Officially U.S. government officials over at the State Department or the White House aren't saying anything different from what Israeli officials are saying about the status of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. But unofficially, the White House is making plans for possible events in Jerusalem mid-week, next week. A source close to the situation confirmed chatter elsewhere this morning that the White House doesn't expect any official word on Sharon's status until after the Sabbath concludes. This, coincidentally... or not, is also around the time that Sharon's induced coma might be reversed.
The Spectacle Blog
So much for challenging California's power bases as "girly men." New, in 2006, it's the sensitive, repentent Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The people, who always have the last word, sent a clear message: Cut the warfare, cool the rhetoric, find common ground and fix the problems together. To my fellow Californians I say -- message received.
Translation: Dear, I've changed. Really! Just come back home and it'll all be fine.
And kissing and making up costs more than $220 billion over the next ten years -- a 20% annual budget increase. There's nothing like a principled governing philosophy, eh?
If it already isn't taking place, there is a conference call scheduled this morning among Senate Democrats to discuss their Alito hearings strategy. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid was said by aides to be livid that staff went public yesterday with his party's plans for a one-week delay. We should start hearing about the call's content by lunchtime.
As we reported yesterday, the one week delay is one of several strategies Reid is considering deploying in the Alito fight. In the past couple of days Reid has spoken with DNC chair Howard Dean, as well as other outside Democratic activists, and was told that they wanted a fight. That they had raised more than $15 million to fight Supreme Court nominations, and that they were ready to spend it over the next month.
Not surprisingly, Sen. Patrick Leahy has no recall of promising his colleague Sen. Arlen Specter that he will play nice during the confirmation process.
Sources inside the Judiciary Committee and Democratic Senate leadership say that the one week carryover in the vote on Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito is something that was put forward by Sen. Harry Reid and his staff, in consultation with Democrats both inside and outside the Senate. Presumably this means Sen. Dick Durbin and Howie Dean over at the DNC.
Democrats and their operatives insist that "shoes are going to drop" about Alito and the nomination in the next couple of days. From our media contacts, we aren't hearing about anything earthshaking that anyone is working on. There just isn't anything out there. The man apparently is what he has appeared to be: authentic, bright, and more than competent.