The Spectacle Blog
Source in Jerusalem reports a breakaway clique of West Bank settlers calling themselves the Judean Authority is challenging the authority of the Israeli Government to evict them from their homes and turn over their homesteaded land to the terrorists called the Palestinian Authority. The settlement that houses these vigorous rebels is approximately 40 minutes from Jerusalem in the barren rolling hills of what is called Judea. The Israeli police have already identified the clique as hostile and led a raid on the settlement's guard dog training kennel last weekend in order to intimidate the hotheads. However in the way of the world when the state turns its brute force against its own patriots, the nascent Judean Authority grows stronger as the state becomes ridiculous in its fears of dissidents. The leadership crisis in Jerusalem, with no Sharon successor in sight, means there is rich ground for mischief on the basis of the settlements.
Just in on the fax: Family Research Council is launching a pro-Alito/pressure-Chafee ad campaign in Rhode Island (a best buy political move since Providence-New Bedford market blankets the state), heavily playing the Italian Catholic card. (Brief tangent: it's a wondrous sight to see a predominantly evangelical group, Catholic employees aside, going this route.) Read the text here. Though Rhode Island is heavily Democratic, at 63 percent it's also the most Catholic state in the country -- the one state this tactic may work.
So Rep. Jeff Flake (AZ) gets the ball rolling to push Rep. Tom DeLay out the door, but he's unhappy with the chaos he created. Both Flake and his colleague, New Hampshire Rep. Charlie Bass, are now circulating a "Dear Colleague" letter chastising their fellow Republican caucus members for so aggressively endorsing and campaigning for open, or potentially open, positions.
To be sure, their broader message -- that publicizing support undercuts the caucus's ability to force real change and reform -- is the right one. But shouldn't this have been something they tried to impart before they blew the whole thing up on Friday?
As we reported this morning, Rep. Mike Rogers (MI) this afternoon circulated a "Dear Colleague" letter announcing that he is challenging Rep. Eric Cantor for the Republican Whip position.
Flipping through his campaign booklet, "A Majority That Matters," I have my doubts. He tosses about keywords such as trust and vision. He has a road map for compiling a vision.
More substantially, he correctly diagnoses the power of the budgetary process as part of the Abramoff problem. His solution is vague and not compelling:
We need to get our arms around the power that our budget represents. We need to distinguish, for example, between legitimate earmarks with a clear local need and those for which the merits are less well demonstrated.
Congressman, I'll help you get your arms around it: It's too much. The government's too big. Any significant reform of the House, the Republican Party, or the "process" must involve a firm commitment to smaller government.
So I searched the document for the word "spending." The results were not encouraging. It's mentioned seven times:
News from Mordor: Rising star Kazemi, warlord of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Council, died along with his intelligence chief in the crash of a small aircraft in bad weather near Tehran Airport.
Significance? Kazemi and his staff were intimates of the firebrand President Ahmadinejad, who is a veteran op for the IRGC. Think of the two as Stalin and Trotsky to the demi-Lenin in Ayatollah Khamenei. Now Trotsky is dead, by accident, by design -- no matter, the result will be a vacuum in power that Ahmadinejad will fill with Semtex.
At the same time, the IRGC is the epicenter and funding authority of asymmetrical warfare on the planet, sometimes call state-sponsored terrorism. Al Q and HizbAllah both had good relations with Kazemi and his now charred staff. The bad-bad boys will take it hard that their off-budget emergency requests now go to new taloned-hands.
Watch for more concentration of toadies in the days ahead, all power to the mouth of Mordor, Ahmadinejad, who shows talent to climb to the role of the 21st century's first great Sauron malevolence.
Are you a war criminal concerned about your prospects for decent housing when awaiting trial? Have you been kept up at nights in a cold sweat, not thinking about the blood on your hands but whether your roommate will snore, your beds bunked, or internet access abridged?
Well, keep going to that gym and working out, because you're going to have to have the spirit to win! I don't mean win the trial (ha!), but win in indicted war criminal volleyball! Slate details how accomodating the UN is with its mixed nuts:
Poor judge Alito. Can you imagine having to sit through a day of Dick Durbin and Chuck Schumer without responding? I think he's learned the same skill I did in the second year of law school. If you sleep with your eyes open, you can endure almost anything.
I'll be subbing for Mark again today on AM 600 KOGO, San Diego. Hope you can catch it. I'm going to take on Ralph Neas on Alito.