February 14, 2005

More detailed Iraqi election results have been released. 8.55 million votes were cast, which was about 58% of the 14.66 million registered voters. In no Sunni-dominated province was turnout more than 33%. In Anbar province, where the insurgency has been strongest, turnout was only about 2%. United Iraqi Alliance won 48.2% of the vote. A coalition of two main Kurdish parties won a surprising 25.7% of the vote, and a bloc led by interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi got 13.8%.

Many of the costs in Bush's budget blow up after he leaves office. His plan to partially privatize Social Security, would cost a total of $79.5 billion in the last two budgets that Bush will propose as president and an additional $675 billion in the five years that follow. If Bush's tax cuts were made permanent, they would cost nearly $1.1 trillion in just the first 5 years after 2010. Pay attention for when Bush denies these costs with some overly-optimistic pseudo-patriotic mumbo-jumbo.

A new Rasmussen poll considers some unlikely matchups for 2008. The results show Hillary Clinton ahead of Condoleezza Rice 47% to 40%, and Rice leading John Kerry 45% to 43%. Interestingly, 51% believe that Senator Clinton is liberal, which is more than the 46% think that John Kerry is.

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