Our pre-Oscar show looks at the right-wing campaign against Clint Eastwood, or “How Dirty Harry became a Commie”: New York Times columnist FRANK RICH explains.

Plus a Baghdad update from JUAN COLE: he says Iraq “continues to be a godawful mess, with no real security on the major roads.” As for the elections, “they have not had a significant impact on the guerrilla war.” Juan writes the famous Iraq blog “Informed Comment.”

and an update on Israel and Palestine from AMY WILENTZ. The former New Yorker correspondent in Jerusalem also wrote a novel about Palestinians and Israelis, Martyrs’ Crossing; it won an American Academy of Arts and Letters Prize. Her interview with Peace Now founder and novelist Amos Oz appeared recently in The Nation.

Plus Your Minnesota Moment: AL FRANKEN decided NOT to run for Senator in Minnesota in 2006 — but still might challenge Norm Coleman in 2008.

R.I.P. HUNTER THOMPSON, a fabulous writer and reporter. He described Richard Nixon as “a Born Loser . . . the predatory shyster who turns into something unspeakable, full of claws and of bleeding string-warts, on nights when the moon comes too close.” (Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail)