Fortunately, no. But don't be impatient. Mondays always come, usually too soon. Before we finish our coffee, we'll be back in the quagMiers of Harriett's nomination. By mid-day, we'll be counting Iraqi votes on fingers and toes, and within another day or two wishing whatever Iraqi version of Lance Ito is presiding over Saddam's trial would restore order sufficiently for reporters to figure out just what in blazes the prosecutor said in his opening statement. But please don't mix the Saddam files with the Rove/ Libby/Miller/Wilson/Plame case or the transcript from today's Meet the Press. It wouldn't do at all to shuffle the Team Clinton stories trashing Louis Freeh with the NYT coverage trashing the Bush White House. Well, okay, maybe it would. This is Gypsy Curse Week: we live in interesting times. Get a good night's rest. You're gonna need it.
The Spectacle Blog
Time is reporting what we were hearing -- and reporting -- from White House sources last week ... that the White House was shifting the Miers nomination fight away from her personality and focusing on her career.
Problem is, there isn't much the White House wants to discuss there. Word inside 1600 is that looking over court filings Miers was responsible in pulling together prior to her stint in public service -- and which clients and others were willing to release -- there isn't much the White House feels comfortable letting out into the public view. "It's pretty dim stuff," says one White House vetter. "There's some paper, but not a lot. It's frustrating."
More from our man in the Iraqi capital, John Connly Walsh:
It is early Sunday morning in Baghdad. The Referendum took place yesterday and all the Iraqis I know are immensely proud of both the turnout, and the peaceful way it was conducted. My friend Ferras said to me this morning: "I hope George Bush is as proud of us as I am -- and I hope he TELLS us that!"
It is still very peaceful here this Sunday morning. However, jets have been roaring overhead non-stop all morning. They are always so high that I can't see them and, for some reason, they rarely leave contrails here. The direction of the sound makes it clear the planes are headed west. That is not surprising since that is the location of Anbar province and the Syrian border....
UPDATE: (6:08 p.m.) And now, a Sunday afternoon entry from John Walsh:
White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card is disputing our report from last Monday that he essentially railroaded his pick to the Supreme Court, Harriet Miers, through the selection process, and shouted down opposition to her from conservatives in staff meetings.
That's fine. Throughout this process our sources, as well as those of RedState, Bench Memos, and others, have proven consistently reliable in providing color and context to the innerworkings of the SCOTUS process. We'll trust our sources over those who are pushing the Miers nomination so hard any day.
Our man in Baghdad, John Connly Walsh, has just filed an eyewitness report on Referendum Day in Iraq. A sampling:
The polls closed literally a minute ago. The people in charge of security today must be letting out an immense and very long sigh of great relief!
Just as I finished typing that sentence all hell broke loose! Heavy machine gun fire, nonstop AK fire, all of it from less than 200 yards north of us. I raced up to the roof with my M-5 along with one of my colleagues who has been here twice as long as I have. All I could hear him say was: "This is much worse than right after the last election."
Read the piece in full here. It's already posted for Monday.
"During the Iraq elections last January there were 347 terrorist attacks on voters and polling places. Today there were 13." So reports Fox News, according to LA Daily News columnist Bridget Johnson's pseudonymous co-blogger "Dirty Harry."
For much more on the constitutional referendum, check out Jeff Garzik's Iraq Elections Newswire.
We now have empirical evidence of how long it takes the NYT to catch up to the facts. Last May 23, my Loose Canons column presented the ugly fact that Syria is, and has been since 2003, a sanctuary for terrorists killing Americans, coalition troops and Iraqis inside Iraq. The column called for covert and overt strikes into Syria to take out the terrorists in the places we knew them to be. Today, the NYT reports that, "Increasingly, officials say, Syria is to the Iraq war what Cambodia was in the Vietnam war: a sanctuary for fighters, money and supplies to flow over the border and, ultimately, a place for a shadow struggle. Five months lag time for the MSM? Not bad, all things considered.
In many ways, Grover Norquist, via his Washington power broker status and weekly center-right coalition meetings, is a chairman of the conservative movement. In the fiercest storms of internecine fighting, Norquist closely follows the 11th Commandment -- unless a Republican raises taxes, in which case all bets are off.
Apparently Norquist is headlining the Log Cabin Republicans' fundraiser tomorrow night. And boy, nothing gets social conservatives madder than a chairman of the conservative movement fraternizing with the intraparty enemy. The Family Research Council takes Norquist to task in its daily email today:
Brit Hume's interview of Vice President Cheney broadcast a little while ago was significant for two reasons. First, Hume asked several times, in several ways, why Cheney believes Harriet Miers has a conservative judicial philosophy. The veep dodged and ducked. Second, when given the opportunity to quash rumors that criticism of Miers came out of his office, Cheney ducked again. In this town, that's about the same as saying "yes, I criticized her." Miers is neither sunk nor high and dry.
The Miers hearings may begin on November 7. If she doesn't dazzle the committee with her scholarship, constitutional philosophy and wit -- which is possible, but seems unlikely -- her nomination will fail. The bar hasn't been set low for Miers. It has been set even higher than it was for John Roberts.
Stop the presses. Walter Cronkite, the most revered figure in American television news history, offers a solution to the Democratic Party's political difficulties in time for 2006. The idea is not to "concentrate on the Bush administration's failures" but to offer "alternative programs to fix" what is "wrong with the Republican agenda."
But how can the party "command the greatest public attention for its positive agenda"? Easy. "It could within weeks call an extraordinary midterm convention to draw up its platform."
There's goods news here for McCain fans too: "The convention would not need to be expensive." Indeed, "the delegates could be those who attended the 2004 convention. Their meeting would be open to the public and of course the press." Of course.
Uncle Walter has long been a player at political conventions. Remember 1980, when he was ready to broker a co-presidency deal between Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford?