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Quoted in this edition:

Ace of Spades HQ
  Ann Althouse
American Prospect
  Kenneth S. Baer
The American Street
  Publius @AmStreet
  Gary Farber
  James Panero
Associated Press
  Jesse J. Holland
  Misha Dzhindzhikhashvili
  Mary Dalrymple
  David Espo
  Ali Akbar Dareini
Backcountry Conservative
  Jeff Quinton
  Chad Evans
Balloon Juice
  John Cole
  William J. Dyer
Betsy's Page
  Betsy Newmark
The Blogging of the President
  Ellen Dana Nagler
Body and Soul
  Jeanne D'Arc
Boston Globe
  Anne Barnard
Brad DeLong's Website
BrothersJudd Blog
  Orrin Judd
Burnt Orange Report
  Byron LaMasters
  Jeff Jarvis
Captain's Quarters
  Captain Ed
Cato Institute
Center for American Progress
  Arthur Chrenkoff
Chris C Mooney
  Chris Mooney
Christianity Today
CJR Campaign Desk Home
  Susan Q. Stranahan
Clayton Cramer's BLOG
  Clayton Cramer
  Faith-Based Initiatives
The Corner
  K. J. Lopez
  Jonah Goldberg
  Tim Graham
  Ramesh Ponnuru
  Andy McCarthy
  Lambert @Corrente
Daily Kos
  Kos @DailyKos
  Damian Penny
  Daniel Drezner
Dean's World
  Dean Esmay
  Frederick Maryland
  Zoe Kentucky
Drudge Report
  Steve Antler
  Ed Driscoll
  Ed Cone
Editor and Publisher
  Greg Mitchell
Ezra Klein
  Ezra Klein
Fox News
  Brit Hume
Fraters Libertas
  Chad The Elder
  Kriston @GrammarPolice
Gut Rumbles
Harry's Place
  Gene @HarrysPlace
Hit and Run
  Nick Gillespie
  Julian Sanchez
  Hugh Hewitt
INDC Journal
  Bill @INDCJournal
  Michael McCarthy
The Indepundit
  Glenn Reynolds
  Phillip Carter
Israel news and commentary from IsraPundit
  Tom Maguire
Kesher Talk
  Judith Weiss
L.A. Observed
  Kevin Roderick
The Left Coaster
  Matt Davis
  Steve Soto
The Liquid List
  Oliver @LiquidList
  Tarek @LiquidList
Little Green Footballs
  Charles Johnson
Los Angeles Times
  Maggie Farley
  Max Boot
  Matea Gold
  Joe Mathews
Marginal Revolution
  Tyler Cowen
Mathew Gross
  Mathew Gross
Matthew Yglesias
  Matthew Yglesias
The Media Drop
  Tom Biro
Media Notes Extra
  Howard Kurtz
Michelle Malkin
  Michelle Malkin
The Moderate Voice
  Joe Gandelman
Mudville Gazette
  Jerome Armstrong
  Matt Stoller
  Chris Bowers
  Nathan Newman
National Review
The New Republic
  Ryan Lizza
New York Post
  Don Kaplan
New York Times
  David Stout
  Thomas L. Friedman
  Judith Miller
  Eric Schmitt
  New Donkey
Newhouse News
  Alison Grant
Obsidian Wings
  Edward _
  Hilzoy @ObsidianWings
Off the Kuff
  Charles Kuffner
Oh, That Liberal Media
  Joshua Sharf
Oliver Willis
  Oliver Willis
One Hand Clapping
  Donald Sensing
Opinion Journal
  Mark Yost
  William Voegeli
Outside The Beltway
  James Joyner
  David Adesnik
  Josh Chafetz
  Jesse Taylor
Patrick Ruffini '05
  Patrick Ruffini
  Pejman Yousefzadeh
  Steven Taylor
  Jayson @PoliPundit
Power Line
  The Big Trunk
  Greg Ransom
  Steve Bainbridge
protein wisdom
  Jeff Goldstein
Questions and Observations Blog
  Jon Henke
  Dale Franks
  Cori Dauber
  Cathy Young
  Will Dunham
The Right Coast
  Tom Smith
The Rittenhouse Review
  James Martin Capozzola
Rocky Mountain News
  Hector Gutierrez
Scott Rosenberg's Links & Comment
  Scott Rosenberg
Secular Blasphemy
  Jan Haugland
The Sideshow
  Avedon Carol
Signifying Nothing
  Chris Lawrence
Silflay Hraka
skippy the bush kangaroo
  Cookie Jill
Slant Point
  Scott Sala
  Eric Umansky
  Fred Kaplan
  James Frederick Dwight
St. Petersburg Times
  Alex Leary
Steve Clemons
  Steve Clemons
Suburban Guerrilla
  Susan Madrak
Taegan Goddard's Political Wire
  Taegan Goddard
The Talent Show
  Greg @TheTalentShow
Talking Points Memo
  Josh Marshall
  Jeralyn Merritt
  Sam Rosenfeld
  Matthew Yglesias
Tech Central Station
  Douglas Kern
  Radley Balko
Times of London
  Nick Sturdee
  Fontana Labs
  Stephen Green
War and Piece
  Laura Rozen
The Washington Monthly
  Kevin Drum
Washington Post
  Jonathan Weisman
  Dana Milbank
  Tom Shales
  Mike Allen
  Tina Brown
  Dan Balz
  John Mintz
  Daniel Williams
Washington Times
  James G. Lakely
Weekly Standard
  Hugh Hewitt
  Dean Barnett
White House
Winds of Change.NET
Wired News
  Leander Kahney
  Kevin Aylward
Yale Daily News
  Kat Huang

Participants Would Forfeit Part of Accounts' Profits
  By / WaPo   —   Permalink 
Under the White House Social Security plan, workers who opt to divert some of their payroll taxes into individual accounts would ultimately get to keep only the investment returns that exceed the rate of return that the money would have accrued in the traditional system.
Tom Maguire: The Washington Post took a stab at the concept, and completely fluffed it.
Patrick Ruffini: Well, it turns out to have been a hoax: [snipped quote] Layers upon layers of checks and balances at work, folks.
Kevin Drum: GEORGE BUSH'S RUBE GOLDBERG FOLLY...The Washington Post describes the White House's latest explanation of its Social...
Josh Marshall: And as the Post notes, most of the money you make in your private account goes back to the government.
DeLong: Well, Well, Well... We May Have a Press Corps... UPDATE: We May Not After All... Jonathan Weisman reports on how Bush administration personal accounts would work.
Avedon Carol: Jonathan Weisman also explains that Bush was lying about how much of your money you'll be able to keep, but of course he...
Also: Jeff A. Taylor, Jesse Taylor, Matthew Yglesias, Atrios, Kos @DailyKos, Hilzoy @ObsidianWings, Steve Soto, Steve M., Susan Madrak, K. J. Lopez, Rich Lowry

For Moderates, A Chance for Subtle Protest
  By / WaPo   —   Permalink 
Pity the Republican moderates who sat in the chamber last night for President Bush's State of the Union address.
On issue after issue — Social Security, same-sex marriage, energy, taxes and lawsuit restrictions — Bush's rhetoric split the House chamber...
New Donkey: In case you have an unslaked thirst for essence-of-SOTU, check out Dana Milbank's painstaking WaPo account of who stood,...
Steve Soto: Dana Milbank's piece in the Post this morning points out that Bush left the GOP moderates with little to cheer about last night.
Kevin Drum: APPLAUSE WATCH....Dana Milbank notes divisions in the Republican ranks at last night's State of the Union address.
Avedon Carol: However, Dana Milbank says the Republican moderates all made their own quiet protests by mostly not standing or clapping...
Kevin Aylward: Dana Milbank (Washington Post) - "Democrats participated in 'outright heckling.' [B]ush's rhetoric split the house...
Josh Marshall: Milbank looks for signs of Caucus membership with hand-clap-ometer ... [snipped quote] Remember for future reference, Collins easily swayed by colleagues' hand slaps.

Bush Issues Call to Action on Social Security Makeover
  LAT   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON — President Bush used his State of the Union address Wednesday to launch a determined push for sweeping changes in the nation's Social Security system, including new individual investment accounts for younger workers and potentially deep but unspecified cuts in benefits for future retirees.
Kevin Drum: Now, via Josh Marshall, it appears that George Bush has quietly stopped talking about the private account free lunch as well: [snipped quote] Now why would Bush do this?
Josh Marshall: TPM reader — RT did the leg work so I'll let him speak for himself ... "From today's LA Times top story, referenced in...
Oliver Willis: No we don't! He was for saving social security before he was against it.
Steve Soto: And these admissions from the White House that the privatization plan does nothing to address the system's solvency...
Kos @DailyKos: Maybe there is no crisis after all — The White House seems to be changing rationales: [snipped quote] They keep pushing...

The Outsiders
  By / TNR   —   Permalink 
If you've bothered to pay any attention to the low-wattage drama of the race for chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), you probably know that Howard Dean is on the verge of winning it.
Jerome Armstrong: Ryan's TNR article, The Outsiders, takes a good look at the new dynamics that have been at play during the DNC race.
Greg @TheTalentShow: Reform Is In The Air — For those of you demanding refunds from the Democratic party, I strongly recommend reading this...
Taegan Goddard: The Outsiders Take Control — In a must-read piece, Ryan Lizza goes behind the scenes in the battle to lead the...
Kos @DailyKos: The outsiders — Carville hates people power. [snipped quote] This is but one interesting anecdote in Ryan Lizza's chronicle of the DNC race to date.

Senate Votes 60-36 to Confirm Gonzales as Attorney General
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON, Feb. 3 - The Senate confirmed Alberto R. Gonzales as attorney general this afternoon, but only after one of the most polarized debates over a cabinet nominee in years.
Jeanne D'Arc: Gonzales — Well, it looks like we have a new attorney generalissimo.
Josh Chafetz: GONZALES IS CONFIRMED as the new Attorney General. I'm not wildly enthusiastic, but, then, the Bush Administration didn't ask me.
Gary Farber: Fact-checked. Apparently we've gone and swapped Senator Wayne Allard (R. Asshole) for Senator Ben Nelson, Democrat of Nebraska.

Senate confirms Gonzales for attorney general
  AP   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON - The Senate voted Thursday to confirm White House counsel Alberto Gonzales as attorney general, setting aside Democratic complaints he helped craft questionable U.S. policies on the treatment of foreign prisoners.
The Most "WOW!" Travel Dealson the
Matt Davis: Son of Beach. Sheet. Alberto Gonzales confirmed, in defiance of all standards of decency. F'ing cowardly Dems.
Jayson @PoliPundit: "Slim Majority" — Alberto Gonzales was just confirmed as the Attorney General of the United States. The vote tally: In favor: 60.
Oliver Willis: Meet Your New Torture Czar — The Republican lemmings, aided and abetted by Senators Salazar and Lieberman, have their torture architect now in place.

Report Rips Management of Oil-for-Food
  Fox News   —   Permalink 
UNITED NATIONS — The man who ran the U.N. Oil-for-Food program "seriously undermined" the integrity of the United Nations, a U.N.-authorized investigation of the troubled program found in a report released Thursday.
Cori Dauber: Volcker Report Out — And it's not looking good, not at all, for Benan Sevan.
Jeff Goldstein: UNquestionable malfeasance — From FOXNews [snipped quote] And so it continues, the bureaucracy proceeding apace, with...
Greg Ransom: THE VOLCKER REPORT on the U.N.'s corrupt "Oil-for-Food" program in Iraq has been released.

Winning The War Of Perception
  By / WaPo   —   Permalink 
If George W. Bush could sing and dance to "Yankee Doodle Dandy," he probably would have last night, as part of a sentimental patriotic spectacle technically known as the State of the Union address.
Oliver @LiquidList: Mostly, I think I'm aligned with Tom Shales (who by the way is truly a TV writer unparalleled in TV writing talent by any other TV writer on the planet).
Cori Dauber: But, as he demonstrates over and over again, every time they let him up from the kid's table to write about the big kid...
Tim Graham: HANKIES FOR RATHER? Tom Shales writes in today's WashPost: [snipped quote] Sorry, Tom, but we're quite happy about it.
Susan Q. Stranahan: Her beef is with the Washington Post's Style columnist Tom Shales and his critique of the State of the Union speech.
Betsy Newmark: As has gotten to be my habit, I checked in with Shales to see if he continued his tradition of talking about Bush's tie.

A Day to Remember
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
As someone who believed, hoped, worried, prayed, worried, hoped and prayed some more that Iraqis could one day pull off the election they did, I am unreservedly happy about the outcome - and you should be, too.
Matthew Yglesias: Thomas Friedman offers up some of the pearls of wisdom that cloud men's minds: "In other words, this election has made...
Dale Franks: Living in a fantasy world — I'm sure Tom Friedman is a good guy, but the elections in Iraq appear to have made him giddy.
Damian Penny: The real losers — Tom Friedman: ...not everyone is wearing a smiley face after the Iraqi elections, and that is good, considering who is unhappy.
Judith Weiss: UPDATE: Related: When Tom Friedman is good, he's very very good. And he has promoted the cause of liberal Arabs for a long time.
Cori Dauber: Forward as Much as Back — Tom Friedman still thinks there have been real and serious mistakes made on Iraq, but the...
Bill @INDCJournal: Thomas Friedman ... pens a great column.

U.S. General Says It Is 'Fun to Shoot Some People'
  By / Reuters   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A senior U.S. Marine Corps general who said it was "fun to shoot some people" should have chosen his words more carefully but will not be disciplined, military officials said on Thursday.
Tom Smith: Those darn Marines — This Marine general is saying it can be fun to shoot people. Though apparently, he likes to shoot people who "slap women around."
Jeff Quinton: Marine General: It's fun to shoot some people — Reuters [snipped quote] Added to today's Beltway Traffic Jam.

'Fuzzy Math' and the Iraqi Election
  By / Editor and Publisher   —   Permalink 
Everyone, of course, is thrilled that so many Iraqis turned out to vote, in the face of threats and intimidation, on Sunday. But in hailing, and at times gushing, over the turnout, has the American media (as it did two years ago in the hyping of Saddam's WMDs) forgotten core journalistic principles in regard to fact-checking and weighing partisan assertions?
Jon Henke: Today, the story is picked up at Editor & Publisher. [snipped quote] I'm aghast at this casual fact-checking, for quite a few reasons.
Kos @DailyKos: No official numbers have been released, so the press has been gushing over the administration's numbers without doing any independent reporting or fact checking.
Digby: Making It Up — Not that it matters, because the spin is firmly emplanted in the public's mind that the Iraq election...

Senate OKs Gonzales As Attorney General
  By / AP   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON (AP) - Alberto Gonzales won Senate confirmation Thursday as attorney general despite Democratic accusations that he helped formulate White House policies that led to overseas prisoner abuse and was too beholden to President Bush to be the nation's top law enforcement official.
Matt Davis: Update (from Soto): Here are the Democrats who voted in favor of Gonzales, all of whom apparently checked their morals...
Jeralyn Merritt: Alberto Gonzales has been confirmed as our Attorney General [snipped quote] Reactions

In Davos, Part VI (The End)
  NRO   —   Permalink 
Welcome to the sixth and last part of this Davos journal, marking the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum, 2005. Previous parts, in ascending order, are here, here, here, here, and here. Or you could check the archive. I forget how adept you all are.
Scott Sala: Also La Shawn Barber starts the The Eason Jordan Repository. And National Review. UPDATE: Roger L. Simon got the email too.
James Panero: Not to worry. Here are the links to his six part report on the shindig that is Davos (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6).
Hugh Hewitt: Jay Nordlinger reports at today on what he was told happened after the Eason Jordan accusation...

Georgian Prime Minister Found Dead
  By / AP   —   Permalink 
TBILISI, Georgia (AP) - Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania, who helped lead Georgia's revolution that toppled the corruption-tainted regime of Eduard Shevardnadze, died early Thursday in a friend's apartment from what officials claimed was an accidental gas leak from a heater.
Glenn Reynolds: AFTER YUSHCHENKO, this is going to make a lot of people suspicious: [snipped quote] I think that this is likely to hurt Putin's position.
K. J. Lopez: GEORGIAN PRIME MINISTER DEAD — Viktor Yushchenko might be considering himself lucky right about now—some fingers are pointing to Russia.

Churchill's pickup vandalized
  By / Rocky Mountain News   —   Permalink 
Vandals painted two swastikas on the truck of besieged University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill, Boulder County sheriff's deputies said Wednesday.
The vandals painted the swastikas on the tailgate of Churchill's Chevrolet pickup late Tuesday or early Wednesday, said Lt. Phil West, a sheriff's spokesman.
Charles Johnson: Ward Churchill Alleges Vandalism — Ward Churchill, the University of Colorado professor who described the victims of...
Iowahawk: Newsy News Niblets BRITAIN ROCKED BY ROYAL HOSTAGE CRISIS AP Releases New Photo of Captured Prince Albert "Better let...

Bush Makes Case for Social Security Plan
  WaPo   —   Permalink 
President Bush called last night for a historic restructuring of Social Security that would allow younger workers for the first time to invest some of their payroll taxes in the stock market, declaring in his annual State of the Union address that without change the venerable program is headed toward bankruptcy.
Hindrocket: Today's Award for Cluelessness...goes to the Washington Post, which wrote in its coverage of the State of the Union...
K. J. Lopez: JUST A HUG — Also in the Washington Post: [snipped quote] Via.
Joshua Sharf: WaPo Reporter Gives Mea Culpa — Powerline notes the following paragraph in my friend Peter Baker's SOTU report this...

We're going to do it again, says man behind Beslan bloodbath
  By / Times of London   —   Permalink 
THE Chechen rebel leader who masterminded the Beslan school siege last autumn plans more such operations, despite his apparent remorse over the deaths of more than 330 people — half of them children — in the North Ossetia attack.
Jan Haugland: Basayev will kill more children — The Chechen terrorist leader Shamil Basayev has no regrets for the slaughter of...
Colt: In an interview with U.K. Channel 4, Shamil Basayev says: "We are planning more Beslan-type operations in the future because we are forced to do so."
Chad Evans: The man behind the Russian School Hostage Siege in Beslan says he'll do it again.

All Players Gained From 'Oil-for-Food'
  By / LAT   —   Permalink 
UNITED NATIONS — It was the summer of 1990, and Saddam Hussein's Republican Guard had just stormed into oil-rich Kuwait. The U.N. Security Council, hoping to induce Iraq to withdraw and disarm, responded by imposing sanctions.
Kevin Drum: Whether the Volcker report names names remains to be seen, but the LA Times has a lengthy review of the scandal today...
Orrin Judd: OUR MONSTER: All Players Gained From 'Oil-for-Food': On the U.N. Security Council, competing national interests and...
Gary Farber: WHAT WENT WRONG with the Iraqi Oil-For-Food Program: a reasonably comprehensive, and credible, look by the LA Times.
K. J. Lopez: It sounds like the Volcker interim report, released today, will not be overly damning when it comes to him (see Volcker in WSJ—sub required)—and the blamesharing spin is on.

State of the Union Address
  White House   —   Permalink 
STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS BY PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH Chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives The United States Capitol Washington, D.C.
THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Speaker, Vice President Cheney, members of Congress, fellow citizens:
Donald Sensing: I have scanned the text of the speech, though, and herewith offer predictions on whether his proposals and policies will become reality.
Steve Clemons: But not a word in the President's Inaugural Address or his State of the Union Address. The word "tsunami" did not appear.
Scott Sala: State of the World — Last night words were almost not needed.
Daniel Drezner: Speaking of Egypt... This was one of the more interesting paragraphs in Bush's State of the Union: "To promote peace and...
Matthew Yglesias: For my money, the most noteworthy thing about last night's speech was the extent to which it continued a trend we've...
Hilzoy @ObsidianWings: Very Quick Social Security Post — A few points about the President's plan as outlined in his State of the Union speech...
Also: Richard Reeb, James Martin Capozzola, Joe Katzman, Steve M., Pejman Yousefzadeh, Jeff Alworth, Glenn Reynolds, Orrin Judd, Patrick Ruffini, Jeralyn Merritt, Steve Bainbridge, Patrick Carver, Lorie Byrd, K. J. Lopez

Inquiry Severely Criticizes U.N.'s Oil-for-Aid Program
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
An interim report by a United Nations-appointed panel investigating the oil-for-food program in Iraq severely criticizes its director and depicts the program as "tainted" for failing to follow the organization's own procedures.
Damian Penny: Oil-for-food report released — The UN's internal investigation into its oil-for-food program says the program was...
Kevin Drum: OIL FOR FOOD...Paul Volcker's preliminary report on the UN oil-for-food program is supposed to come out today, and in a...

George Bush Talks Big, and He Delivers
  By / LAT   —   Permalink 
No, the insurgency isn't over. No, U.S. troops can't come home yet. No, one election does not a democracy make. No, paradise has not dawned in Mesopotamia. Every caveat offered by the cautious is true. Yet even days later, all I can say is ... wow!
William J. Dyer: But Max Boot's op-ed today, titled "George Bush Talks Big, and He Delivers," exactly nails it on Bush's foreign policy.
Orrin Judd: DELIVERY MAN: George Bush Talks Big, and He Delivers (Max Boot, February 3, 2005, LA Times) [snipped quote] No, nerves don't seem to be a big concern.
Betsy Newmark: Max Boot, a military historian, knows why the civilian leader in wartime is so important.
Glenn Reynolds: THOUGHTS on Bush's Iran Strategy. UPDATE: Max Boot: "George Bush Talks Big, and He Delivers."

House GOP Leaders Name Loyalist to Replace Ethics Chief
  By / WaPo   —   Permalink 
House Republican leaders tightened their control over the ethics committee yesterday by ousting its independent-minded chairman, appointing a replacement who is close to them and adding two new members who donated to the legal defense fund of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.).
Avedon Carol: Naturally, the fact that the SOTU was the big news of the night means the Republicans had to be trying to slip something...
Zoe Kentucky: It must be French — Apparently "integrity" is a French word now because the House GOP leadership will have nothing to do with it.
Sam Rosenfeld: Incidentally, take a look at both The New York Times' write-up of the ethics decisions and The Washington Post's version.

Public Opinion Watch
  Center for American Progress   —   Permalink 
In this edition of Public Opinion Watch:
• That Cleared Up Everything, Right?
The latest Democracy Corps poll (see also the useful accompanying charts) provides a wide range of data indicating that the public, while they may have granted Bush a second term, remains distinctly unenthusiastic about his agenda.
Sam Rosenfeld: The latest polling from Hart Research advises Social Security advocates not to get bogged down in a philosophical debate...
Kevin Drum: TALKING ABOUT SOCIAL SECURITY...I don't really have much comment on this, but I thought I'd pass along the conclusions...

Bush's Address Wins Over Few, if Any, Democrats
  WaPo   —   Permalink 
President Bush devoted a fifth of last night's televised address to his call to change Social Security, but he appeared to win few, if any, Democrats to his side, and even some key Republicans said they still want more details about his plans.
Kevin Aylward: The Washington Post - "[A]s the president spoke in the house chamber, several Democrats hissed and rumbled 'no, no, no' during some of his assertions about Social Security."
Orrin Judd: "NO" IS NOT AN OPTION: Bush's Address Wins Over Few, if Any, Democrats (Chuck Babington and Mike Allen, February 3,...

  Drudge Report   —   Permalink 
The U.S broadcast TV audience would rather watch freaks sing out of tune than President Bush and Democrats wax politics, overnight ratings show.
One hour of IDOL on one network pulled a higher ratings average than 2 hours of STATE OF THE UNION — on three networks, combined!
Ann Althouse: I don't know why Drudge is flipping out that "'AMERICAN IDOL' TOPS NETWORK COVERAGE FOR STATE OF UNION," as the current banner over there says.
James Joyner: Well, yeah. Update: The story has a link. It still doesn't say anything surprising.

Matthews: White House Staged Slain Marine Mom's Hug   —   Permalink 
MSNBC's "Hardball" host Chris Matthews suggested last night that the high point of President Bush's State of the Union Address - the emotional hug between grateful Iraqi voter Safia Taleb al-Suhail and Janet Norwood, mother of a Marine who died liberating her country - was staged by the White House.
Michelle Malkin: CHRIS MATTHEWS SLIMES A MILITARY FAMILY — Last night, MSNBC blabber Chris Matthews suggested that the powerfully moving...
Oliver @LiquidList: UPDATE: NewsMax, the most outraged news source in history, is outraged that Hardball host Chris Matthews could ever think the hug was staged.

Poll: Bush wins converts among speech-watchers
  CNN   —   Permalink 
(CNN) — President Bush's State of the Union address raised support for his policies on health care and Social Security among people who watched the speech, according to a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll conducted Wednesday night.
Captain Ed: Poll Shows Bush Gained Converts With SOTU Speech — A CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll shows that President Bush gave one of...
John Cole: I saw this story on the President's speech and read the following: [snipped quote] I thought that sounded unbelievable.
Betsy Newmark: The CNN flash poll shows improvement on support for Bush's positions.
PoliPundit: Bounce — The president got a fifteen-point bounce in support for his policies: "President Bush's State of the Union...

Officials say war danger might be affecting quotas
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON — For the first time in nearly a decade, the Marine Corps in January missed its monthly recruiting goal, in what military officials said was the latest troubling indicator of the Iraq war's effect on the armed services.
Donald Sensing: Marines fall short — For the first time in 10 years, the US Marine Corps has failed to meet its monthly enlistment quota.
Mathew Gross: Too Few Good Men NYT: "WASHINGTON — For the first time in nearly a decade, the Marine Corps in January missed its...

Women Provide Emotion at State of Union
  By / AP   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON - They met just before the speech began: the mother of a soldier killed in Iraq and the daughter of a man killed by Saddam Hussein 's regime. They found some comfort in a spontaneous moment that electrified President Bush 's State of the Union address.
Gene @HarrysPlace: No doubt about the high point of the evening— and it had nothing to do with Bush's speech. It was when two women seated in the gallery embraced.
Bill @INDCJournal: Sometimes, it's ok to just be moved. UPDATE: From Wonkette's liveblogging: [snipped quote] She can't even table the snark for a moment.

A No-Holds-Barred Wrestling Wrinklefest
  By / Opinion Journal   —   Permalink 
TAMPA, Fla.—About 100,000 fans are expected in Jacksonville this weekend for Super Bowl XXXIX. But last weekend a few thousand fans of a different stripe trekked to Tampa for the first-ever WrestleReunion (, a gathering of about 80 superstars long past their prime, but no less adored.
Tom Smith: Like many people interested in martial arts, I viewed professional wrestling for many years as a perversion and an abomination.
Chad The Elder: Mark Yost has all the eye-gouching details in this piece at OpinionJournal. This has to be my favorite "where are they now?"
Dean Esmay: Wrestling Memories by Dean I was amused to read this little piece on a public reunion of retired professional wrestlers.

Bush's Social Security Plan Would Reduce Government Guarantee for Younger Americans
  By / AP   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON (AP) - Near-retirees 55 and older would receive Social Security benefits without any changes under President Bush's proposal for personal accounts, but the government guarantee would fall for younger workers, congressional Republican officials said Wednesday.
Jesse Taylor: Unfortunately (or, actually, fortunately), it makes Bush look worse. [snipped quote] You will own nothing.
Frederick Maryland: Not so, says Jesse, who points to this Associated Press article from Wednesday.

State of the Union: Instant Analysis
  WaPo   —   Permalink 
Washington Post Associate Editor Robert G. Kaiser gave his commentary and took your questions and comments on President Bush's State of the Union speech.
The transcript follows.
Robert G. Kaiser: Robert G. Kaiser: Good evening.
Matt Stoller: It's a tax increase to pay for the war and the distribution of capital upward. Here's how they do it.
Steve Soto: And Washington Post Associate Managing Editor Robert Kaiser, in an online chat yesterday, was asked if anything that Bush said or offered was objectively untrue: "Yes.
Susan Madrak: RIGHT AGAIN — Remember when I reminded readers that, in the first-term Social Security privatization plan, you wouldn't be allowed to keep any money over a certain amount?
Avedon Carol: Robert G. Kaiser's analysis notes that the speech contained little that was new (hey, it was Groundhog's Day), although...
Atrios: It appears that the WaPo people actually picked up on this: Even more curiously, a "senior administration official" who...
Josh Marshall: Atrios makes the expert catch here with this comment from Wapo associate managing editor Robert Kaiser ... "Even more...
Also: Tim Graham

The Difference Between Faint and Fainthearted
  By / WaPo   —   Permalink 
Don't faint, Hillary, you're all we've got! There was a tiny ripple of panic among Downstate Dems when the junior senator from New York uncharacteristically swooned on the road in Buffalo on Monday. After all, who else do New Yorkers have to make them feel a part of the action?
Judith Weiss: Journalistic narcissism Dept. Via The Corner, Telling comment on the media in Iraq from Tina Brown: [snipped quote] We knew, but the reporters didn't.
Tim Graham: In yet another Hillary-boosting WashPost column, Tina Brown despairs at the bungled timing behind Iraq gloom from...

Issue Expected To Be Toughest Domestic Battle
  By / WaPo   —   Permalink 
President Bush launched the battle to restructure Social Security last night with an eye on wary older Americans, nervous Republicans and potential Democratic votes in Congress, outlining a plan that he sought to characterize as less risky, less radical and more fiscally responsible than his critics have charged.
Avedon Carol: Bush tried to assuage fears of the high borrowing everyone knows is in the cards for the plan by claiming it will cost significantly less than it will.
Tyler Cowen: My Econoblog debate with John Irons, summarizing my views Addendum: Here is one account of what Bush actually said, I was at a flamenco concert.
Betsy Newmark: The Washington Post ticks through the challenges Bush faces in reforming Social Security. [snipped quote] This is all true, but notice what is missing.

Media Notes
  By / Weekly Standard   —   Permalink 
BECAUSE I HAD TO FILE this column before President Bush gave his State of the Union address, I can only hope he called Democrats on their indifference to the medium- and long-term threats to Social Security.
Captain Ed: His thoughts have has special resonance today as we see the major American media outlets put the Cone of Silence over Eason's Fables, which plays a part in Hugh's column.
Ed Driscoll: Think of it as a Sneak Preview of 2008 — In his Weekly Standard column, Hugh Hewitt writes: Read More
Glenn Reynolds: WINDS OF CHANGE has a State of the Union roundup. And Hugh Hewitt ties it together with Eason Jordan. Well, sort of.
The Big Trunk: See, for example, Hugh's Daily Standard column today on Eason Jordan and John Kerry: "Media notes."
Jesse Taylor: Depraved Indifference — Question for Hugh Hewitt: if Democrats are "indifferent" to the problems of Social Security...
Hugh Hewitt: Here is my WeeklyStandard column on the SOTU, Jordan and Russert/Kerry. Off to Scarborough Country...

S.S. S.O.S. B.S.
  By / Slate   —   Permalink 
Everybody leads with the State of the Union, during which President Bush offered a few details on his plan for partially privatizing Social Security: Starting in 2009, most workers 55 or younger should be able to put up to a third of their payroll tax into government-controlled market accounts.
Susan Madrak: 'S.S. S.O.S. B.S.' From Slate: [snipped quote] That's because, since we've essentially neutered OSHA, removed tax...
Ezra Klein: Huh — From Today's Papers at Slate: [quote] The Wall Street Journal does a "lessons learned" from the roughly 20 countries that have partially privatized their state pension systems.[end quote]

Global warming: scientists reveal timetable
  By / Independent   —   Permalink 
A detailed timetable of the destruction and distress that global warming is likely to cause the world was unveiled yesterday.
It pulls together for the first time the projected impacts on ecosystems and wildlife, food production, water resources and economies across the earth, for given rises in global temperature expected during the next hundred years.
Susan Q. Stranahan: He's obviously seen this dire warning about the consequences of global warming.
Mathew Gross: 2042 — Let's see: [snipped quote] But my primary concern will be a mere 70% payout of my social security benefits?
Acidman: want some bulls**t with your cereal? Well, here it is. Enjoy it for breakfast. Pardon me while I hyperventilate and develop the vapors.

Mayoral Candidates Promising the World
  By / LAT   —   Permalink 
As he lumbers through a miniature Los Angeles in his new campaign ad, mayoral candidate Bob Hertzberg calls the Los Angeles Unified School District a "failure" and makes a bold promise.
Kevin Roderick: Promises, promises — In his new TV spot, a gargantuan Bob Hertzberg strides like a giant through city streets, crouching to point out problems like traffic and poor schools.
Taegan Goddard: Promising the World — "Implausible promises are a mainstay of politics," but in the Los Angeles mayoral race, "the...

President Bush's State of the Union Address
  NYT   —   Permalink 
The following is the transcript of the State of the Union Address as recorded by Federal News Service.
PRESIDENT BUSH: Mr. Speaker, Vice President Cheney, members of Congress, fellow citizens, as a new Congress gathers, all of us in the elected branches of government share a great privilege.
Edward _: Twice in discussing reforms to Social Security, the President suggested it's time to fix it "permanently": "Fixing...
John Cole: But, once again for the perpetually slow, he re-stated this prior to Pelosi's remarks: "The new political situation in Iraq opens a new phase of our work in that country.
Publius @AmStreet: But my personal favorite was this one: "Do not let anyone mislead you." If he has nothing else, the man has chutzpah.
Patrick: So, bearing all that in mind, I'd like to tell you that I thought last night's State of the Union Address was superlative.
Ann Althouse: The State of the Union speech. My dinner ended in time to catch the State of the Union speech live.

The Endless Party
  By / Opinion Journal   —   Permalink 
The epilogue of a presidential election is strangely like the opening chapter. Before the primaries there are several candidates. First this one is in the lead, then that one, and finally the party settles on the nominee.
Ed Driscoll: The Ultimate Triangulation — William Voegeli has a piece in the Wall Street Journal called "The Endless Party", where he asks, "What do Democrats stand for?
Ramesh Ponnuru: I'M GLAD TO SEE that has seen fit to publish William Voegeli's interesting reflections on liberalism and its lack of limits from the Claremont Review of Books.
The Big Trunk: The endless party — Today's OpinionJournal carries the essay by William Voegli from the current issue of the Claremont...

Transcript of State of the Union
  By / CNN   —   Permalink 
Because one of the deepest values of our country is compassion, we must never turn away from any citizen who feels isolated from the opportunities of America. Our government will continue to support faith-based and community groups that bring hope to harsh places.
Oliver @LiquidList: Politics: Culture of Life, Dogs, Nude Pigpiles — George W. Bush, 2.2.2005 "Because a society is measured by how it...
Frederick Maryland: Here's what Bush said in his SOTU last night: "If you are a younger worker, I believe you should be able to set aside...
Michelle Malkin: STATE OF THE UNION: QUICK NOTES — President Bush threw a bone to fiscal conservatives in tonight's speech with these...

Full text of 2005 State of the Union speech
  MSNBC   —   Permalink 
The following is the full text of President Bush's State of the Union speech, as delivered Feb. 2:
Mr. Speaker, Vice President Cheney, Members of Congress, fellow citizens:
James Martin Capozzola: (3): TALK AMONGST YOURSELVES | PRESIDENT EARPIECE SPEAKS Rittenhouse Ignores President Phone-It-In last evening...
Chad The Elder: UPDATE: John a.k.a. PolicyGuy, points out that Bush did briefly touch on immigration in the SOTU: America's immigration...
Kevin Aylward: Text Of State of the Union — Here's the full text, as delivered, of the 2005 State of the Union address. Via Instapundit
Jan Haugland: In his State of the Union speech tonight, the president pointed to two of these dictatures and encouraged them to...
Nick Gillespie: SOTU Text, Etc. Here's the full text of Bush's State of the Union speech. And here's the Democrats' response.
Steven Taylor: SOTU: The Speech Itself — Read ahead if you like: Full text of 2005 State of the Union speech
Also: Glenn Reynolds

Transcript: 2005 State of the Union Address
  WaPo   —   Permalink 
Following is a complete transcript of the 2005 State of the Union address.
BUSH: Mr. Speaker, Vice President Cheney, members of Congress, fellow citizens:
As a new Congress gathers, all of us in the elected branches of government share a great privilege: We've been placed in office by the votes of the people we serve.
Smash: State of the Union Address — Video replay (via The Washington Post) Text of the President's address here.
Kevin Drum: A full transcript of the speech is here. 10:02 — Another FDR reference?
Chris Mooney: From Bush's Speech, Part I — The first interesting science-related tidbit: [snipped quote] I don't know much about this...
Cori Dauber: The first wasn't technically a Skutnick, or, rather, served to expand the category.
Jeanne D'Arc: UPDATE: Sure enough, I didn't mishear him: The government of Saudi Arabia can demonstrate its leadership in the region...

Parties say violations hurt Sunni turnout
  By / Boston Globe   —   Permalink 
BAGHDAD — As reports pour in from thousands of Iraqi poll observers, several political parties are alleging polling violations and logistical problems on Sunday that they say helped depress the election turnout among the country's disaffected Sunni Muslims.
Avedon Carol: Right-wing media — So, we still don't have poll results from Iraq, where the ballots are being counted in secret, and...
Jeanne D'Arc: The "election" in Iraq had a good turnout — maybe. With some important exceptions.

Taking Kos Seriously
  By / Weekly Standard   —   Permalink 
WHEN DISCUSSING Markos Moulitsas and the eponymous left wing blog that he runs, The Daily Kos, it's helpful to start with a few facts. The Daily Kos (rhymes with rose, based on Moulitsas' old army nickname) is far and away the most popular blog on the Internet: Kos averages over 400,000 page views a day.
Patrick Ruffini: Netroots 2.0 — With the State of the Union, this piece by Dean Barnett on Kos had escaped my immediate attention, but I...
Joe Gandelman: The most successful blog doesn't have the initials TMV but, according to the Weekly Standard, is the Daily Kos because...
James Frederick Dwight: I have a piece published on the Weekly Standard's website this morning that documents the rise of the Daily Kos.
Greyhawk: The Power of Kos — Dean Barnett writes about The Daily Kos at The Weekly Standard: [snipped quote] Actually, that's almost right.
Arthur Chrenkoff: Net activism - still some way to go — In the "Weekly Standard", blogger Dean Barnett profiles Markos Moulitsas...
Charles Johnson: Taking Kos Seriously — At the Daily Standard, Dean Barnett says Markos "Screw Them" Zuniga is the most popular and important force in the blogosphere: Taking Kos Seriously.
Also: James Joyner, Avedon Carol, Jeralyn Merritt, Kos @DailyKos, Mitch Berg, Ramesh Ponnuru

White House-friendly reporter under scrutiny
  Boston Globe   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON — The Bush administration has provided White House media credentials to a man who has virtually no journalistic background, asks softball questions to the president and his spokesman in the midst of contentious news conferences, and routinely reprints long passages verbatim from official press releases as original news articles on his website.
Lambert @Corrente: Second, many of the reports Gannon filed for Talon News "appeared to be lifted verbatim from various White House and...
Ace: His "crimes"?
Jesse Taylor: A Day In The Life Of... The Boston Globe does an investigative piece on Jeff "Igor" Gannon.
Scott Rosenberg: Astroturf journalism at the White House — President Bush has relied on a ringer in recent press conferences: This guy...
Kriston @GrammarPolice: Never Trust a Gannon — Courtesy of the Begging To Differ forum comes this jewel from the Boston Globe
Patrick Ruffini: The Left Wing Noise Machine — The Boston Globe is questioning the political agenda of White House reporters: [snipped quote] Oh, sorry.
Also: Skippy, Laura Rozen, Giblets, Ed Cone, Tom Maguire

Toy Soldiers
  By / TCS   —   Permalink 
19 January 2005: The Slinky betrayed us. I should have known. I never trusted him. He was an unstable character, always going back and forth, back and forth, never showing a shred of backbone. "Come, senor, I know the way to the insurgents' headquarters," he rasped.
Chad The Elder: In Good Company — A diary of a hostage at TCS: 31 January 2005: Today my captors took my picture outside, in front of...
Jan Haugland: The making of a terrorist PR disaster — Very funny: The diary of John "Cody" Adam, captured action figure with the Iraqi toy terrorists.
Glenn Reynolds: A TECHCENTRALSTATION EXCLUSIVE: G.I. Joe's P.O.W. diary!
Judith Weiss: Assymetrical warfare. A dangerous escalation in the latest round of hostage taking. The comments pleading for her life are heartbreaking.
Orrin Judd: MORE: Toy Soldiers (Douglas Kern, 02/02/2005, Tech Central Station) "The Slinky betrayed us. I should have known.
Smash: (Hat tip: Glenn) DOUGLAS KERN has the last word.
Also: Damian Penny, Pejman Yousefzadeh, Joanne Jacobs, Jeff Goldstein, Steven Taylor

Ayn Rand at 100
  By / Reason   —   Permalink 
A hundred years after her birth and nearly 25 years after her death, Ayn Rand remains a fascinating and enigmatic presence. She has been "mainstreamed" enough to have been honored by a U.S. Postal Service stamp in 1999 and to have been featured on C-SPAN's American Writers series in 2002.
Ed Driscoll: Via Steve Green of Vodkapundit, Cathy Young of Reason (which itself was inspired by Rand's writings) has a well-written and balanced appreciation of the Mother of Objectivism.
Fontana Labs: Atlas yawned — Apparently it's Ayn Rand's birthday. Party favors available here, here, here, here.
Scott Sala: But I do have Rand philosophy running in my veins. There's a great tribute at Reason. And more at CATO. Happy birthday Ayn.
Tyler Cowen: Try Alex also, directly above. Here is Steve Chapman on whether Rand has gone mainstream. Reason magazine weighs in too.
Stephen Green: Required Reading — Reaon's Cathy Young looks at the contradictions (and virtues) of Ayn Rand.

Eason Jordan
  CNN   —   Permalink 
Eason Jordan is executive vice president and chief news executive of CNN. He chairs the CNN Editorial Board, is a member of the CNN Executive Committee and provides strategic advice to CNN's senior management team.
Tom Biro: Eason Jordan: Some thoughts — Well, I've been (deservedly so) called out via email for non-mention of the situation...
Hugh Hewitt: The paper ought to have asked is Eason Jordan a journalist?
Steve Bainbridge: The Eason Jordan Flap — Hugh Hewitt is leading the charge against CNN's Eason Jordan on both his blog and radio show.
Smash: Memo to Eason Jordan — We don't target journalists A BLOGSWARM is forming around some remarks made by CNN executive Eason Jordan at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Captain Ed: Eason Jordan wants to bet the future of CNN on outlasting his critics with smokescreens and arguments about context.

'There Can Be No End to Jihad'
  Christianity Today   —   Permalink 
Sheikh Omar Bakri Muhammad is the leader of one of the most controversial Islamist groups in the U.K. , Al Muhajiroun (which means "the emigrants" in Arabic). He attracted global media scrutiny on the first anniversary of 9/11 by staging a meeting entitled "A...
McQ: Words from the dark side — A very intersting interview with a controversial Sheikh Omar Bakri Muhammad (the leader of one of the most controversial Islamist groups in the U.K.)
Charles Johnson: Interview with the Enemy — Christianity Today Magazine has a fascinating interview with Omar Bakri Muhammad, leader of...
Colt: Be sure to read this interview with Omar Bakri Mohammed, a Britain-based al-Qaeda supporting imam.

Daniel Okrent
  NYT   —   Permalink 
On Jan. 18, an article on the front page of the Arts section bore this provocative headline: "Pro-American Iraqi Blog Provokes Intrigue and Vitriol." The article by Sarah Boxer, began, "When I telephoned a man named Ali Fadhil in Baghdad last week, I wondered who might answer.
Jeff Jarvis: That came out in the exchange over Boxer's unjournalism about Iraqi bloggers when, at the bottom of Dan Okrent's...
Ed Cone: NYT's Daniel Okrent responds to criticism of Iraqi blog article. Not exactly rigorous self-criticism, except when compared to culture editor Jonathan Landman's contribution.
Howard Kurtz: Give 'em hell, Howard." That has a nice ring to it. Dan Okrent, the NYT ombudsman, weighs in on the Iraqi bloggers flap.

Questionable Picture Posted
  By / Fox News   —   Permalink 
Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
An Islamist Web site has posted a photo of what it claims is an American soldier held hostage, with a gun pointed at his head, with a threat that he'll be killed in 72 hours unless Iraqi prisoners are leaving.
Captain Ed: UPDATE: Fox did have one mention on this from Monday night, when Brit Hume included it in The Grapevine, his blog, after apparently mentioning it on air.
Hugh Hewitt: (The FoxNews account from Brit Hume during "The Grapevine" segment of yesterday's Special Report is transcribed here.)

Dominance on GOP Agenda
  LAT   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON — As the nation's trial lawyers again funneled tens of millions of dollars to Democrats and their causes in the last election, Republicans were crafting a strategy to choke off that money for future campaigns.
Chris Bowers: Republican Lies About African-Americans Appearing Everywhere — In a must read article in the Los Angles Times about...
Kos @DailyKos: Nah, it's about power. The GOP agenda is not designed to help America, it's designed to cement their hold on power.
Orrin Judd: REALIGNER IN CHIEF: Dominance on GOP Agenda: Depriving Democrats of voters and money is among White House policies' other aims.
James Joyner: Shocker: Republicans Want to Win — Dominance on GOP Agenda (Peter Wallsten and Warren Vieth, LAT) "As the nation's...
Taegan Goddard: A Strategy for Republican Dominance — Though there will be a laundry list of policy proposals in President Bush's State...
Steve Bainbridge: Republicans are Finally Playing Politics to Win — The LA Times is shocked. So is Kos. After all, the Democrat Party never plays politics.

Iraq hero joins hallowed group
  By / St. Petersburg Times   —   Permalink 
Birgit Smith sits with her children David, 10, and Jessica, 18, at her home in Holiday after learning her husband will receive the Medal of Honor.
For a multimedia report on the story of Army Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith, published as a special section in the Times last year, click here.
McQ: Even today he's probably laughing at all of us, saying "You're making way too big a deal out of me.' The nation will...
Phillip Carter: An American hero — The St. Petersburg Times reports on an imminent announcement by the Pentagon, presaged by a phone...
Clayton Cramer: For example, the first Congressional Medal of Honor issued since 1993: "Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith, who spent his...
Donald Sensing: Army NCO to be awarded Medal of Honor — An Army sergeant first class who sacrificed his life to save his soldiers...

European Economies: German Jobless Rise to Record (Update3)
  Bloomberg   —   Permalink 
Feb. 2 (Bloomberg) — German unemployment jumped to the highest since World War II as new rules added welfare recipients to the jobless register, clouding the outlook for Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder in elections this month.
McQ: Lessons from the German Economy — It isn't so hot right now, which could cost Gerhard Schroeder his job.
Steve Antler: For those who admire Europe... Unemployment rates are setting new records in Germany.
Ed Driscoll: Kane guffaws. Hasn't changed much, apparently.
Stephen Green: Not Working — More news from the supercompetitive European Union: [snipped quote] Meanwhile, wishful thinking persists...

Naysayers tight-lipped since success of Iraq vote
  By / Washington Times   —   Permalink 
Skeptics of President Bush's attempt to bring democracy to Iraq have been largely silent since Iraqis enthusiastically turned out for Sunday's elections.
Billionaire Bush-basher George Soros and left-wing filmmaker Michael Moore were among critics of the...
Jon Henke: Brave Sir Carter... James Lakely writes... [snipped quote] Well, at least Kofi Annan wasn't alone in talking down the elections.
Hindrocket: Administration Critics Keeping Mum — The Washington Times notes that some of the most prominent critics of the...
Betsy Newmark: James Lakely looks in vain for some comment from Jimmy Carter, Michael Moore, or George Soros on the Iraqi elections.
Ed Driscoll: Naysayers Silent After Iraqis Vote — Betsy Newmark links to this Washington Times article, which begins: "Skeptics of...
Glenn Reynolds: THE SILENCE OF THE NAYSAYERS: [snipped quote] Heh. (Via the Democracy Project). UPDATE: On the other hand, here's news from Fallujah.
Pejman Yousefzadeh: CAT'S GOT THEIR TONGUES — A little volubility would be interesting: "Skeptics of President Bush's attempt to bring...

Yalies celebrate Iraqi democracy
  By / Yale Daily News   —   Permalink 
Students removed their gloves on a wintry Tuesday to dip their fingers in blue ink and show their support for the Iraqi people who bear a similar purple ink stain on their right index finger after voting in Iraq's first democratic election in 50 years.
David Adesnik: GOOD WORK, JAMIE: OxFriend Jamie Kirchick, current president of the Yale College Students for Democracy (or just YCSD),...
Tom Smith: Blue ink at Yale — Now here's a nice story. No word on whether any Yale law students got ink on their fingers.
The Big Trunk: Man bites dog at Yale — Today's Yale Daily News carries Kat Huang's story reporting that 200 students joined the Yale...
Glenn Reynolds: IDEALISM ON CAMPUS hasn't died, after all.

  By / New York Post   —   Permalink 
TED Koppel could be- come an early riser if certain camps within ABC have their way.
There is talk that the venerable host of "Nightline," whose contract with ABC News expires next year, is being considered as the new host of the Sunday morning public affairs show, "This Week," according to published reports.
James Joyner: KOPPEL'S POSSIBLE A.M. SHIFT ( NY Post) [snipped quote] This would be a rather odd move, although nothing comparable to, say, having Katie Couric replace Dan Rather.
Jonah Goldberg: TED & GEORGE SWITCHEROO — The NY Post reports that Ted Koppel may takeover "This Week" and Stephanopolous might get "Nightline."
Steven Taylor: May it be so: New York Post Online Edition: entertainment [snipped quote] Back before Stephanopoulos took over This Week...
Taegan Goddard: The New York Post notes "there is talk" that Nightline host Ted Koppel, "whose contract with ABC News expires next year,...

Iran Says It Will Never Scrap Nuke Program
  By / AP   —   Permalink 
TEHRAN, Iran - Iran will never scrap its nuclear program, and talks with Europeans are intended to protect the country's nuclear achievements, not negotiate an end to them, an Iranian official said Wednesday.
Cicero: It speaks for itself: Iran Says It Will Never Scrap Nuke Program: "TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iran will never scrap its...
Charles Johnson: Iran is Laughing at the West — Iran remains openly defiant about their plans for nuclear weapons, even as European...
Damian Penny: Same old Iran — They've come right out and said it: they'll never shut down their nuclear program.

Ayn Rand (1905–1982)
  Cato Institute   —   Permalink 
A week before her 21st birthday, Alissa Zinovievna Rosenbaum left the Soviet Union, never to return. Officially, she had come only to visit family in Chicago — but Rosenbaum had other plans.
James Martin Capozzola: Bloggers — and the fringistas at the Cato Institute — piously worshipping at the alter of the adulterous adulterant...
Scott Sala: Ayn Rand's 100th — Today marks the 100th birthday anniversary for Ayn Rand.
Radley Balko: Reason's roundup of Rand and pop culture. Cato's tribute. 25 Most Inappropriate Things to Say to an Objectivist During Sex.
Julian Sanchez: If you're wondering what all the fuss is about and aren't ready to commit to slogging through 60-page philosophical speeches just yet, you might start here.

Spain Links Family to Madrid Bombings
  AP   —   Permalink 
MADRID, Spain — Spanish police arrested on Tuesday a family of four Moroccans suspected of having links to the Madrid train bombings of last year, the Interior Ministry said.
The four — a married couple in their 40s and their two sons — were arrested in Leganes (search), a suburb of Madrid, the ministry said in a statement.
Colt: The Spanish government has linked a Moroccan family to the 3/11 train bombings. And CAIR said 24 had no bearing on reality... Prepare yourselves for a farce.
Charles Johnson: Life Imitates TV — A story from Spain reminiscent of this season's plot of the TV series 24: Spain Links Family to Madrid Bombings.

Congressman Vows to Salute to Iraq Voters
  AP   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON — Rep. Bobby Jindal is planning to demonstrate solidarity with Iraqi voters by dipping a finger in purple ink before President Bush's State of the Union speech Wednesday.

Iraqis who participated in Sunday's elections had a finger stained with purple ink to prove they had voted.
Ann Althouse: I'll be interested to see how it turns out. I bet Hillary dips! Here's a link to an L.A. Times story on the subject.
Smash: UPDATE — AP confirms the rumor: [snipped quote] I wonder how many will take him up on it?
Kevin Aylward: The Color Purple — Purple is the color of the night for President Bush's State Of The Union address.WASHINGTON (AP) -...

Infighting Cited at Homeland Security
  By / WaPo   —   Permalink 
As its leadership changes for the first time, the Department of Homeland Security remains hampered by personality conflicts, bureaucratic bottlenecks and an atmosphere of demoralization, undermining its ability to protect the nation against terrorist attack, according to current and former administration officials and independent experts.
Tarek @LiquidList: Here goes: We've created a new department of government to defend our homeland (which is widely reported to be paralyzed...
Betsy Newmark: This article today in the Washington Post points out several problems that have not been resolved.
Steven Taylor: There's a Shock — Via WaPo: Infighting Cited at Homeland Security.
Andy McCarthy: JOHN MINTZ'S DECONSTRUCTION OF DHS THIS MORNING — It's a pretty bleak picture, but screams out that they badly need someone like Judge Chertoff.
Glenn Reynolds: But Homeland Security is still a joke, and the Bush Administration needs to do something about it.

Maybe Anyone Can Be President
  By / LAT   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON — Blame Austria.
In 1772, Austria joined Prussia and Russia in dividing up Poland, which had been weakened by the election of a foreign-born head of state.
Steven Taylor: Via the LAT: Maybe Anyone Can Be President "In 1772, Austria joined Prussia and Russia in dividing up Poland, which had...
Chris Lawrence: Amending for Arnold back in the news — Steven Taylor notes a lengthy piece in today's Los Angeles Times looking at...

Kinky Friedman entering race for governor
  AP   —   Permalink 
SAN ANTONIO - Musician-turned-mystery author Kinky Friedman is bringing his Lone Star wit to the Texas governor's race.
Some 13 months before the established political parties select their nominees in the state primary elections, Friedman and his...
Charles Kuffner: Kinky is in — Kinky Friedman has officially announced his candidacy for Governor in 2006.
Byron LaMasters: Kinky Friedman — It's official. He's running for governor. Personally, I don't plan on paying much attention to him.

Labor's Neutrality Pact Comes Under Attack
  By / Newhouse News   —   Permalink 
CLEVELAND — A labor struggle is brewing in a row of nondescript offices on the 16th floor of the Federal Office Building in downtown Cleveland.
The case before Region 8 of the National Labor Relations Board is about the kind of dusty technicality that...
Nathan Newman: The Legal Fight over Neutrality Agreements — This article is a good in-depth discussion of the legal fight over the...
Susan Madrak: Apparently the wingnut Right to Work foundation wants to force management to take an adversial stance to union organizing - even when it doesn't want to.
Kevin Drum: But no. This time it's a group of conservatives, and they're complaining about companies that decide to cooperate with...

Egypt Reins In Opponents of Longtime Leader
  By / WaPo   —   Permalink 
CAIRO, Feb. 1 — Egyptian authorities have cracked down on opposition groups in recent days during a time of increasingly active efforts to stop President Hosni Mubarak from extending his 24-year rule in a referendum later this year.
Gene @HarrysPlace: But there is more Bush could do to make his displeasure known to President Hosni Mubarak, as democracy campainger Saad...
Jeanne D'Arc: Egypt? Democracy? Is this man completely delusional? I think I'll go do the dishes now. At least something will be clean.

Hide Your IPod, Here Comes Bill
  By / Wired News   —   Permalink 
Microsoft's leafy corporate campus in Redmond, Washington, is beginning to look like the streets of New York, London and just about everywhere else: Wherever you go, white headphones dangle from peoples' ears.
Vanderleun: Martin Rees, Our Cosmic Habitat — HIDE YOUR IPOD, HERE COMES BILL "About 80 percent of Microsoft employees who have...
Cookie Jill: Posted by Hello microsoft's leafy corporate campus in redmond, washington, is beginning to look like the streets of new...

Hypocrites' Oath
  By / American Prospect   —   Permalink 
The closing "God bless America, and good night" of George W. Bush's State of the Union address this week will signal not just the official ending of his speech but also the end of the debate surrounding Bush's last major pronouncement, his second inaugural address.
Matthew Yglesias: Beyond Hypocrisy — Let me highly recommend Kenny Baer's article in TAP online about the trouble with crying "hypocrisy!" at every turn: [snipped quote] Indeed.
Laura Rozen: Ken Baer and Matt are of course right that crying "hypocrisy" can be a bit pointless and shrill, but hypocrisy at this...

University faculty defends controversial professor
  AP   —   Permalink 
BOULDER, Colorado (AP) — As pressure mounts on a University of Colorado professor who ignited a furor by comparing the World Trade Center victims to Nazis, colleagues have come to his defense — on free speech grounds.
Bigwig: Some Pigs Are More Diverse Than Others — Compiled from wire reports.
Ed Cone: I loved my friends like brothers. They died at the hands of terrorists. Their memory is insulted by this guy.

National Security's Hard Men
  By / Slate   —   Permalink 
Condoleezza Rice flies off to Europe this week, presumably to mend rifts in the Atlantic alliance. She seems to be staffing her State Department with pragmatists and diplomats, as opposed to ideologues and obstructionists.
Laura Rozen: Slate's Fred Kaplan reports that Condoleezza Rice's sensible picks at State divert attention from the real action:...
Ellen Dana Nagler: Fred Kaplan reports at Slate that J.D. Crouch, currently our ambaddador to Romania, will become Deputy National Security Advisor.

Gonzales Nomination Won't Be Voted on Before State of the Union
  By / AP   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON (AP) - Confirming Alberto Gonzales as the new attorney general "will resonate throughout the Hispanic community" despite Democratic complaints that he is connected to the Bush administration's policies on foreign detainees, Republicans said Wednesday.
Lambert @Corrente: [quote] Democratic opposition to Gonzales derives "from the nominee's" [end quote] ... [drone] ... "involvement in the formulation" ...