Lunchtime repast reading:
1. Bad Nostalgia. OpinionJournal has a good piece on how and why the Russian backsliding on democracy became possible.
The re-Sovietization of Russia is possible because when the Soviet Union fell, the new Russian state did not break irrevocably with its communist heritage. To do this, it needed to define the communist regime as criminal and the Soviet period as illegitimate; open the archives, including the list of informers; and find all mass burial grounds and execution sites. None of this was done and the consequences are being felt today.
Stoking nationalism and the memory of the Great Soviet Union comes as second nature to Putin who realizes that Russia reached the pinnacle of its power during the Soviet regime where he was, of all things, a senior KGB operative.
2. Discipline. Lugar says Bolton nomination will pass on a party-line vote this week (Thursday). Hope he administered a good beating to Voinovich.
3. No discipline. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-Ne) on judicial confirmations:
''You can't give up a minority rights tool in the interest of the country, like the filibuster," he said.
That's very helpful Senator. A casual reader would think, Oh the Republicans are trying to do away with the filibuster. Nothing could be further from the truth. Care to poll your constituency, Chuck? Or maybe he just can't stand Bill Frist because his perceived weakness on this is killing him as a potential candidate in 2008.
4. Jay Nordlinger, as always. Two bits from his Impromptus today:
I heard our senior editor David Pryce-Jones say something chillingly interesting, about the creepiest Europeans, who are appallingly numerous. In the 1930s, they shouted, “Jews to Palestine!” Now, they shout (in effect), “Jews out of Palestine!” You can’t win with these people: You just have to beat them, or survive despite them.
On to something not so light. You know how Air America, or whatever it’s called, recently joked about killing the president? I had a flashback to John Kerry, that statesman. Sometime after the ’88 election, he said, “Somebody told me the other day that the Secret Service has orders that if George Bush is shot, they’re to shoot Quayle.”
5. Global warming. This one is near and dear to the Monk's heart. Canadian scientists have produced a documentary, on their own nickel, disputing the claims of the Kyoto conference. Except they can't get Canadian television to broadcast it.