Is it really as absurd as Jay Homnick argues that it is to tax an illegal product? Since sentencing is harsher for sale of drugs without the tax stamp, it's just the sort of protection money we all pay to the government to avoid loss of liberty. It's a raw deal, since as Homnick points out, drug dealers don't get quite the service from government that legitimate businesses get: You can't call the cops if your stash is stolen, and the courts won't enforce a contract with your supplier. But given that, as Homnick acknowleges, "there is a long-standing practice of not excluding illegal income or purchases" from taxation, it would seem that that ship has sailed.
The Spectacle Blog
Senate source identifies possible explanation for francophiliac junior senator leaving comfy Davos pillows and flinging his windsurfing muscles at dreary Washington (he arrives Dulles noontime) in winter to take charge of filibuster fight on Alito.
Westchester mom and junior senator from New York Clinton has quit the left in her latest version of Republican lite -- howls of body armor, Amtrak armored cars, nuke Iran now, billions for defense not one cent for tribulations.
This leaves Lefty without a dance partner in the run-up to the primaries in '08. So Kerry can grab Lefty's hand, whisper and grin, and Lefty (overweight, shy, vitriolic, but a cup of sugar underneath the Michael Moore fashion line) will pause and smile at Kerry.
Is it enough for Kerry to get an edge in Iowa and New Hampshire? Speculation into the miracle of the Dem logic is not my skill set.
As John Batchelor pointed out in the wee hours, Kerry's Swiss-based filibuster is an act of self-immolation. It's so bad that the New York Times, in its news coverage, characterizes it today as "quixotic" and awkward. The Washington Post reports Republicans razzing Kerry for beginning the stunt from overseas. Contrast that honesty to the Boston Globe, which comes off as a little too home town for its senators by omitting an mention of Kerry launching this filibuster from Davos or the chilly reception on Capitol Hill.
The Times also reports, as did Batchelor, that Kerry returns to Washington today. Should be an entertaining Friday in the Capital City.
What will the Saudis do with Hamas?
Watching the telephone calls between Riyadh and Gaza City: will Abdullah make congratulatory call to Mahmoud al-Zahar, Hamas boss of Gaza and now of the West Bank? Will Bandar make the call for his dad the crown prince Sultan? Hamas needs the Saudis now, as it must make a payroll of 176,000 in the next week, and the Euros are check rubberizing while the Americans are suddenly not available.
Hamas victory is an earthquake. Hamas needs money. What about Cairo? Withdraw this foolish question
Tehran, with the deepest pockets, is much overcommitted at home.
The Saudis are the default Daddy Warbucks. What will the Saudis do?
Trusted Senate source reports Francophiliac junior senator from Massachusetts enroute from Davos to Capitol to take the lead in a filibuster fight against Alito.
No ready explanation. Mysterious as French language. Democrats now moving into mystical phase of self-immolation.
Best source continues to report that Ahmadinejad is still missing, or disappeared, as of this hour. He has not been seen now for ninety-six to one hundred twenty hours. Statement read in his name on TV -- denouncing the Brits for the Ahvaz explosions -- is the first time since his ascendance that he has not appeared in person to breathe fire.
Speculation about missing president is in two directions:
1. Ahmadinejad is out of sight as he participates as president in a war game exercise. This is consistent with intelligence reporting Iranians' moving around air defense hardware, digging holes and trenches, testing apparatus that would be needed during an air raid from the Great Satan or the Junior Satan, otherwise known as the US and Israel. No name provided for war exercise.
2. Ahmadinejad is out of sight as he confers over the next step in the confrontation with the IAEA. This is consistent with the Iranian approach, which is to maneuver, betray, stall, manipulate, delay.