Ninety Percent of Iraqis Respond to Poll

And now the most interesting two minutes in television, the latest from the wartime grapevine:

Iraqi Poll Results

A new poll says 71 percent of Iraqis in Baghdad (search) do not want the U.S. to leave the country for at least the next few months. Twenty-six percent disagree. In addition, the Gallup poll found that 58 percent of Baghdad residents say U.S. troops have behaved "well" while in their country with half as many disagreeing.

But Gallup pollsters say the biggest surprise may have been the Iraqis' reaction to the poll, with 90 percent of Baghdad residents agreeing to participate…that's at least double the response rate for many U.S. polls. What's more, Gallup says, some Iraqis were, "pleading for a chance to give their opinions."

Questions for Condoleezza

When The New York Times wrote last week that the White House, in a major reorganization, had put National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice (search) in overall charge of running postwar Iraq, a story that implied that Defense Secretary Rumsfeld (search) had taken a major hit, people wondered why Rice would give such a story to The Times.

Well, sources tell us that when Rice talked to The Times, the paper already had the story, and it seemed clear the paper had not spoken to the Pentagon, which led officials to the inevitable conclusion that the State Department had leaked the story.

Tough Times With Texas?

Speaking of The New York Times, the paper seems to be having a little trouble of late covering the wrangling over redistricting down in Texas. A Times headline on Sunday said Texas Democrats walked out of Congress…again…to block a redistricting bill.

Problem is, Democrats walked out of the Texas House, not Congress. One day later, some copies of The Times referred to Texan Tom Delay (search) as the majority leader of the Senate, when he is in fact the majority leader of the House; and The Times misstated the location of DeLay's hometown, which is Sugar Land. The paper has since issued corrections.

A Stalin Admirer?

Actor Ed Asner (search)…asked to choose the historical figure he respected most and would like to play some day…responded, "My answer would have to be Joe Stalin (search)... I think Joe Stalin was a guy that was hugely misunderstood."

Asner did not say what it was about the Soviet dictator, under whom millions more died than in Hitler's Holocaust, that was misunderstood.