From NYSun column today FRIDAY 28: addend confirm on SA-18s. What this all creates right now is an Iran that can and will continue to resupply Hezbollah on the Lebanon front with arms, ammunition, special forces, sophisticated logistics, an intelligence apparatus, and the long-range Katyushas and missiles that pepper Israel. Supply routes from Iran to Syria are not only air lanes but also overland trucking on tribal routes through Turkey and Kurdistan. Turkey knows this and knows this is tacit support of Hizbollah and Syria. More striking is that the Kurds in northern Iraq, ostensibly America's strongest ally in the liberation and democratization of Iraq, are openly cooperating with the Iranian military convoys. The Kurds have made a deal with Tehran that looks to the future and the establishment of an independent, oil-rich Kurdistan. The Kurds aim to drive out or massacre the minority Turkmen in their territory, and they know this will be a casus belli for Turkey. The Kurds will need Iran for an ally and also as a transportation artery to get their oil to market.
The Spectacle Blog
Once Wonkette, Ana Marie Cox now heads off into the MSM sunset (or is it -rise?) as Time's Washington Editor.
"You can only write three-sentence posts for so long before you start to crave the comparatively literary world of newsmagazines," she tells Reuters, poking the pajamanimals in the blogosphere prison whose secret jealousy will no doubt manifest in some nastiness.
The only question that remains, it would seem, is to what lofty perch Dave Weigel shall now ascend.
The juxtaposition of the following two stories would be pricelessly ironic if it weren't so dadgummed disgustingly sad. At the same time that Senate Dems are pulling low-blow shenanigans (the procedural move described really is cheap politics, petty and vindictive, which is why almost never used) -- even after apparent passage of the bill -- to block a bill merely protecting minor girls from forced or pressured abortions over state lines without parental knowledge, Gov. Corzine in New Jersey -- a state that does NOT require parental consent for minors' abortions -- is signing legislation that DOES require parental consent for the use of tanning beds. (Hat tip, by the way, to Southern Appeal for noting the tanning story.) What's wrong with this picture?
Quin: I think the problem goes beyond judges. It is the tired, worn out GOP leadership in both Houses of Congress. They do not seem to understand (or they don't care) that issues like tax cuts, spending cuts, and judges are ones that fire up the base. Futhermore, there are some good health care bills that are languishing, that could attract some swing voters if Congress would pass them (or, they might attract some swing voters if at least the GOP would make a stink about them and then campaign on them in the Fall.)
Thank goodness Bill Frist is retiring. As for Dennis Hastert, I think a coup is in order.
Wow, today really is the day for home-run columns on judges. This piece by Sean Rushton at NRO is an absolute must-read. He really lays out the case for why judges are a political ace in the hole for Republicans if they only had sense enough to use the issue. Of course, asking Republican officials in DC to show good sense is like asking porpoises to swing from tree branches.
Robert Novak has an excellent column today on judicial confirmations. The White House won't push hard enough (or get its nominees to the Senate fast enough), the Senate GOP rank and file won't tell the leadership that it's a priority, and the leadership won't do quite enough (although Frist sort of/kind of intermittently "gets it") to push the rank and file to back any plans it (the leadership) has to make judges a priority. Sen. Graham and Sen. McCain (the latter more understandably, considering his heroic history) may have legitimate concerns about "torture" of detainees, but they are blaming lawyer Jim Haynes MISTAKENLY for supposedly (but not actually) advocating torture. And Graham's opposition to Haynes has risen (or fallen) to the level of asininity: arriving late for the hearing on Haynes, having his timeline and other facts wrong; in general, just being, to put it bluntly, a jerk. Meanwhile, Frist's reported decision not to have any more floor time for debate on judges before the election (which is still more than THREE MONTHS AWAY) is indefensible and pathetic.
There's a report out that Tour de France winner Floyd Landis tested positive for testosterone during the race. I knew that substance was prohibited in French government officials, but I wasn't aware they had banned it in American men. It's probably an obscure regulation put in force sometime around Christmas 1945.