Monday, December 05, 2005

Morning copy 12.05.2005

The war over the war in Iraq

Sunni politicians are in a tough spot, according to this New York Times' story. They speak out against the Shiite and are "hounded" by the most militant of insurgents.

The Christian Science Monitor reports that some Iraqis may look to secular parties for stability. Professor Juan Cole is doubtful:
But there was also a lot of this kind of speculation before the Jan. 30 elections. Basically it is a secular middle class perspective that journalists are more likely to encounter; but in fact the secular middle classes in Iraq have been devastated. Personally, I think the 14 percent was a fluke created in part by his advantages of incumbency (he was on television all the time in January of 2005, making all kinds of promises to various constituencies). He doesn't have those advantages any more, and may actually not run as well. Certainly, he won't get a big vote in Najaf.
Saddam Hussein's trial begins with actual testimony. There were metaphorical fireworks, but no literal fireworks, Washington Post.

Secretary John Reid discusses Sir Ronnie Flanagan's role in reviewing the Iraqi police, via Belfast Telegraph:
Mr Reid told The Politics Show on BBC1: "There's a problem with the police in terms of split loyalties running from sympathy for the local people, right through to infiltration with the militia.

"That's why we are now redoubling our efforts to make sure that these people are rooted out.

But he added: "It isn't to say that all the police are like that. Many of them are courageous. Many have given their life in the new Iraq, but some of them are rogues and they've obviously got to be taken out."
Bush v. Blanco

Today's Washington Post:
White House senior adviser Karl Rove wanted it conveyed that he understood that Blanco was requesting that President Bush federalize the evacuation of New Orleans. The governor should explore legal options to impose martial law "or as close as we can get," Vitter quoted Rove as saying, according to handwritten notes by Terry Ryder, Blanco's executive counsel.

Thus began what one aide called a "full-court press" to compel the first-term governor to yield control of her state National Guard -- a legal, political and personal campaign by White House staff that failed three days later when Blanco rejected the administration's terms, 10 minutes before Bush was to announce them in a Rose Garden news conference, the governor's aides said.
Andy Card's job

Elisabeth Bumiller of the New York Times reads the tea leaves and sees a minor shakeup of the White House staff coming in January.

Dick Cheney's job

Susan Page in the USA Today:
"The paradox of this vice president is the things that made him so valuable in the beginning and so important to the president — his willingness to take the lead and be a strong visible advocate on some issues — have come back to haunt him," says Paul Light, a political scientist at New York University and author of vice presidential Power: Advice and Influence in the White House. "It's almost like everything that's bad in the administration has come back to stick to Dick Cheney."

Light calls him "the Velcro vice president."

Janet Hook, in the Los Angeles Times, says that the GOP is looking for a legislative victory to end the year.
The agenda provides Republicans the opportunity to show that their control of Congress and the White House is paying off with action on important national problems. But they also face the risk of bearing the responsibility for a stalemate.

"To go out [at year's end] without any substantial actions reinforces the notion that Congress has lost its way under our control," said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). "To deliver is to show we are capable of governing."
Rick Klein, in the Boston Globe, writes about GOP backing for "flower child" Senator Lincoln Chafee (R., R.I.):
But with the Republican Party's hold on the Senate looking tenuous, the party of Wall Street and the religious right is suddenly chummy with its most prominent environmentalist. With a tough race looming, and a solid conservative challenging Chafee in the primary, Republican elites are sending checks to Rhode Island -- to help Chafee.
Bloomberg News reports that Bush will not push for a major tax overhaul until 2007, citing the policy as too hard of a sell in the present climate.

9/11 panel

The September 11th commission is set to deliver a blistering report about shortfalls in protecting the country, A.P.

In other news...

The Shakespeare reference of the day goes to Andrew Rice of Slate.

You can download a Podcast of the latest "drivel" from Tom-DeLay-Look-Alike Ricky Gervais, via the Guardian.


Blogger zen said...

The 9/11 commission appear pissed and shocked that in the days since they formed and made recommendations little progress has been made. They make no attempt to tiptoe around their feelings that it is a matter of when not if we are going to be hit again. And I do not have any confidence that we can expect a capable response after the debacle in the Gulf after Katrina.
How many more cronies in the cabinet will cause people to suffer and die? How much time has been wasted debating buring the flag and steriod use rather than making us more prepared to an attack?
Maybe some truly buy the flypaper theory that as long as we're fighting them over there, we don't have to fight them here. Where do you even buy that flavor of Kool-Aid?

4:41 PM  
Blogger copy editor said...

But I thought George was going to protect us...

9:30 AM  

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