Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Congress stumbles, and Bush reminds


Kadima (which means “At least we’re not Bibi” in Hebrew) wins the Israeli elections, in the sense that the Kadima party, itself an uneasy coalition, will lead an uneasy, unstable coalition government. Acting- and future-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is talking about setting permanent Israeli borders, unilaterally or otherwise. “We are ready to compromise, to give up parts of the beloved Land of Israel... and evacuate, under great pain, Jews living there, in order to create the conditions that will enable you to fulfil your dream and live alongside us.” Isn’t that sweet of him, giving up parts of the beloved occupied Palestine Land of Israel like that? But the Palestinians must “accept only part of their dream.”

Speaking of dreams, I just took a nap and dreamed that I was talking on the phone to my mother, looked out the window and noticed that my car had been stolen. When I woke up, I said, Whew, you could tell that was just a dream because no one would want to steal my car. Boy what a... relief.

Hamdan v. Rumsfeld keeps getting wackier. This is the case that Scalia did not recuse himself from after saying in advance that the position of the Hamdan side was “crazy.” And it’s the case where Senators Lindsey Graham and Jon Kyl told the Court that it should interpret Congress’s intentions in passing the egregious Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 based on a conversation between the two of them that they intended the justices to think occurred on the Senate floor before the vote, but which did not. And it’s the case in which the US Solicitor General today told the Court that it was possible and legitimate and legally binding for Congress to have suspended habeas corpus unconsciously, to have “sort of stumble[d] on a suspension of the Writ.” Possibly Congress all took Ambien and ate the Bill of Rights in their sleep.

Funniest headline for a piece of WaPo so-called analysis: “[Andy] Card’s Departure Seen as a Sign President Hears Words of Critics.” Which is peculiar, because Bush once said that he never reads newspapers, the filter, he gets all the news he needs from Condi Rice and Andy Card. Anyway, Bush used the same search process to replace Card that he used to pick Harriet Miers for the Supreme Court, and chose Joshua Bolten. The best line on that is by John Dickerson at Slate, “[Bush has] defined ‘the bolten’ as a new unit of Washington measurement. It is the smallest staff change possible short of doing nothing at all.”

Bush says of his next (sigh) speech on Iraq, “I’ll remind the people we’re not going to lose our nerve.”

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