Sunday, October 22, 2006

Opinion: What should the motto of this election be? Choose one or create your own:

"Cut and Run"

"Stay the Course"

"This is a 'mood' election like 1994, and voters are in a bad mood"

"A Speaker Pelosi will try to impeach the president and hand out subpoenas daily."

"Do nothing Congress"

"Our nation will be weaker, and the enemies of our nation will be stronger"

"Scandal, scandal, scandal"

"Iraq, Iraq, Iraq"

"It's the economy, stupid"

Analysis: Will the release of this verdict focus voters on security issues and impact the election? (please try to limit conspiracy theories!)

A verdict against Saddam Hussein will be announced Nov. 5
Oct 16, 10:39 AM EDT
Brother of Saddam Prosecutor Is Killed
By QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA Associated Press Writer

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- The brother of the top prosecutor in the second trial of Saddam Hussein was shot dead in front of his wife at his home in the capital Monday, according to a key official charged insuring no former members of the Saddam regime hold positions of authority.
Imad al-Faroon died immediately after the shooting at his home in west Baghdad, Dr. Ali al-Lami, head of the government De-Baathification Committee, told The Associated Press.
Al-Faroon's brother is chief prosecutor Muqith al-Faroon, who is leading the Saddam prosecution on charges of crimes against humanity in his alleged killing of thousands of Kurds during the Iran-Iraq war.

A verdict against Saddam Hussein and seven co-defendants charged with crimes against humanity in connection with an anti-Shiite crackdown in the 1980s will be announced Nov. 5, a senior court official said on Monday.

Sentences for those found guilty will be issued the same day, chief investigating judge Raid Juhi told The Associated Press.

The former Iraqi leader could be hanged if convicted. However, he could appeal the sentence to a higher, nine-judge court. His co-defendants include his former deputy, Taha Yassin Ramadan, and his half-brother and former intelligence chief Barzan Ibrahim.

Analysis: What impact will campaign tactics have in the last two weeks of this election cycle?

Rove Road-Tests Tougher Attack on Democrats
By Michael Abramowitz and Zachary A. GoldfarbSunday, October 22, 2006
BUFFALO, Oct. 21
-- Republicans have been promising they would ratchet up the rhetoric against Democrats in the final two weeks of the fall campaign, and the man President Bush called "The Architect" of his political campaigns offered a preview of what they have in mind on Friday night.

Appearing in support of embattled GOP Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds (R-N.Y.), Karl Rove offered biting jibes against House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), took a shot at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and asserted that Democratic policies would leave the country weaker.

"You can't say I want to win the war but not be willing to fight the war," said Rove, Bush's top political adviser. "And if leading Democrats have their way, our nation will be weaker and the enemies of our nation will be stronger. And that's a stark fact, and it's the reason that this fall election will turn very heavily on national security."
Officially, Rove was speaking at the annual dinner for the Erie County Republican Party, but in many ways, the appearance was a show of support for Reynolds, the chairman of the National Republican Campaign Committee, who is in danger this fall after questions about his role in responding to the Mark Foley page scandal.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) was supposed to be the speaker at the dinner and rally, but he canceled, pleading a scheduling conflict, the Buffalo News said. McCain did speak to the rally by telephone, praising Reynolds as "one of my heroes."

Rove stepped in at dinner and used his speech to road-test new lines of attack on the Democrats. The basic themes -- that voters face a stark choice between the parties on taxes and terrorism -- have been a Bush standard. But Rove, who once claimed liberals preferred "therapy" to war against terrorists, delivered them with an acerbity not seen from his boss.

For instance, he needled congressional Democrats for voting against a GOP plan to try terrorist suspects at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba. Many Democrats said the plan violated basic rights, but Rove rejected that. "You need to have the ability to try these people without worrying about the ACLU showing up saying, 'Wait a minute, did you Mirandize them when you found them on the battlefield,' " he said. "With all due respect, I don't happen to remember that in World War II, that when we captured Nazis and Japanese and took them to camps, that the first thing we did was provide them legal aid."

He also went after the would-be House speaker for voting against renewing the USA Patriot Act, the warrantless wiretapping program and the war in Iraq. "With a record like that, you can see why Nancy Pelosi wouldn't want this election to be about national security," Rove said.
Pelosi spokesman Brendan Daly responded, "Clearly, the White House is getting desperate to keep their rubber-stamp Republican Congress."