Just in on the fax: Family Research Council is launching a pro-Alito/pressure-Chafee ad campaign in Rhode Island (a best buy political move since Providence-New Bedford market blankets the state), heavily playing the Italian Catholic card. (Brief tangent: it's a wondrous sight to see a predominantly evangelical group, Catholic employees aside, going this route.) Read the text here. Though Rhode Island is heavily Democratic, at 63 percent it's also the most Catholic state in the country -- the one state this tactic may work.
The Spectacle Blog
So Rep. Jeff Flake (AZ) gets the ball rolling to push Rep. Tom DeLay out the door, but he's unhappy with the chaos he created. Both Flake and his colleague, New Hampshire Rep. Charlie Bass, are now circulating a "Dear Colleague" letter chastising their fellow Republican caucus members for so aggressively endorsing and campaigning for open, or potentially open, positions.
To be sure, their broader message -- that publicizing support undercuts the caucus's ability to force real change and reform -- is the right one. But shouldn't this have been something they tried to impart before they blew the whole thing up on Friday?
As we reported this morning, Rep. Mike Rogers (MI) this afternoon circulated a "Dear Colleague" letter announcing that he is challenging Rep. Eric Cantor for the Republican Whip position.
Flipping through his campaign booklet, "A Majority That Matters," I have my doubts. He tosses about keywords such as trust and vision. He has a road map for compiling a vision.
More substantially, he correctly diagnoses the power of the budgetary process as part of the Abramoff problem. His solution is vague and not compelling:
We need to get our arms around the power that our budget represents. We need to distinguish, for example, between legitimate earmarks with a clear local need and those for which the merits are less well demonstrated.
Congressman, I'll help you get your arms around it: It's too much. The government's too big. Any significant reform of the House, the Republican Party, or the "process" must involve a firm commitment to smaller government.
So I searched the document for the word "spending." The results were not encouraging. It's mentioned seven times:
News from Mordor: Rising star Kazemi, warlord of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Council, died along with his intelligence chief in the crash of a small aircraft in bad weather near Tehran Airport.
Significance? Kazemi and his staff were intimates of the firebrand President Ahmadinejad, who is a veteran op for the IRGC. Think of the two as Stalin and Trotsky to the demi-Lenin in Ayatollah Khamenei. Now Trotsky is dead, by accident, by design -- no matter, the result will be a vacuum in power that Ahmadinejad will fill with Semtex.
At the same time, the IRGC is the epicenter and funding authority of asymmetrical warfare on the planet, sometimes call state-sponsored terrorism. Al Q and HizbAllah both had good relations with Kazemi and his now charred staff. The bad-bad boys will take it hard that their off-budget emergency requests now go to new taloned-hands.
Watch for more concentration of toadies in the days ahead, all power to the mouth of Mordor, Ahmadinejad, who shows talent to climb to the role of the 21st century's first great Sauron malevolence.
Are you a war criminal concerned about your prospects for decent housing when awaiting trial? Have you been kept up at nights in a cold sweat, not thinking about the blood on your hands but whether your roommate will snore, your beds bunked, or internet access abridged?
Well, keep going to that gym and working out, because you're going to have to have the spirit to win! I don't mean win the trial (ha!), but win in indicted war criminal volleyball! Slate details how accomodating the UN is with its mixed nuts:
Poor judge Alito. Can you imagine having to sit through a day of Dick Durbin and Chuck Schumer without responding? I think he's learned the same skill I did in the second year of law school. If you sleep with your eyes open, you can endure almost anything.
I'll be subbing for Mark again today on AM 600 KOGO, San Diego. Hope you can catch it. I'm going to take on Ralph Neas on Alito.
We're hearing that Republican Whip candidate Rep. Eric Cantor is endorsing Rep. Roy Blunt for House Republican Leader.
Word is the Pence decision to step aside isn't so much about support or lack there of. Rather, it's a matter of the Congressman doing what's best for the caucus. Reading between the lines: there is more afoot here than meets the eye.
Sen. Russ Feingold's biggest gripe with Judge Alito's integrity is the old yarn about his investment in Vanguard mutual funds. This accusation is already warmed over from the months of scrutiny of Alito's record: judges are encouraged to invest in mutual funds precisely because doing so avoids conflict of interests. Alito (rightly) didn't recuse himself from a case involving Vanguard because he's their customer, not an investor. Their success or failure in a case has no bearing on the worth of his investment in their funds.