With nationwide elections three months away, the senior United Nations official here says his office and the interim Iraqi government have assembled a list of nearly 14 million Iraqi voters, set up 550 voter registration sites around the country and hired 6,000 people to staff them.
Carlos Valenzuela, chief United Nations elections adviser here, said in an interview that the list of 13.9 million Iraqi voters, drawn from the country’s food’s distribution program, represented a tentative voter registration roll. It will form the basis of a more complete list of voters scheduled to be compiled when the official registration period begins on Nov. 1.
Mr. Valenzuela and Iraqi election officials said these developments marked significant steps toward holding the elections by Jan. 31, the deadline imposed by the Iraqi interim constitution and endorsed by the Americans.
Mr. Valenzuela said he believed the elections could indeed be held at that time and that although the United Nations team of 14 advisors is small, the large numbers of Iraqis involved in the process were helping the enterprise meet its schedule.
I am sure this will come as a surprise to the increasingly strident and equally cynical Andrew Sullivan, who the other day snarked:
Let’s review where we are. There aren’t even faintly enough U.N. troops to prepare for a legitimate election in January. The reason is the security situation. Will it improve enough by December to goad the U.N. into sending the hundreds of experts to make it work? The odds must be massively against it. The one major obstacle is Falluja, and a successful incursion there seems to be prompting some in the Sunni leadership to threaten to boycott the elections entirely. Could we simply police the elections ourselves? First question: with whom? We don’t even have enough troops to retake Falluja and keep Baghdad from blowing up. And if we did, our troops are now so unpopular they would themselves undermine popular legitimacy for the elections. What is Bush’s answer to this? He simply asserts that elections will take place. That’s it. Say after me: if Bush says it, it must be true. If Bush says it, it must be true. Feel better yet? This is what Republicans have to do every day. Faith, not facts. Faith, not facts. Believe … and you will be healed. All will be healed.
Nyah, nyah nyah. Today Sully notes:
At last, some positive news about the prospects for the elections.
I am getting a little tired of Andy’s breathless hysterics and he has become more prone to getting the vapors than getting his facts straight. I am glad there is some good news so the elections can continue on your timetable, Andy.
A lot can change in 11 days, and Mr. Bush may yet win convincingly. But we must not repeat the mistake of 2000 by refusing to acknowledge the possibility that a narrow Bush win, especially if it depends on Florida, rests on the systematic disenfranchisement of minority voters. And the media must not treat such a suspect win as a validation of skewed reporting that has consistently overstated Mr. Bush’s popular support.
Talk about trying to deligitimize an administration before the election has even happened. Krugman is just following the DNC playbook, preparing us for a long court battle after the election, and putting the GOP on notice:
Even if you win, we are going to act like you didn’t.
I guess this is not that big of a surprise really, when you consider the source. After all, the NY Times is openly partisan, bltantly political, and not only did they never find anything wrong with Saddam Hussein’s elections, but they openly admired the Iraqi voter turnout.
I woke up this morning and was reminded of the stunning Red Sox victory over the hated Yankees (although as a Pirates fan I always root for the NL, I also root for anyone but the Yankees). My first thoughts were: “How long before this is part of the Kerry campaign?” According to a conversation I had with Matt Yglesias, all the DC insiders think this is a sure sign that Kerry is going to win, so apparently we will hear this a great deal in the next few weeks.
In a related vein, all of the cable news coverage of the celebrating fans really drives home how accurate the Jimmy Fallon skit spoofing Boston really was- and it is frightening. I always thought the skit wass hysterical, now I have a new found appreciation.
The Washington Redskins have proved to be a time-tested election predictor. In the previous 15 elections, if the Washington Redskins have lost their last home game prior to the election, the incumbent party has lost the White House. When they have won, the incumbent has stayed in power.
According to Snopes, this has been accurate for every election since 1936. This year the matchup is Green Bay (2-4) vs the hometeam Redskins (2-4) at 1 pm, 31 October.
Go Skins! Does this mean Oliver will be rooting for the pack?
https://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpg00John Colehttps://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpgJohn Cole2004-10-21 09:25:002004-10-21 09:25:00BoSox and Mr. Botox
Did you know that as a Republican today, you are responsible for Jim Crow? Time to go cut some holes in my pillow cases, I guess.
If the African-American community continues to buy this shit wholesale from the Democrats and the professional race-baiters who masquerade as ‘black leaders,’ I have come to the decision that perhaps they just deserve each other. They have a weird symbiosis going, anyway. Every election, the black community gives the Democratic candidate 80-90% of the vote. In return, the Democrats ignore them for four years. Then, when it is election time, the Democrats send another white liberal to black churches all over the country to court their vote again.
Why is he doing this? First, because in the insular Democratic world, George Bush is presumed to be guilty of everything, so the more vicious you can be about him, the better everybody feels.
But there is a deeper assumption, which has marred Democratic politics for years. Some Democrats have been unable to face the reality that people have been voting for Republicans because they agree with them. So these Democrats have invented the comforting theory that they’ve been losing because they are too virtuous for the country.
According to this theory, Republicans – or usually some omniscient, omnipotent and malevolent strategists, like Lee Atwater or Karl Rove – have been tricking the American people into voting against their true interests. This year, many Democrats decided, we’ll be vicious in return.
The truth, however, is that voters are not idiots. They are capable of independent thought. If you attack your opponent wildly, ruthlessly, they will come to their own conclusions.
Last nigth when I wrotethat post, it wasn’t because I had received a bunch of talking points from Unka Karl. Brooks is simply right- the voters, me included, are not idiots. We are capable of independent thought, and we can recognize when someone is being a sleazy asshole.
Let’s see where Kerry and Edwards are to date on the Democratic pre-election checklist:
1.) Have prominent Democrats introduce bills to re-instate the draft and the nclaim to the youth that Bush is going to re-instate the draft.– CHECK:
John Kerry said Friday there is a “great potential” for a new military draft to replace overextended U.S. troops in Iraq if President Bush wins a second term, despite Bush’s repeated pledges to maintain the all-volunteer service. Republicans rejected the suggestion as “fear mongering.”
2.) Scare senior citizens by telling them Bush is going to stop paying their social security.CHECK
Sen. John Kerry accused President Bush on Sunday of planning a surprise second-term attempt to privatize Social Security, and forecast a ”disaster for America’s middle class.” Republican party chairman Ed Gillespie called the charge ”just flat inaccurate.'”
3.) Visit black churches and start race-baiting and making false claims that minorities will not have their votes counted.CHECK:
On Sunday, he attended services at Mt. Olivet Baptist Church in Columbus, Ohio, where he delivered a 25-minute address laced with biblical references and promised to protect voting rights.
“We’re not going to let this be a repeat of 2000,” Kerry told the predominantly black congregation. “We’re not going to see a million African Americans deprived of their votes in America.”
He struck the same theme later in the day at a rally in Pembroke Pines, Fla., as he kicked off a two-day swing through the state with members of the Congressional Black Caucus and celebrities such as actress Alfre Woodard.
Kerry’s newfound focus on the group is more than October’s traditional get-out-the-vote effort. It comes amid signs that many African Americans remain ambivalent about the Democratic candidate, despite their antipathy toward Bush and ongoing anger about the contested 2000 presidential election, in which the ballots of hundreds of thousands of black voters were disqualified.
4.) Attempt to scare middle class whites and Jews with threats of Bush leading us into a theocracy.CHECK:
Kerry blasted Bush over his 2001 decision to limit federal funding to the research of existing stem cell lines.
Scientists believe embryonic stem cell research may lead to cures for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease and to ways to repair crippling spinal cord injuries.
Kerry said Bush has “made the wrong choice to sacrifice science for extreme right-wing ideology.”
All this, and they are still tied or behind in all the polls. Better bust out the James Byrd commercials or start hoping for a stock market crash.
Former president Bill Clinton, whose recuperation from heart surgery last month has been slower than he anticipated, will not make more than a few cameo appearances on behalf of Democratic nominee John F. Kerry, and even an abbreviated schedule is far from certain, friends and Democratic officials said.
Clinton has been recuperating from his Sept. 6 quadruple bypass surgery at his home in Chappaqua, N.Y., with a recovery regimen that has included mile-long walks. He has completed the walks but finds himself exhausted after each jaunt, friends said, and he remains in considerable pain from the chest incision.
Two things about Clinton, one that Republicans won’t admit to and one that Democrats are wary to concede to:
1.) Bill Clinton is a winner: Face it, Republicans. Bill Clinton may have his moral failings, but the man is a winner. Son of an alcoholic born in a broken home and raised in poverty, things have turned out pretty well for Bill Clinton, and I don’t know too many people who would not trade places with him. The man is bright, personable, well-respected within his circles, and wealthy. If I remember correctly, he has lost only one race in his entire political life. In a testament to his tenacity, he horse-whipped the candidate four years later.
Wanna argue with me? You better get in your way back machines and remember why it is Republicans hated the man so much, considering he was, by comparison to Gore, previous Democratic presidential candidates, and John Kerry, pretty moderate. Yes his foreign policy was a failure, and yes he had issues with the truth, but the real reason Republicans hated Clinton was because he was so good at kicking our asses. Really, really, good. He stole every one of our winning issues, made them his own, and then kicked our heads in with them. As a fierce partisan, I used to feel like I had spent twelve rounds in the ring with Mike Tyson after one of Clinton’s press conferences or SOTU addresses. He was that good at framing the debate, co-opting our issues, and villifying us.
Still think he is a loser? Two words: Dole/Kemp.
Still think he is a loser? It would probably be President Gore right now had Al not run away from Clinton in 2000.
I am willing to bet that were there no such things as term limits, Bill Clinton, if not dead from over-exertion, would be coasting to election in his fourth presidency. And while Clinton and company are given far too much credit for the boom of the 90’s and far too little blame for foreseeing the bubble and the recession Bush inherited, they do deserve credit for not screwing things up. While we are still living with his foreign policy shortcomings, I don’t know too many people besides Rush Limbaugh and Pat Robertson who would say the 90’s were that bad. Again, Clinton probably gets too much credit for the economic expansion during his Presidency, but I am not sure how else you judge theman- by someone elses term in office? Clinton was President from 1993-2001, so those are the only years we can really judge him for, and most people would say that the 90’s weren’t all that bad.
2.) Bill Clinton is political to the core- beyond what most of us can even imagine: There is not one aspect of Bill Clinton’s life that is not the result of some political calculus. The man had polls taken to find out where he and his family should spend vacation- need I say more? Do you REALLY, REALLY think he wanted his office to be in Harlem?
I don’t think Clinton has many deeply held beliefs. Unlike most Republicans, I genuinely think he does have the best interests of people in mind, and I do honestly think he really does want the best for people- particularly the poor. Which leads to what I think is Clinton’s one core belief:
“I am the best person to help these people, so anything I do to stay in power is ok.”
There is, quite simply, no other way to explain why Bill Clinton was willing to throw whole portions of the longstanding Democratic agenda down the tubing while adopting and enacting (often times under duress) NAFTA, Welfare Reform, and numerous other issues. I still have no idea why the liberals love Clinton so much, because I remember a time in the 90’s when one wag noted that the ‘reason Republicans hate Bill Clinton so much is because he is a danger to replace Ronald Reagan as the century’s most conservative president.’ Only the liberals hatred of Clinton’s enemies can explain their continued adulation of Clinton today.
First and foremost, Clinton cared about himself, and his electability. Everything, and I do mean everything, was a secondary matter. Just ask Buddy, whose adoption is explained in this manner:
Julia Gorin started worrying about Buddy, the chocolate Labrador retriever, when he was brought to the White House as a puppy late in 1997.
She had heard that Bill Clinton’s poll-oriented advisers feared the president would lose his “family man” image when his daughter, Chelsea, went off to college and recommended a dog as prop. A Lab, America’s most popular breed, was the obvious choice. Even the color was calculated.
Gorin, a dog lover who adopted a pit bull she found discarded on a New York subway platform, didn’t think that was the way to select a pet.
Whether or not you believe Buddy was apoll-driven image prop (and as a dog lover, I find this Clinton tale a little over the top), it does help make my point. Bill Clinton is so political that people would actually believe he WOULD do such a thing.
At any rate, the point of all of this is that if Bill Clinton thought Kerry had a chance, he would be out there campaigning until it killed him. I don’t think he could help himself. That Bill is choosing to sit this election out to recuperate says a lot.
https://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpg00John Colehttps://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpgJohn Cole2004-10-18 04:42:522004-10-18 04:42:52CLinton To Democrats: Kerry is a Loser