Thursday, March 31, 2005


- To "Blog for Darfur": On Tuesday, the UN Security Council passed a US-drafted resolution banning "travel by individuals who are deemed guilty of offenses and freezes their assets. It also forbids the Sudanese government in Khartoum from conducting offensive military flights into Darfur and from sending military equipment there without first notifying the Security Council." The vote was 12-0, with China, Algeria, and Russia abstaining. A provision that would have banned Sudanese oil exports was pulled after the Chinese threatened a veto.

- To Bolton from the Blue: Steve Clemons now has a link to the full text of the letter signed by 59 former diplomats opposing Bolton's nomination. Maura Moynihan, daughter of late senator and UN ambassador Daniel Daniel Moynihan had an article Wednesday in Newsday taking on those who have tried to compare John Bolton with her father. Some operative phrases: "Moynihan sought to restore integrity to the UN, not to dismantle the institution created by the Allies after the defeat of Hitler and the Axis powers" and "Should Bolton become ambassador to the United Nations, I hope that he might study the words and teachings of his predecessor and consider the dangers of abandoning the laws and alliances that have sustained our nation so well for so long."

- To Grab Bag: Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) announced Wednesday that he will not challenge Senator Lincoln Chafee next year. Kennedy stated that he had decided he could better serve his constituents by remaining in the House. He has also been caring for his mother after she suffered an accident in Boston. So far this leaves only RI Secretary of State Matt Brown as a declared Democratic candidate against Chafee.

- To The Three-Ring Schiavo Circus: Yet another circuit court decision - yet another defeat for Ms. Schiavo's parents. This ruling by the 11th Circuit was remarkable for some of the language: in a majority opinion as one of the nine judges voting to deny the parents' petition, Stanley F. Birch Jr. took some pretty good shots at Congress and President Bush for getting involved. "Despite sincere and altruistic motivations, the legislative and executive branches of our government have acted in a manner demonstrably at odds with our Founding Fathers' blueprint for the governance of a free people — our Constitution," Birch wrote, charging that the recent law passed by Congress violates at least four different separation of powers principles and is therefore unconstitutional.

- To Advice from 'Across the Pond': People for the American Way on Wednesday released a new television advertisement featuring Jimmy Stewart in his role as "Mr. Smith" from the classic political movie. The ad is being targeted at seven Republican senators currently pegged as 'undecided' on the nuclear option: Warner, Lugar, McCain, Hagel, Sununu, Smith, and Collins. Along with Jefferson Smith, it also features Ted Norini, a self-described Republican urging the protection of the filibuster. The ad has already gotten a bit of press from MSNBC, CBS, and other outlets. The nuclear option may be deployed as early as next week, so stay tuned.


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