The Spectacle Blog
Someone needs to check on Sen. Trent Lott's medication, or perhaps he's spending too much herding all those cats he wrote about. Either way, his comments regarding the "Black Site Scandal" leaks -- that a Republican Senator was the source because the GOP Senate caucus had discussed the prisons during their weekly closed-door lunch -- are just goofy.
First of all, Senator McCain says no such discussion took place.
Second, the luncheon was on a Tuesday, and the Washington Post story ran the next day. No slight to Dana Priest, but given the content and context of the story she reported, there was no way she turned it around on an eight-hour deadline. Priest had clearly been working and coordinating efforts with Human Rights Watch for some time in digging up the story.
And if a Republican did do the leaking? So what? Regardless of party, whoever leaked deserves to take the heat. This is about our nation's saftety and security. You don't play political games with it.
Folks should keep an eye out on the Senate Finance Committee meeting today. Some issues critical to fiscal conservatives are in play, but with all the chatter about elections and Alito, perhaps these are falling through the cracks.
So argues the Wall Street Journal editorial board today (sub. req'd):
In Virginia, Democrat Tim Kaine's defeat of Republican Jerry Kilgore shows what happens when the GOP loses credibility on taxes. Virginia is a state that Mr. Bush twice carried comfortably. But the GOP divided over Democratic Governor Mark Warner's record tax increase last year, and Mr. Kilgore never said he'd repeal it. He tried to straddle the difference between business lobbies who liked more money for roads and the rank-and-file who hated giving more to the government. The result was that there was little real difference between the candidates on fiscal issues -- and Republicans lose those campaigns nearly every time.
That's the impression one gets from newly reelected Virginia Del. Dave Albo in the Washington Times' Kilgore-Bush post-mortem.
"We know that George Bush is just killing us," said Delegate David B. Albo, a Republican who narrowly defeated his Democratic challenger in Fairfax County. "His popularity just brought the ticket down. There's no other way to explain it."
Well, it must not be that bad, Mr. Albo. The GOP's hold on the House of Delegates only slipped by one seat.
Do you sometimes get the sense that when it comes to politics, the adage "your view is as good as mine" holds true most every time? Consider two expert responses to Tuesday's Virginia election. Robert Novak says it was a disaster for Bush. Fred Barnes says it was nothing of the sort. Whom to believe? Over the years Barnes has said more than once that Novak is the finest political reporter in the business. Then again I've never known Barnes ever to be wrong. I can only draw one conclusion: Both men are right.
The single-most salient feature of today's grilling of oil company executives is a number: 93 percent. It was stated by Exxon's Lee Raymond as the percentage of Exxon Stations run by local managers who set their own prices. So much for those who insist it ain't the local gouger, but rather some far away company fellow who accounts for the mysterious outrage.
French National Party leader Jean-Marie Le Pen is colorful person as Dennis Kucinich, Cindy Sheehan, or Cheech or Chong might be called colorful. He is best known for saying, "I am like Zorro...Everyone knows he exists, everyone believes he exists, but nobody has ever seen him."
Now, Monseiur Zorro has opined on the riots that have torn up so many French cities. Quoth he to the AP, the recent violence is "just the start" of conflicts caused by "massive immigration from countries of the Third World that is threatening not just France but the whole continent." Le Pen said people with immigrant backgrounds who commit crimes should be stripped of their French nationality and sent "back to their country of origin." Hmm. Maybe he's not entirely wacky. At least in comparison to the crowd of Chirac, Dominique, and Mr. Bean.