Sunday, May 15


Little Russ actually called the Republican threat to change the rules of filibuster "the nuclear option."

David Broder says the senior senators don't want to see the Senate change, it's the youngsters, especially those who've come over from the House, who are anxious to see this go ahead. He says the pressures on them from outside groups, and the White House, are enormous. So he imagines that if the Dems filibuster, the Rethugs will vote for the rules change.

On Bolton: BBC's Katty Kay reflected that the foreign press feels the Bolton nomination sends a message from Bush. "Why," she says they ask, "would Bush deliberately choose someone so hostile to the world community, international law and the U.N. itself?" She speculates that a Bolton confirmation (which she and the rest of the panel expect) will foster more anti-Americanism. Broder thinks a 52-48 vote on Bolton will send a message to Bush that there are limits to how far he can push the Senate, and hopes Bush will heed the message.

Little Russ played excerpts from the Tom DeLay tribute dinner. WSJ's Paul Gigot says the Rethugs have forgotten why they were sent to the House, to sweep it clean. It was "very embarrassing" when they tried to change the ethics rules.

The panel got giggles about the "odd couples," Bush I and Bill Clinton, Hillary and Newt. Katty Kay thinks it's all upside for Hillary but problematic for Newt's wingnut followers. Broder points out that this isn't the first time Newt has shown willingness to work with the Dems when he cares about the issue. WaPo's Gene Robinson states that this is probably more a matter of each borrowing each other's "star power."

Re Tony Blair's recent re-election, Katty Kay reports that the only question in Britain is not if, but when Blair will step aside. The party has won, they've just got to find another leader.


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