The Spectacle Blog

DeLay DeToast?

By on 1.6.06 | 1:56PM

We're hearing that the House Republican Caucus may have at least partial closure to the Tom DeLay drama by Monday morning, perhaps sooner depending on how hot the phone lines get over the next 36 hours.

By then, Republicans will have have pulled together the requisite 50 members formally requesting an election for leadership posts.

The petition drive is not being driven by senior members of the caucus who might also be candidates for leadership positions, we are told. Rather, it is the tier of Republicans just below them that is driving this train. At least two regional whips are said to be involved in the lobbying to pull together the "Gang of 50."

As we reported before Christmas, GOP House leaders meeting on St. Michael's Island after Thanksgiving anticipated such a petition would be forwarded to the caucus after the holidays, particularly if the Texas courts didn't clarify Leader DeLay's legal predicament any further.

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Re: Wouldn’t It Be Great

By on 1.6.06 | 1:19PM

That NYT write-up is a joke. Notice how they deep they buried the positive comments. And the lead is that Colin Powell "said nothing -- a silence that spoke volumes to many in the White House on Thursday morning." That was the most important thing about the meeting? Really?

Maybe it's the Bushies' fault for failing to emphasize that nearly everyone in that room more or less agrees with their Iraq policy -- none are calling for an instant pull-out, to my knowledge. Certainly Eagleburger, Baker, Schlesinger, Shultz, Laird, Carlucci, and McNamara back the war and (I think) have from the begining; probably Haig, Perry, and Cohen, too. Even Albright's criticism wasn't really of Iraq per se, more of a generic partisan foreign policy brickbat.

I notice that Caspar Weinberger was among those who couldn't make it. I was wondering if he'd be there, since word is he and and several of the people in that room haven't been on speaking terms since his 1996 book The Next War was published.

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Leahy’s Hit Squad

By on 1.6.06 | 1:01PM

Talk about a motley crew that the Democrats have lined up to attack Judge Samuel Alito.

Powerline hits Leahy on the inclusion of Stephen Dujack on one of the panels (according to Leahy's list, the final panel). Dujack is considered even in some left-wing circles a bit a gadfly. He is expected to attack Alito for his purported activities as a member of Concerned Alumni of Princeton.

We've been hearing for weeks that Leahy staffers have been pressuring the Washington Post and New York to write about CAP and Alito, claiming they had "explosive" evidence. It isn't clear that anyone is biting. But clearly, Leahy thinks Dujack will impress.

The real fireworks should play out in panel three, which features attorney Fred Gray (famous for serving as a legal counsel to Rosa Parks), Kate Michelman (supporter of the slaughter of innocent lives), and Ronald Sullivan, a law professor at Yale.

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Wouldn’t It Be Great…

By on 1.6.06 | 12:28PM

... If Bush, having gathered previous secretaries of state and defense, had Madeline Albright arrested?

His predecessor, Madeleine K. Albright, a bit stirred up after hearing an exceedingly upbeat 40-minute briefing to 13 former secretaries of state and defense about how well things are going in Iraq, asked President Bush whether, with the war "taking up all the energy" of his foreign policy team, he had let the nuclear programs in Iran and North Korea spin out of control and allowed Latin America and China policy suffer by neglect.

Maybe he could have thrown in the journalist too. "Exceedingly upbeat"? You mean they didn't have a death count marquee along the bottom of the video feed that presented the Iraqi ambassador?
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Sharon Update

By on 1.6.06 | 11:19AM

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.

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Re: Rain Dance

By on 1.6.06 | 10:40AM

The ever-prolific super-lawyer Bob Bauer terms the returning of campaign contributions from tainted sources "the Ritual of the Refund... a strange act of public disassocation -- a shunning."

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Rain Dance Produces Windfall

By on 1.6.06 | 9:50AM

The New York Times hiring policy needs to be clarified. A reporter realizes that Abramoff-related campaign contributions are now being returned to Native tribes and charities as politicians are trying to distance themselves from the "Republican" lobbyist.

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Tapping Alito

By on 1.6.06 | 9:23AM

That Ted Kennedy can be so cheeky. A Washington Times story indicates that Alito is going to have to face the wiretap issue in his confirmation hearings, and here's an excerpt.

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Girly Governor

By on 1.6.06 | 8:47AM

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?

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