A Great Day For Iraq And The World

Nice to wake up to some good news for a change:

American forces captured a bearded Saddam Hussein as he hid in a dirt hole under a farmhouse near his hometown of Tikrit, ending one of the most intensive manhunts in history. The arrest, eight months after the fall of Baghdad, was carried out without a shot fired and was a huge victory for U.S. forces. “Ladies and gentlemen, we got him,” U.S. administrator L. Paul Bremer told a news conference Sunday…

Read more in Yahoo!’s Full Coverage. It’s times likes these that Yahoo!’s Full Coverage news feature really shines. Stories from multiple sources, pulled together by editorial staff. In contrast… Google News is simply outclassed on breaking news. Over the course of the day, I expect it’s coverage to improve as more links algorithmically point to how big a story this is.

Weblogs with plenty of linkage and commentary: BuzzMachine and ScriptingNews.

The Inquirer agrees with my opinion about Gore’s endorsement of Dean… it’s no surprise at all:

This endorsement is about the Clinton-Gore divorce. Back in the ’90s, when he was a heartbeat away from power, Gore and the First Couple had a close political marriage. But now he’s standing on their lawn, threatening to burn their house down.

This is about a clash of political styles. Gore said several years ago that he was going to get real, that he was fed up with being micromanaged by political consultants – note also that Dean’s whole style is anti-consultant. Bill Clinton, you may recall, once had his pollster decide where he should take his vacation.

Gore’s endorsement of Dean is also about the sharp divisions within the Democratic Party – between the outspoken, Bush-hating, left-leaning antiwar people (who have flocked to Dean) and the more moderate, pro-war, business-friendly people (who dominate the party establishment, which, in turn, is largely controlled by the Clintons). When Gore declared for Dean and said that “we need to remake the Democratic Party,” he was essentially saying, “My way is better than their way.”

The Clintons clearly don’t like Dean’s way. His angry, two-fisted style and his opposition to the war in Iraq are anathema to the party establishment, which fears that Dean will alienate suburban swing voters and wind up as cannon fodder for the GOP. The split on the war demonstrates the divide. On talk shows last week, Hillary Clinton defended her pro-war Senate vote, and even spoke of the need for more U.S. troops. It is notable that a significant number of Clinton administration alumni are toiling for retired Gen. Wesley Clark, who might well emerge as the designated stop-Dean candidate during the primaries.

Cynics might say that Gore gravitated to Dean only because he was shopping for a fresh constituency. Wrong. Gore has spent the last few years getting back in touch with his inner populist – with the instincts that he inherited from his father, Al Gore Sr., a Tennessee senator who frequently spoke for the little guy and inveighed against the corporate and political establishment.

The Dean endorsement is predictable when you consider Gore’s recent history – starting in August 2000, when, as the Democratic nominee, he chose not to run on Clinton’s pro-business economic record (fiscal austerity, balanced budgets), instead declaring that he wanted to soak the corporations, that he was for “the people” against “the powerful.”

The Clinton camp roasted him for that decision after the election, contending that he wouldn’t have narrowly lost the nationwide suburban vote if he had run on the Clinton record. Bill himself said this to Gore at a stormy post-election meeting; worse yet, in the summer of 2002, his own running mate, Joe Lieberman, blamed the defeat on Gore’s populist rhetoric. (Gore reputedly never forgets an insult. Lieberman’s 2002 attack may explain why Gore didn’t give him a courtesy call before endorsing Dean.)

Read more in The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Brookings released a report on Pennsylvania that Tom Ferrick Jr. says could be titled: : “Pennsylvania: Going Nowhere Fast.”. He makes the point that answers to Pennsylvania’s troubles maybe found in Philadlephia’s past.

Did you know that the Supreme Court is hearing a case on Congressional redistricting in Pennsylvania that could have national repurcussions (Philadelphia Inquirer)?