Today's Blogs


Bloggers shake their heads at the latest botched hanging in Iraq. They also consider the rise in unmarried women and close-read excerpts from O.J. Simpson’s “confessional.”

Double-header: Two men convicted alongside Saddam Hussein—his half-brother Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti and former intelligence chief Awad Hamed al-Bandar—were hanged early Monday morning. An execution video shown to journalists revealed that Ibrahim was decapitated during the process. Bloggers shake their still-attached heads at the executioners’ incompetence.

At The Moderate Voice, Joe Gandelman squirms over the botched job: “It’s almost irrelevant that he was slated to be executed and that this was an accident. The way it turned out will be used against the government—and more tensions within Iraq are likely.”

Ed Morrissey at the conservative Captain’s Quarters encourages those disgusted by the procedure to “remember the brutal methods these men used to oppress and murder Iraqis by the thousands, and the real fear that a coup d’etat by Ba’athist remnants could return them to their former positions. These are not common criminals but bloodthirsty tyrants whose deaths are required for Iraqis to have confidence in their departure from power.”

Criminal defense attorney Jeralyn Merritt at TalkLeft notes that Ibrahim was suffering from cancer: “Life in prison plus cancer wasn’t enough of a punishment?” But conservative Gaius at Blue Crab Boulevard tires of the “crocodile tears.”

Over at Gun Toting Liberal, Matthew O’Keefe retches at the lurid descriptions in some accounts of the unintentional beheading: “[T]he paper or the news services just could have said that they both were hanged ‘til dead. Justice was served and it serves no purpose to gloat on the outcome other than feed the insurgents in Iraq.”

Liberal BooMan at Booman Tribune argues it’s not the fact of the beheading but the symbolism that matters: “Who needs an attached head when you’re dead? The main effect of a beheading is on the living. It’s inspires terror.”

After promising “no jokes about wanting to get a head in iraq,” lefty skippy the bush kangaroo drops this gem: “[T]he execution of saddam’s brother went so badly, the noose accidentally severed his head. actually, it was saddam’s half-brother, at least he was after the hanging.”

Read more about the botched hanging. In Slate, Daniel Engber explained how to conduct a hanging.

Are men necessary? The New York Times reports that 51 percent of American women now live without a spouse—making the number of unmarried women greater than married for the first time.

Conservative political science professor Steven Taylor at PoliBlog picks apart the statistic and concludes that this might not qualify as “Big NewsTM“: “Now, that there was a major shift in the utter centrality of marriage in shaping the lives and choices of women in undeniable–but it took place some decades back.”

Egalia at liberal feminist blog Tennessee Guerilla Women considers the rise in unmarried women a failure of the Bush administration’s effort “to drag women and men into holy wedlock via faith-based marriage programs … in spite of the fact that U.S. Welfare policy is constructed around the idea that the only fate worse than being single and female is death.”

At conservative Pajamas Media, PJM in Seattle critiques the Times piece point by point and dissects the census-piece formula: “After the ‘experts’ chime in, some handy exemplars of the trend are interviewed to buttress the conclusions. All subjects interviewed must reveal that they are happier now than they were then. [Note: No men were interviewed or harmed in the making of this article.]”

Sugar at D.C.-based Sugar N Spice blames the rise in unmarried women on the willingness of women to spoil their men: “We have GOT to join together and decide that we are not going to make it so easy for them to ‘score’! I mean seriously, what is their motivation to get married if they can always find a woman who will cook them meals, wash their clothes and furnish them with a ‘happy ending’ every chance she gets … without even so much as a mention about eventually getting married?”

Read more about the new unmarried majority.

O.J.’s story: Reporter Mark Miller, who covered the O.J. Simpson trial for Newsweek, got his hands on a key chapter from Simpson’s spiked book, If I Did It. In the book, Simpson writes that “something went horribly wrong, and I know what happened, but I can’t tell you exactly how.”

L.A. gossip sheet Defamer, which notes that the “hypothetical confession sounds a lot like an actual confession,” has an idea: “Perhaps, then, the book might have been more accurately titled, Look—I Did It, But I Can’t Tell Exactly How My Harmlessly Showing Up To My Ex-Wife’s House To Scare The Shit Out Of Her With A Knife Led To A Double Murder.”

Meanwhile, Simpson’s lawyer announced the former football pro wants to write a book about living with his wife, Nicole. New York rumor-monger Jossip thinks it knows why: “Because with this version, Ron Goldman’s family is certain to put its stamp of approval on O.J.’s manuscript. It’s time to get paid, y’all.”

Read more about Newsweek’s O.J. scoop. Slate’s Tim Noah interviews the book’s ghostwriter here.