Earlier today, I contacted Bill Frist's office to ask for an unqualified statement that would clearly state his intent to bring the Coburn/Obama bill, creating an Internet-based searchable database for the federal budget, to the Senate floor for a vote regardless of holds. Fifteen minutes ago, Senator Frist posted this to his blog:
I’m very encouraged to see that all one hundred Senators have now answered the blogosphere’s inquiries on the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act. Now is the time to act. In September, I will bring S. 2590 to the floor of the Senate for the vote it deserves.
You may be unaware that the Miss World pageant is coming up next month. The finale will be in Poland at the end of September; the Miss World web site is taking shape.
Normally, this would be a source of unalloyed pleasure. This year, though, politics has intruded. Last year's Miss England, Hammasa Kohistan, the first Muslim to be so honored, has expressed herself on the subject of terrorism:
The chairman of the Center of Organizations of Holocaust Survivors in Israel, Noach Flug, yesterday invited Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to visit Auschwitz as a guest of the International Auschwitz Committee.
Flug, himself a survivor of the camp, is one of the heads of the organization, some of whose members are non-Jewish former prisoners from Poland, Hungary, France, Great Britain and the U.S., among others.
In a letter, Flug wrote that ever since Ahmadinejad became president, "We have been closely following your appearances and racist statements and the fact that you are a serial Holocaust-denier."
Today was the deadline for Iran to halt it's enrichment of uranium and, big surprise, the IAEA reported today that that has not happened. Thus, Ambassador Bolton says it's time for the Security Council to proceed as promised and begin working to impose sanctions upon Iran.
Here's Bolton on Studio B talking about the next steps with Shep. You'll notice that he's pretty confident about what needs to be done but not very confident at all that it's going be.
I’m going to stop blogging this subject. I’ve written the same g-ddamned post 15 times now: Iran’s still enriching uranium, western diplomats are expressing “grave concerns,” the UN’s afraid it might have to act, Russia and China are hedging, Ahmadinejad says it’s their inalienable right, the Pentagon thinks they’re 10 years away from the bomb but they can’t be sure, etc etc. Then Sy Hersh puts out a piece in the New Yorker with 20 anonymous sources and Russert has him on Meet the Press to talk about it and a new round starts. Wash, rinse, repeat.
So here’s the latest wash. The deadline for Iran to stop enriching uranium passed this afternoon. The IAEA issued a new report today confirming, to the surprise of no one, that they’ve actually resumed enrichment within the past few days. And something else, too:
There's a loose thread to this "secret hold" story, and it bothers us.
By this morning, the dogged persistence of hundreds of bloggers and blogreaders garnered denials from 98 senators saying they did not hold up the Coburn/Obama spending transparency database bill. Only one senator, Ted "King of Pork" Stevens (R-AK), has admitted placing a hold on the bill.
But do the math -- you'll find that makes 99 senators. And Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) ain't one.
CBC economics correspondent Mike Hornbrook somehow got wind of the speculation on blogs that the greenbacks Hezbo’s been handing out in Lebanon might be counterfeit. Not so, says Hornbrook, in a comment left at Snapped Shot:
Gerry Daly points to an interesting new RT Strategies/Cook Political Report poll showing that, despite Rudi Giuliani being inarguably less conservative than John McCain on the key social issues, the former is more popular among likely Republican voters.
Key figures from the crosstabs [PDF] extracted below.
WASHINGTON — A giant cross in San Diego that's been contested for 17 years by an atheist became the property of the federal government Monday with President Bush's signature.
Supporters hope the legislation transferring the 29-foot Mt. Soledad cross and war memorial to the federal government will protect it for good. A series of court decisions have deemed the cross, built as a Korean War memorial, unconstitutional because it stands on public property.
Sounds like paranoid hyperventilating to me. If you want to cause mayhem -> even these authors still place someone on the ground with binoculars. And honestly. . . .once you have someone on the ground with binoculars, you don't need anything else.
Besides. . .reception of handheld GPS units on an airplane is dodgy at best even with the unit pasted to the window. And if you aren't at a window -> it won't happen.