WHO’S HOT?….WHO’S NOT?….It looks like the administration has decided to make some changes to the in-group in Iraq:

At the top of the list of those likely to be jettisoned is Ahmed Chalabi, a Shiite politician who for years was a favorite of the Pentagon and the office of Vice President Cheney, and who was once expected to assume a powerful role after the ouster of Saddam Hussein, U.S. officials acknowledged.

Chalabi has increasingly alienated the Bush administration, including President Bush, in recent months, U.S. officials said. He generated anger in Washington yesterday when he said a new U.S. plan to allow some former officials of Hussein’s ruling Baath Party and military to return to office is the equivalent of returning Nazis to power in Germany after World War II.

….Washington is also seriously considering cutting off the $340,000 monthly stipend to Chalabi’s party, the Iraqi National Congress, according to a senior administration official familiar with the discussions. This would be a major change, because the INC has received millions of dollars in U.S. aid over the past decade as the primary vehicle for supporting the Iraqi opposition.

It’s too bad this is only happening because Chalabi has criticized the administration lately, but any port in a storm, I suppose ? and we all know what happens to people who don’t provide complete and undying fealty to the House of Bush. In any case, it couldn’t happen to a more deserving guy.

A more substantive analysis is available from Chalabi stalker-in-chief Josh Marshall.

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