Larry Korb and I will go at it again. The CIA mess and the Hayden confirmation. About 1730 EDT on CNBC. See ya there.
The Spectacle Blog
Just got the opening statement Gen. Hayden will deliver in his confirmation hearing today. As with any confirmation statement, it's cautious. And it isn't something that will discomfit the CIA bureaucrats. Money quotes:
Over the past few years, the Intelligence Community and CIA have taken an inordinate number of hits, some of them fair, many of them not. Yes, there have been failures, but there also have been many great successes.
...Internally, I would regard it as a leading part of my job to affirm and strengthen the excellence and pride of CIA's workforce.
This is troubling on any number of levels. Have the failures been balanced by the successes? Hard to see how. "Strenghen the excellence and pride"? How about raising the standard of excellence?
Hayden will be confirmed. But he seems a very unlikely candidate to clean out the Langley version of the Augean Stables.
Quin: You're entirely right. Jeff Sessions is terrific, keeps turning up at the right place with the right ideas. Gotta keep an eye on him.
And what will tomorrow bring? Gen. Hayden has his day in the Senate, the Intel staffs and members are probably already leaking what they were briefed on today to the NY Times, and the CIA is getting ready to welcome in a new boss who will defend the bureaucrats' turf against all comers. You think it's bad now? Just wait'll tomorrow.
Aw, c'mon, if they find Jimmy Hoffa, we'll start to run out of mysteries. Next thing you know, Saquatch will come out of hiding and the unicorns will all emergy from the shadows. And one day they'll even find girls that disappear in Aruba. Then again, that's a sad story that long ago ought to have been solved already.
Captain's Quarters reports that Grover Norquist has a really interesting idea to put term limits on membership on the Appropriations Committees in Congress. At first glance, it makes sense. It probably will make sense no matter how many glances one gives it. As a former staffer of the House Approps Committee, I tentatively approve. Go, Grover!
Wow -- Jed will be pleased. Alabama's Jeff Sessions (a great guy, by the way) was just successful in getting a border fence through the Senate. This is a bit of a surprise (that it passed so easily), but it should mollify conservatives at least a bit. He noted that good fences make good neighbors. That wisdom is usually correct. Some say it will always be thus.
Ronald Bailey of Reason turns his able scientific eye on a few of the apocalyptic claims in the new Al Gore movie, An Inconvenient Truth, putting Bailey somewhat at odds with the film's tagline, "Nothing is scarier than the truth." (And, no, this frightfest isn't a new adaptation of Love Story starring Al and Tipper. It's a movie about global warming, which, incidentally, is one thing Gore is proud to say he didn't invent.)
Everyone agrees that Tony Snow is one of the nicest people in public life. But just to remind him who's boss, the Washington Post today, alongside Dana Milbank's useless story on yesterday's first official televised briefing, runs three of the most hideous photographs it could concoct of Snow in action. You can get a sampling of at least one of them here. Put three of those in a row, and the effect is purposely, vilely grotesque.
Read all about it: Pennsylvania's liberal Republican leadership suffered serious losses in primaries yesterday, in a backlash against those who voted themselves unconstitutional pay hikes last year. Among the losers: Senate Majority Leader David J. "Chip" Brightbill, Senate President Pro Tempore Bob Jubelirer, and 12 House members.
Jubelirer denies that the pay hike was to blame. He said, "It's everything," including the Iraq war, gas prices, and immigration. I'm going to go out on a limb and say politics are a bit more local than that.