It has been an arduous path to power, pockmarked by constant reversals of fortune, for a man who was instrumental in selling the White House on a costly war here. Mr. Chalabi fell from favor during the occupation and has since been castigated by the Americans and the interim government of Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, his longtime archrival. They have accused him of spying for Iran, trading in counterfeit currency and overzealously purging the interim government of former members of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party, leading to profound feelings of disenfranchisement among the Sunni Arab minority and fueling the insurgency. More broadly, his critics say that Mr. Chalabi, a former mathematics professor, remains a slippery charlatan, unabashedly throwing off his secular persona when it became inconvenient and packaging himself in a tidy new wrapping of Shiite nationalism and fundamentalism. Mr. Chalabi's father, Abdul Hadi Chalabi, once one of the wealthiest men in the country, had close ties to the clerics of Najaf and served as president of the Senate under the monarchy that was overthrown in 1958. The younger Mr. Chalabi spent 45 years outside Iraq, mostly in
Carl jokes via e-mail that if read backward, the entire profile says, "Forgive me Judy, I still love you."
And on the subject of Judith Miller, as Janeane notes in an e-mail, she's back. Page A6 contains "Swiss Firm Suspected of Fraud Paid U.N. Chief's Son $50,000" which Janeane argues is yet another in the "Judy Bashes the UN series."
Also on A6 is Warren Hoge's "Diplomats at U.N. Surprised by Danforth's Resignation" (http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/03/international/03nations.html) which discusses John C. Danforth stepping down as the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Note the last two paragraphs which may provide more insight into why Danforth stepped down then "conventional wisdom" or his desire to spend time with his wife (Sally Danforth):
. . . a nickname that paid tribute to his unassailable rectitude while also hinting at occasional annoyance over his bent for moralizing piety. At the United Nations, that translated into disarmingly frank comments about relief crises around the world and seldom, if ever, into political statements. In a speech last month in St. Louis, according to Reuters, Mr. Danforth said that as a former senator, he was not accustomed to having a policy statement vetted by State Department bureaucrats and transformed into "mush" before he could issue it. "It creates some practical problems," he said.
[Please note "At the United Nations . . . into political statements" is from the print version. This paragraph is missing online.]
From World Briefing on A16, we'll note this paragraph by Heather Timmons:
BRITAIN: ANTI-WAR LAWMAKER WINS LIBEL CASE George Galloway, a Labor member of Parliament who was expelled from the party last year after telling an Arab television interviewer that Prime Minister Tony Blair and President Bush attacked Iraq "like Wolves," won a libel suit against The Daily Telegraph, which accused him of receiving secret payments from Saddam Hussein and which dubbed him "Saddam's little helper." The allegations were "seriously defamatory, "High Court Justice David Eady ruled. He ordered the newspaper to pay Mr. Galloway $290,000.
The adminstration starts the rumbles for war on Social Security via comments to Edmund L. Andrews in "Bush Advisor Warns of Social Security Cuts" on page A17 (http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/03/politics/03social.html):
Mr. Mankiw's remarks suggested that President Bush's plan to let people put some of their Social Security taxes into "personal savings accounts" would have to be accompanied by changes in the current system of benefits. Throughout the presidential campaign and in remarks after he was re-elected, Mr. Bush focused almost exclusively on these accounts as a crucial way to shore up Social Security. Most experts have said that the accounts must be accompanied by other belt-tightening measures. When asked about cuts in future benefits, Mr. Bush, however, has said only that any overhaul should make no changes in the benefits for people in retirement or near retirement. The president has said that overhauling the Social Security system would involve "costs," but so far he has not indicated what those might be.
Speaking of "costs" what about all that money going into abstinence only education? Brian Wingfield has a short article (http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/03/politics/03abstinence.html) on page A16 entitled "Study Faults Abstinence Courses":
Some federally financed sex education programs that teach an abstinence-only approach have factual errors and are ineffective, a Congressional report says. [. . . .] The report, by the Democratic staff of the House Government Reform Committee for Representative Henry A. Waxman, Democrat of
Hopefully, this weekend there will be time to address "Both Parties Say Fund-Raising Was Big and Nearly Equal" by Glen Justice on page A15 (http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/03/politics/03donate.html) but please check it out if you're wondering how the Democratic Party did on raising funds.
Juan Foreno's article on A12 is typical Foreno but has already resulted in e-mails to the site."Documents Show C.I.A. Knew of a Coup Plot in Venezueala" (http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/03/international/americas/03venezuela.html) will be dealt with in another entry.
Not much discussion of the front page, is there? No. Not really impressed with it. I mean the news that Senator Jon S. Corzine has announced he'll run for governor of New Jersey "next year" may excite some but I'm not sure it's front page news. Or a look at colleges and the companies that insure them passing for reporting on college suicide? Is it news? Jason Giambi and steroids are on the front page. Yawn. IBM's out of the home computer business. Blah, blah, blah. That's all it was to me.
I wasn't seeing a lot of important news on the front page, not real news.
There wasn't time to mention it yesterday but Senator Barbara Boxer was on Unfiltered with Lizz Winstead & Rachel Maddow yesterday and this was a really informative interview. I'll do a link to the archives later today (probably around midnight). This morning, Joe Trippi will be a guest on Unfiltered. So to everyone who's been e-mailing Trippi's op-ed this week, if you're able to, try to catch him on Air America Radio's Unfiltered today.
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