Friday, November 06, 2009

IHEC head says 'postpone elections'

The Iraqi Parliament failed again on Thursday to approve a law to regulate a national election in January, deepening doubts about whether the nation can hold the vote on schedule.

The above is from Timothy Williams and Sa'ad Izzi's "Iraqis Again Fail to Approve Election Law" (New York Times). This morning, the latest development is reported by Muhanad Mohammed (Reuters) who reveals the head of the Independent High Electoral Commission, Faraj al-Haideri, is calling for a delay in the intended January elections. This echoes statements he has already made. From yesterday's snapshot:

Sammy Ketz (AFP) quotes election commission head Faraj al-Haidari stating, "We can no longer organise elections on January 16 -- that would have been difficult even if we had received the law today. Whether they retain the old electoral law, amend it or adopt an entirely new one is a matter for members of parliament but we are the ones who will have to implement their decisions according to the timetable. We hope that MPs will resolve their dilemma but we are not going to sacrifice international norms and criteria -- we're obliged to respect the rules so that these elections are transparent."

Efforts have been taking place to deport Frances Barrios, the wife of Iraq War veteran Jack Barrios and the mother of their two children. Her 'crime'? Coming to the United States at six-years-old. Teresa Watanabe (Los Angeles Times) reports that yesterday the couple learned she was granted "humanitarian parole" and will be able to apply for a green card and remain in the country. Tony Valdez (Los Angeles' Fox 11 -- link has text and video) was present when Frances Barrios received the news:

Tony Valdez: Frances Barrios looked mystified and anxious about her attorneys visit to her Van Nuys apartment in the evening. She usually went to Jessica Dominguez' office whenever there was a development in her bid to stay in the US with her husband and her children. What the attorney told her husband, an Iraq War veteran, was completely unexpected.

Jessica Dominguez: The Citizenship and Immigration Services has granted your wife parole which means you can now give her legal permanent resident status without her having to go back to Guatemala.

The Barrios were last noted in the October 30th snapshot.

Wednesday the US military announced 2 deaths in Iraq. DoD has yet to identify either of the fallen. Presumably one of the two has been identified by her father (if not, then there's a death that wasn't announced by M-NF). Dennis Yusko (Albany Times Union) reports that Staff Sgt Amy Seyboth Tirador died on Wednesday while serving in Iraq according to Gerard Seyboth, her father and that she was on her second deployment to Iraq. He is quoted stating, "I'm very proud of my daughter." Her survivors also include husband Mickey who is on his third tour of duty in Iraq. Yusko notes, "More than 206,000 U.S. women have served in the Middle East since 2003, most of them in Iraq. About 106 servicewoman have died and more than 600 injured in Iraq, according to casualty lists." Paul Merril (Fox 23) reports that Mickey Tirador "is accompanying his wife's remains back from Iraq."

TV notes, NOW on PBS begins airing on most PBS stations tonight (check local listings) and their focus this week is:

Only one year after a historic election rerouted the course of America's political culture, do the 2009 election results show momentum swinging in the opposite direction?
This week, NOW's David Brancaccio talks to political author and columnist David Sirota about populist anger, the Obama administration's successes and failures, and how this week's election results foreshadow the state of politics in 2010.

Also airing tonight on many PBS stations, Bill Moyers Journal offers a veterans day special. Washington Week finds Gwen sitting around the table with James Barnes (National Journal), Ceci Connolly (Washington Post), John Harris (Politico) and Martha Raddatz (ABC News). Meanwhile Bonnie Erbe will sit down with Sam Bennett, Karen Czarnecki, Cari Dominguez and Avis Jones-DeWeever to discuss the week's events on PBS' To The Contrary. Check local listings, on many stations, it begins airing tonight. And turning to broadcast TV, Sunday CBS' 60 Minutes offers:

Cyber War
Could foreign hackers get into the computer systems that run crucial elements of the world's infrastructure, such as the power grids, water works or even a nation's military arsenal, to create havoc? They already have. Steve Kroft reports.

Andre Agassi
Katie Couric interviews the tennis champion about his drug use, the depression that made him use methamphetamine and other aspects of his personal life and tennis career in his first interview about his upcoming book. (This is a double-length segment).

60 Minutes, this Sunday, Nov. 8, at 7 p.m. ET/PT.

Turning to public radio, this morning Katty Kay fills in as guest host on NPR's The Diane Rehm Show which begins broadcasting live on most NPR stations at 10:00 AM EST (and streaming live online at the same time). The panel for the first hour (domestic) is Jackie Calmes (New York Times), Lynn Sweet (Chicago Sun-Times) and Glenn Thrush (Politico). The panel for the second hour (international) James Kitfield (National Journal), Paul Richter (Los Angeles Times) and Farah Stockman (Boston Globe).

If you caught something this morning and were thinking, "What morons!" -- Ava and I caught it as well. Yes, they are morons. We plan to grab it at Third and we are aware that Mr.-I-Care so does not that he wasn't even aware of the 'suicide by cop' which took place Sunday. The whole thing was pretty much an embarrassment and incredibly sloppy which goes to how little they care about the issue of Iraq. We will be addressing it on Sunday.

This is much more brief than I hoped but we're rushing to make a hearing this morning. So that's going to be it. The e-mail address for this site is

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