Today's Papers

Jilted Joe

The New York Times, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Timesall lead with anti-war upstart candidate Ned Lamont narrowly defeating Sen. Joe Lieberman in Connecticut’s Democratic primary. USA Todaygoes across-the-top with the primary but leads with the Fed putting interest-rate hikes on ice for now after two years of increases. With stagflation a possibility, the Fed hedged its bets and warned that “inflation risks” are still out there. The Fed’s nonhike also leads the Wall Street Journal’s business box.

With 48 percent of the vote to Lamont’s 52 percent, Lieberman conceded last night and, as he earlier promised, said he’ll now run as an independent. “We just finished the first half, the Lamont team is ahead,” Lieberman said. “But in the second half, our team—Team Connecticut—is going to surge forward to victory.” Connecticut officials said it looks like yesterday’s turnout broke the state’s record for a nonpresidential-year primary.

The Post points to a couple of other incumbents who lost yesterday—including wacky Dem. Cynthia McKinney. “I don’t want to read too much into primary results, because by their very nature [primary voters] are different from the broader electorate,” said one handicapper, “but what these races suggest is that, yes, the antiwar, anti-Bush, anti-establishment, anti-Washington message is very effective.”

With the push for a U.N. resolution on the Levant war currently stalled, the papers see signs that a “broader Israeli invasion” could be “imminent.” Haaretz seems to have the clearest picture, saying that while the military and the defense minister are pushing for a big expansion, Prime Minister Olmert is still on the fence.

Hezbollah launched about 160 rockets into Israel yesterday. Five Israeli soldiers have been killed in the last day, including two last night. Israel said 20 Hezbollah fighters were killed. Fourteen Lebanese civilians were reported killed in airstrikes.

As the NYT emphasizes, Israel warned Lebanese that all cars on the road in the south are now fair game. “Every vehicle, whatever its nature, which travels south of the Litani will be bombed on suspicion of transporting rockets and arms for the terrorists,” read the leaflet.

The U.N. and other agencies said they’ve had to stop convoys in the south because of the danger of airstrikes. “South of the Litani is off,” said a U.N. spokesman.

A front-page NYT piece points out that Arab democratic types are being squeezed by the war. “There is no room on the street for a moderate like me,” said a Jordanian activist. “We are all against Israel attacking Lebanon, but I am also against hitting cities in Israel where there are civilians. If I tried to say the things in public that I am telling you on the phone, I might be beaten. In a war like this, the extremists alone own the streets.”

With about 20 people killed in assorted bombings yesterday in Baghdad, the NYT says the new security drive “seemed to have had little effect.” (In fairness, it’s the very beginning of the latest effort.) The Times also gets the latest stats from Baghdad’s morgue: 1,855 bodies showed up in July, a 16 percent rise from June, and 71 percent higher than in January.

The Post notices 29 Iraqis killed yesterday in Diyala province. Attacks there have doubled in the last few months, while the number of GIs is way down. (What part of Iraq are the U.S. reinforcements to Baghdad coming from?)

The LAT fronts the “growing clamor for partition” among top Iraqi Shiites. “We will do it just like Kurdistan,” said one Shiite politico. “We will put soldiers along the frontiers.” There’s long been talk of an autonmous Shiite south, but the LAT says it’s picked up and there’s now even discussion of splitting up the capital. “Sunnis and Shiites are both starting to feel that dividing Baghdad will be the solution,” said a Sunni politican.

The Post goes Page One with the Bush administration floating legislation to futz with the War Crimes Act so that “outrages upon personal dignity” would no longer count as war crimes. The administration has argued that the Act and the phrase are too vague, to which the Army’s former top lawyer responded that the “dignity” clause was “left deliberately vague because efforts to define it would invariably lead to wrongdoers identifying ‘exceptions,’ and because the meaning was plain—treat people like humans and not animals or objects.”

The WP has led the way—and been just about alone—in detailing the administration’s push to water down the War Crimes Act. But one beef: The paper says it has a copy of the administration’s proposed legislation. If that’s the case, why not post it?