...although there was quite a bit of coverage...

Does "L" Stand for "Loser"?
  By / NRO   —   Permalink 
Are Red Staters really the uneducated rubes that so many beautiful Blue people make them out to be? Maybe. But Oklahomans, Hoosiers, and Idahoans have at least one thing over their well-educated New York counterparts — they can at least spell their presidential candidate's name correctly.
James Joyner: Electoral College Goofs — David Freddoso reports: [snipped quote] Embarrasing.
Tom Maguire: Not Kerry's Day — This was not John Kerry's day. David Freddoso of the NRO notices that John "L."
Pejman Yousefzadeh: And hey, the average IQ may skyrocket!
Glenn Reynolds: A BAD DAY FOR JOHN KERRY: And it seems as if quite a few people are having fun at his expense, though only Kos seems to want him shot.

Unworthy of Honor: Khomeini's tribute is a disgrace
  Dallas Morning News   —   Permalink 
Most Americans remember the Ayatollah Khomeini. He was one of the great villains of the 20th century, who bequeathed his patrimony of fanaticism and hatred to the 21st.
Charles Johnson: Khomeini's Tribute is a Disgrace — The Dallas Morning News finally weighs in on the appalling display of support from...
Rod Dreher: KHOMEINIFEST A "DISGRACE" — The Dallas Morning News, on whose editorial page I labor, takes a strong stand in...

Majority Favors Stocks Choice for Social Security
  By / WaPo   —   Permalink 
Most Americans support reforming Social Security so that contributions can be invested in the stock market, but many do not like having to raise the national debt by as much as $2 trillion to pay for the new system, and a solid majority would not put their own Social Security money into stocks, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
Matthew Yglesias: If this Washington Post account is correct, some congressional Democrats are actually taking Bush's soi-disant electoral...
Nathan Nance: Private Accounts revisited — Guest post by Nate Nance There are some interesting findings in the WaPo/ABC News poll that came out today.
Steve M.: Washington Post And in related news, 53 percent of the public supported the concept of letting children run with...
Jesse Taylor: The Gibson Scale — People want privatization of Social Security but without anything involved in privatizing it.
Josh Marshall: In its coverage of its new poll, the Washington Post leads with the finding that a bare majority (53%) supports including a private accounts option with Social Security.

Washington Post Co. Buying Web Magazine Slate
  By / WaPo   —   Permalink 
The Washington Post Co. said today it is buying Slate in an effort to boost the newspaper company's online traffic but does not plan any editorial changes at the eight-year-old Web magazine.
Paul Goyette: Mergers and acquisitions — Jacob Weisberg writes fondly about Slate's relationship with Microsoft, now coming to an end.
Hugh Hewitt: Speaking of Dionne, Howard Kurtz reports that the Washington Post has bought Slate, which I think boils down to buying Kaus and some office furniture.
Kevin Roderick: Also on Romenesko: Microsoft sells to the Washington Post Co. No editorial changes are planned, the WP story says.
Joe Gandelman: Big Media Eats Internet: Washington Post Buys Slate — Slate has been sold to the Washington Post.
Jan Haugland: WaPo buys Slate — The Washington Post is buying Slate from Microsoft. They promise no significant editorial changes.
Jeff Jarvis: Santa Slate : Howard Kurtz just reported that The Washington Post has bought Slate. Here's Slate Editor Jacob Weisberg's announcement.
Also: Scott Rosenberg, Orrin Judd, Taegan Goddard, Kevin Drum, Glenn Reynolds, Ann Althouse

New F.B.I. Files Describe Abuse of Iraq Inmates
  NYT   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON, Dec. 20 - F.B.I. memorandums portray abuse of prisoners by American military personnel in Iraq that included detainees' being beaten and choked and having lit cigarettes placed in their ears, according to newly released government documents.
Lambert @Corrente: The lede from Izvestia on the Hudson: "F.B.I. memorandums portray abuse of prisoners by American military personnel in...
Phillip Carter: More evidence of "coercive" interrogation comes to light — The big papers (N.Y. Times, Washington Post, L.A. Times, AP)...
Kevin Raybould: Government Knew of Abuses in Gitmo — An FBI memo obtained as part of a Freedom of Information request contains reports...
Michael Froomkin: What on earth could have given them such a strange idea? See the Washington Post and the New York Times.
Kriston @BeggingToDiffer: HOW HIGH, HOW DEEP — Lit cigarettes placed in detainees' ears?
Julian Sanchez: The LA Times and The New York Times both have lead stories today on the whole ugly, depressing business.
Also: Susan Madrak, Steve M., Joe Drymala, Taegan Goddard, Tom Tomorrow, Jack Balkin

  By / Slate   —   Permalink 
Today the Washington Post Co. announces that it is buying Slate from Microsoft Corporation, our home since we began publishing in 1996. When the transaction closes in mid-January, we will leave the splendiferous House of Gates for the munificent House of Graham.
Joe Gandelman: If you read Slate's official announcement it optimistically promises no massive changes, and goes on about how this...
Nathan Nance: Under new management — Guest post by Nate Nance It's official now, the Washington Post Company has purchased Slate, the online magazine.
Jeff Jarvis: Here's Slate Editor Jacob Weisberg's announcement. Howard just called to get react from the two-headed hydra I am as Media Man by day and Blog Boy by night.
Taegan Goddard: Editor Jacob Weisberg announces the sale: "When the transaction closes in mid-January, we will leave the splendiferous House of Gates for the munificent House of Graham."

Make No Mistake
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
It was a series of unfortunate events.
How did we get to this sudden moment of cautious optimism in the Middle East? How did we get to this moment when Egypt is signing free trade agreements with Israel, when Hosni Mubarak is touring Arab nations and urging them to open relations with the Jewish state?
David Adesnik: David Brooks and Fareed Zakaria have both published optimistic columns about the Middle East on the same day.
Matthew Yglesias: Brooks on Israel/Palestine — I'm not quite sure I grasp what's supposed to be going on here.
Damian Penny: . . .What is the relation between foreign affairs and corruption?" I hope he's right. Update: read this, too.
Bird Dog: Road Map Still There — David Brooks outlined a series of events deemed unfortunate by the diplomaterati, but which were really not.
Gregory Djerejian: And Now...Some Good News...Kinda — David Brooks is finding his voice (didn't Safire tell him it would take a year or so?)
Steven Menashi: Now, David Brooks reports on the fruits of Bush's approach: "It almost makes you think that all those bemoaners and condemners don't know what they are talking about.
Also: Ted Belman, John Cole, PGL, Betsy Newmark, Orrin Judd, Pejman Yousefzadeh, Tom Maguire, Glenn Reynolds, Tully @Centerfield

GOP Corporate Donors Cash In on Smut
  By / WaPo   —   Permalink 
Since the election, the e-mails from readers have poured into my mailbox. The common theme from conservatives has been that Nov. 2 was a triumph of values — embodied by the GOP heartland over the heathens of the coastal elite.
Avedon Carol: I am amazed to see this article in The Washington Post: In this world of irony, corporate leaders at companies as...
Tbogg: Emailing with one hand... Terry Neal takes apart the values folks who spend their time decrying the "vulgarization" of...
Dave Johnson: The Smut-Vendor Party — Terry Neal, in GOP Corporate Donors Cash In on Smut: [snipped quote] Rather than quote any more, I ask you to go read the whole, excellent article.
Gene @HarrysPlace: Rightwing hypocrisy watch II — In an article about how some of the Republican party's corporate donors have profited...
Steve Soto: The Religious Right's Moral Values Voters Need To Look In The Mirror — Terry M. Neal of the Washington Post wrote a...

Full text: Blair's statement in Baghdad
  BBC   —   Permalink 
Below is the full text of a statement by UK Prime Minister Tony Blair on Tuesday's surprise visit to Baghdad, where he was greeted by his Iraqi counterpart Iyad Allawi.
The two leaders also took questions from reporters.
Click here for a transcript.
Ann Althouse: I was just listening to C-Span's re-airing of the press conference that took place yesterday in Baghdad with Tony Blair and Iyad Allawi.
Dale Franks: The Future is Now — Prime Minister Tony Blair, during his visit to Baghdad today, just nails it: [snipped quote] That's it in a nutshell.
Orrin Judd: TO CERTAIN POOR SHEPHERDS: Full text: Blair's statement in Baghdad: statement by UK Prime Minister Tony Blair on...
Harry @HarrysPlace: Now what a magnificent example of the human spirit - that's the side we should be on. Full Transcript here.
Hindrocket: Here is one question, along with Blair's eloquent response: "Q: Nick Robinson, ITV News: Can you just give us a sense of your feelings today?
Andrew @AndrewSullivan: QUOTE OF THE DAY: [snipped quote] - Tony Blair, telling it like it is.

U.S. Slips in Attracting the World's Best Students
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
American universities, which for half a century have attracted the world's best and brightest students with little effort, are suddenly facing intense competition as higher education undergoes rapid globalization.
Will Baude: [Headline: "U.S. Slips in Attracting the World's Best Students."
Joe Gandelman: America Is Less Of A Magnet Now For Foreign Students — American universities have long been a magnet for foreign students but now you might say they are being de-magnetized.
Kevin Drum: 9/11 AND FOREIGN STUDENTS...It's easy to get Chicken Little-ish about this kind of stuff, but these statistics about...

Attack on U.S. Base in Iraq Leaves 24 Dead
  By / AP   —   Permalink 
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - An explosion ripped through a mess tent at a military base near Mosul where hundreds of U.S. troops had just sat down to lunch Tuesday, and officials said more than 20 people were killed and at least 57 were wounded.
Pejman Yousefzadeh: ATTACK IN IRAQ — Stories like this one elicit all of the horrors that anyone in their right mind would feel.
MB Williams: Update: AP quotes Bill Nemitz: "Bill Nemitz, a columnist with the Portland Press Herald embedded with the Maine...
Mitch Berg: His post today, on the attack in Mosul that claimed 19 lives today, is an essential. Read it. Absorb it.
Jeralyn Merritt: 19 American Soldiers Killed Today 19 U.S. soldiers are among the 24 killed today in the deadliest attack on U.S. forces in Iraq to date.

Back by unpopular demand
  By / Salon   —   Permalink 
Republicans like to brag about the sweeping mandate that President Bush received on Election Day. But as he prepares for his second term, Bush approaches Inauguration Day with historically weak job-approval ratings, according to a series of new opinion polls.
Kos @DailyKos: Not even two months after the election, Bush is poised to be the most unpopular president at his inaugaration.
Atrios: Unpopular — Boehlert has an article about just how unpopular our preznit is.
Mathew Gross: Ouch — Salon: "Republicans like to brag about the sweeping mandate that President Bush received on Election Day.
Jesse Taylor: Popumalarity — Eric Boehlert writes that Bush is ridiculously unpopular for a leader entering his second term, but to...

Pentagon officials: 22 killed in attack on U.S. base in Iraq
  CNN   —   Permalink 
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) — Multiple rounds hit a dining hall at a U.S. military base near Mosul on Tuesday, killing 22 people, including U.S. troops, members of the Iraqi national guard, and Iraqi civilians, Pentagon officials said.
Joe Gandelman: Big Attack On American Soft Target In Iraq — There has been a big attack on an American "soft target" in Iraq, and it...
Angry Bear: Rumsfeld — I'm working on a big Social Security post, but in the meantime, can we fire Don Rumsfeld yet?
Kos @DailyKos: Images — From CNN. The Richmond Times-Dispatch had a reporter and photographer at the scene.
Roger L. Simon: Despite what is already months of horrendous violence with more sure to come... These guys really hate elections, don't they?
James Joyner: 22 Killed in Attack on U.S. Base Near Mosul — Pentagon officials: 22 killed in attack on U.S. base in Iraq (CNN) [snipped quote] This is very worrisome.

Glimmers Of Hope in The Arab World
  By / WaPo   —   Permalink 
Since Sept. 11, 2001, I've written a column once a year pointing out the good news, which is that Islamic extremism is losing. The movement, in all of its variations, has been unable to garner mass support in any Muslim country.
Deacon: The tragedy and the hope — We're a bit late linking to this column from yesterday's Washington Post by Fareed Zakaria.
Orrin Judd: GLIMMER MAN: Glimmers Of Hope in The Arab World (Fareed Zakaria, December 21, 2004, Washington Post) "Since Sept. 11,...
Cori Dauber: A pessimist's optimism — Fareed Zarakia allows himself his annual walk on the wild side.
Damian Penny: Islamofascism is losing — Fareed Zakaria says the people of the Muslim world are rejecting Islamic extremism in favor...
Pejman Yousefzadeh: UPDATE: Also read Fareed Zakaria: "Since Sept. 11, 2001, I've written a column once a year pointing out the good news, which is that Islamic extremism is losing.

Bush presses for reform on border policy
  By / Washington Times   —   Permalink 
President Bush said yesterday he wants to reform immigration policy so that the Border Patrol will be "chasing crooks and thieves and drug-runners and terrorists," and not the thousands who cross the border every day to find work.
John Hawkins: I gotta tell you, my jaw almost hit my chest when I read that Bush said, "We want our Border Patrol agents chasing, you...
Dale Franks: More Political Grandstanding — Occasional QandO reader and big-time Big-Media journalist James Lakely reports in the...
Greg Ransom: The post is a reaction to a Washington Time article on Bush's recent statements about immigration reform.
Nick Gillespie: The Wash Times reports the prez saying: "It makes sense to allow the good-hearted people who are coming here to do jobs that Americans won't do a legal way to do so.
Orrin Judd: STEEL-DRIVIN' MAN: Bush presses for reform on border policy (James G. Lakely, 12/21/04, THE WASHINGTON TIMES)...

Putin Makes Abrupt Reversal on Ukraine
  By / AP   —   Permalink 
KIEV, Ukraine - Russian President Vladimir Putin , who openly backed Viktor Yushchenko's rival for president of the Ukraine, said Tuesday he could work with an administration headed by the pro-Western candidate.
Captain Ed: Putin Smells The Coffee — After a full month of openly backing the handpicked successor to Ukrainian president Leonid...
Glenn Reynolds: UKRAINE UPDATE: At first I thought that this sounded like good news: [snipped quote] But then I read this: [snipped quote] Uh oh.
Roger L. Simon: Ukraine Update — Instapundit has the good news (Putin appears conciliatory toward Yushchenko) and the bad news (the KGB...

ID cards passed despite abstentions
  By / Telegraph   —   Permalink 
Government plans for national identity cards were approved by the Commons last night despite more than a quarter of MPs not voting.
Although Conservative and Labour rebels failed to derail the Identity Cards Bill, they provoked a highly embarrassing mass abstention.
Perry de Havilland: It is now the law that ID cards will be imposed by force in Britain, with the support of the Leaders of the Conservative Party and the Labour Party.
Gabriel Syme: Samizdata quote of the year — This is depressing. Especially when I think that I survived communism without ever being fingerprinted... - Adriana Cronin

  By / New York Post   —   Permalink 
HERE we go again. With the start of the Iraqi cam paign season, doomsters are back with predictions of disaster for the newly liberated nation.
Some claim the election could be a prelude to civil war.
Betsy Newmark: Amir Taheri had a more upbeat look at the Iraqi elections and a more in depth look at the rival candidates.
Roger L. Simon: Git Yer ... Amir Taheri has a superb round up of the major players in the coming Iraqi election this morning.
Hindrocket: UPDATE: In today's New York Post, Amir Taheri has an excellent description of the main contenders in the Iraqi election, with an optimistic assessment of the election's prospects.
Charles Johnson: Predicters of Doom Predicting Doom — Here's a good op-ed by Amir Taheri on the utterly predictable whining from the left that the Iraqi elections are doomed to fail.

FBI Agents Allege Abuse of Detainees at Guantanamo Bay
  WaPo   —   Permalink 
Detainees at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, were shackled to the floor in fetal positions for more than 24 hours at a time, left without food and water, and allowed to defecate on themselves, an FBI agent who said he witnessed such abuse reported in a memo to supervisors, according to documents released yesterday.
Susan Madrak: The WashPo kinda pussies out, although they do name Wolfie: "The documents also make it clear that some personnel at...
Richard TPD: Torture is used by Americans at Guantanamo routinely, and most officials know it. And I'm sure we're using it just as liberally in Iraq.

Tear Down the Cross
  By / Gadflyer   —   Permalink 
This wintry season, as the faithful continue to receive alarming reports from the news that Republicans are all that stand between them and the outlawing of Christmas itself by hordes of secular humanists, the two presidents Bush have endorsed a powerful...
Natasha @PacificViews: Sun Myung Moon to encourage African American pastors to take down the cross at their churches with the goal of spreading...
Jesse Walker: John Gorenfeld reports: [snipped quote] Surprise: the American Clergy Leadership Conference is an arm of the Moonies, the...
Atrios: Tear Down the Cross — Fascinating.

Cheerleading Coach Finds Prayer Not a Team Sport
  LAT   —   Permalink 
ATLANTA — A federal judge on Monday denied an appeal for reinstatement by a University of Georgia cheerleading coach accused of mingling religion with team activities.
The case has drawn attention to sports in Georgia, where coaches often lead players in prayer or worship.
Steve M.: You may have read today's L.A. Times story (also linked by Atrios) about Marilou Braswell, the University of Georgia...
Kevin Raybould: The Seperation of Church and State — This is why we keep religion and government separate: [snipped quote] This girl was...
Atrios: Bobo's World — Link: ATLANTA — A federal judge on Monday denied an appeal for reinstatement by a University of Georgia...

Bush Criticized Over Social Security Plan
  By / AP   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON - Critics of President Bush 's plan to create personal investment accounts in Social Security say he is exaggerating the program's funding problems to boost public support for his idea.
Thomas Lang: In the spirit of context, the Associated Press does something today that very few other outlets have done — printing both numbers in the same article.
Garance Franke-Ruta: Peter Orszag is. Here's his take: [snipped quote] This is what effective rhetoric looks like.

The Enemy in Plain View
  Opinion Journal   —   Permalink 
Washington must seem like a very strange place from the vantage point of Baghdad. While the world's so-called power capital debates whether Donald Rumsfeld has been solicitous enough of U.S. Senators, on the front lines of the war on terror three Iraqi election workers are dragged from their car in Baghdad and murdered in front of the world's cameras.
Dale Franks: The editors of the Wall Street Journal describe them thusly: [snipped quote] The only way to win in Iraq, and ensure some...
Cori Dauber: The AP Photos — I don't know that I agree with all or even most of this piece from OpinionJournal today, but I...

Perry touts endorsements
  By / Houston Chronicle   —   Permalink 
AUSTIN - With an eye toward the Republican Party's right wing, Gov. Rick Perry's political committee announced Monday that several conservative leaders support his re-election in 2006.
Charles Kuffner: Perry endorsement update — Clay Robison follows up on his thin story from last week on Governor Perry's efforts to line...
Byron LaMasters: Check out the Houston Chronicle story for the list of conservative activists and abortion opponents.

FBI Agents Complained of Prisoner Abuse, Records Say
  By / LAT   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON — FBI agents have lodged repeated complaints of physical and mental mistreatment of prisoners held in Iraq and Cuba, saying in reports that military officials have placed lighted cigarettes in detainees' ears and humiliated Arab captives by wrapping Israeli flags around them, according to new documents released Monday.
Susan Madrak: From the L.A. Times: "The FBI agents referred to what they described as a new executive order on prisoner treatment by President Bush.
Taegan Goddard: However, the Los Angeles Times notes the records released by the ACLU "did not include a copy of the Bush order, or make clear exactly when it was signed.