The Spectacle Blog

Hearing an Opportunity

By on 5.5.06 | 4:09PM

Notwithstanding all the points I made in the two posts below, this new hearing for Kavanaugh may not be a terrible thing. First of all, word is so strong on the Hill that there is some sort of wink-and-nod agreement from the Democratic Seven NOT to filibuster Kavanaugh -- so strong that the first AP story actually said the pledge was specified in the letter written by the Demo Seven to Specter, before later stories dropped that incorrect claim -- that I'm assuming there must be something to it. One very solid source of mine in the Senate or Senate staff, very well placed, assured me flat-out that the deal for another hearing absolutely would not have been made if there weren't some VERY strong reason to believe, based on Member conversations, that a new hearing would make it easier for Kavanaugh to get confirmed rather than more difficult. Frankly, it sounds awfully fishy to me -- similar assurances sure seem to have been made and broken by the Dems in the past -- but the proof will be in the pudding.

Insight of the Day

By on 5.5.06 | 3:55PM

RE: Kennedy the younger's driving (and prescription drug? and drinking?) troubles, this from James Taranto's "Best of the Web" this afternoon:

Still, you have to wonder why these people don't just hire a driver. Surely they can afford it.
As they say at MasterCard, Priceless.

Re: Goss Out

By on 5.5.06 | 3:14PM

This is very bad news. Goss was on the road to reforming CIA. His resignation brings those reforms to a crashing halt. It threatens progress in cooperation of intelligence agencies. It leaves in charge the pre-Goss crowd, those who brought ius the WMD failure in Iraq, the Wilson/Plame nonsense, and the leaks of Mary McCarthy and the rest.

The Praetorians won. Castra Praetoria Langley rules, notwithstanding Negroponte or, for that matter, Bush.

Goss Out

By on 5.5.06 | 2:10PM

There are other shoes that will drop in light of the resignation of CIA Director Porter Goss. We're hearing that Goss was growing increasingly uncomfortable with his role in light of the elevated role of chief intelligence official Amb. John Negroponte. Recent leaks and ongoing black eyes resulting from relevations of deputy misbehavior, and Goss was taking all kinds of flack internally from career staff there. That he took flack from careerists should be taken as a badge of honor.

The Specter of Kavanaugh

By on 5.5.06 | 1:57PM

In explaining his decision to allow another hearing on the nomination of White House aide Brett Kavanaugh to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter had this to say: "I do not want to place the Senate in the position where we were a year ago this time when were having filibusters on the Democratic side and the Republican side was posing the constitutional, or nuclear option.I want to avoid that."

Today on Kudlow & Co.

By on 5.5.06 | 1:36PM

I'll be on with Larry on CNBC at about 1730 talking about the interview he's doing with the president immediately before. Should be a lot of fun. Hope you can catch it.

York Excuses Borking

By on 5.5.06 | 12:29PM

I hate to disagree with NRO's Byron York, who does great reporting on judges, but chalk this up as a very friendly and respectful, uh, alternative view to York's column today, a column that effectively downplays the Democrats' success at blocking judicial nominees and the GOP's failures to get judges confirmed. York keeps trumpeting the supposed 87% success rate for GOP nominees, but misses the most important context: That seemingly acceptable success rate is built mostly on the basis of confirmations for district court judges, while the confirmation rate for the far more important (in terms of national policy) appeals court judges is far worse. Only 43 circuit court judges have been confirmed in more than five years of the Bush presidency. Two of those were holdover Clinton nominees (including the at least semi-controversial Roger Gregory) who Bush renominated as a gesture of goodwill -- a gesture that clearly has gone unrewarded. Kuhl, Estrada, Saad, and Pickering were harrassed into withdrawing. Myers, Haynes, and apparently Boyle are in limbo.

House Leaders Standing Up

By on 5.5.06 | 11:51AM

In the one bright spot of the week on Capitol Hill, House Republicans, particularly Leader Boehner and Speaker Hastert, are calling the Senate's pork-laden emergency appropriations bill dead on arrival.

Strangely, some senators like Montana's Conrad Burns who call for "fiscal responsibility" still voted for the bill. It's not a contradiction if you can speak out both sides of your mouth, I suppose.

Take a Pill

By on 5.5.06 | 9:13AM

It's clear from the Capitol Hill Police reports, as well as what the officers are telling their colleagues and reporters, that there wasn't just Ambien involved in this mess. This story has the whiff of former President Clinton's infamous "I tripped over a rock down at Greg Norman's compound, nothing more, nothing less" excuse.

Kennedy's story line is that he was "returning to the House for a vote," an excuse he has used before in similar incidents with Capitol Hill Police. Now, there have been whispers about Kennedy's seeming inability to stay awake during House sessions and hearings, something you'd expect from his doddering, bloated father, not the young bloated son. And given the way some of these sessions go, who'd blame a fellow for popping a pill and taking a snooze? But still.

The Ambien Story

By on 5.5.06 | 7:30AM

I find it hard to believe nearly 24 hours after the incident.

Had Kennedy staggered home, gone to bed, immediately turned himself over to cops for further inspection in the morning, and issued this excuse, fine. But the late night statement reeks of a scramble to concoct a story.