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January 7, 2005



PAUL GIGOT: Winners and losers, picks and pans. We call it Tony and Tacky, our choices for the best and worst of the week.

The last time we visited Ukraine, the demonstrators in the streets were forcing a re-run of the rigged election. Now the results have been reversed in the new election, and the new loser is appealing. Dan Henninger thinks this deserves a tacky.

DAN HENNINGER: I certainly do. Barbara Boxer, meet Viktor Yanukovych. Viktor Yanukovych was the loser in the most recent Ukrainian election, the one they re-ran and the one that had about a zillion international observers. Yanukovych is now suing and the Ukrainian Supreme Court saying the election was fraudulent. Just this week, Barbara Boxer was standing in the well of the U.S. Senate contesting the vote in Ohio which was seen by thousands and thousands of lawyers. I think Barbara Boxer is guilty of American cultural imperialism. We are leading the losers in elections all over the world to think any time that things go badly, sue, challenge, call it fraud.

PAUL GIGOT: You know, John Kerry did not support that effort in the Senate, and so I'd give him a tony on this one for statesmanship. Thanks, Dan.

The Palestinian election campaign to replace Yassir Arafat is winding down to Sunday's election, and Rob Pollock sees positive signs in this and other progress toward democracy. Rob?

ROB POLLOCK: Oh yeah, I'd like to give a tony to an old concept called democracy and to everybody who is working to extend its frontiers to the Middle East. I mean, on Sunday we have the Palestinian elections, later in the month we have Iraq. And one person who deserves special credit here is President Bush, who put this right at the center of his agenda in the aftermath of 9/11 and endured a lot of ridicule for that. I mean, there's a lot of people who think that the Arabs aren't capable of governing themselves and therefore we ought to just deal with the local strongman. But people said the same things about the Asians and about Catholic countries before that. And I think we should all be hoping that this Sunday is the beginning of the pessimists being proved wrong about the Arabs as well.

PAUL GIGOT: You know, I lived in Asia when it was said that Confucian values couldn't tolerate democracy. Now we have democracies in South Korea, Taiwan and other places. And let's hope it happens in the Middle East. Thanks, Rob.

And finally, speaking of democracy, Kim Strassel has mixed feelings about the latest lawsuit against reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in school. Kim?

KIM STRASSEL: Well, some people might remember Michael Newdow, who was the father who sued to have the words "under God" removed from the Pledge of Allegiance. And the Court threw it out on a technicality, because he didn't have custody of his child. But this week, he and a number of other parents have sued again. Now, I love the Pledge of Allegiance and don't believe, along with most Americans, that there's a constitutional issue. But that being said, courts do exist to give us guidance on these questions. And what the Court did last year was a pretty major cop out. So a very reluctant tony to Mr. Newdow and his friends for filing this again. And my sincere hope that he is in the court room gritting his teeth when the Marshall opens the session with the tradition words, "God save the United States and this court."

PAUL GIGOT: The gift that keeps on giving to journalists, Michael Newdow. Thanks, Kim. That's it for this edition of THE JOURNAL EDITORIAL REPORT. Thank you from all of us. We hope you'll join us again next week.