In a surprise move that angered the White House and delighted nuclear weapons fans, Senate Minority Whip Jon “The License Plate” Kyl has announced that he will block a vote on the New Start treaty during the lame duck session of Congress. The treaty would have capped US and Russian nuclear arsenals and restored inspections to both countries, which lapsed last year for the first time since the Cold War. It was also widely regarded as an important step in improving relations with Russia, which country happens to hold a lot of influence over A) transport routes to Afghanistan and B) the ongoing effort to keep Iran* from developing nuclear weapons. Those sound like two compelling American interests, right there, but Kyl is concerned that the whole thing might be a little rushed. After months of negotiations, he announced that he would block cloture, “given the combination of other work Congress must do and the complex and unresolved issues related to Start and modernization.”
Thus far, Combat! blog has not mentioned the crazy immigration law that the great state of Arizona passed in April, in part because that state has already been fully captured and in part because there seemed to be only one side to the coin. Nobody thinks that random* proof-of-citizenship checks are a good idea. Nobody thinks that letting private citizens** sue cops for not performing said checks is a good idea. Like a novel about an old racist woman*** and a black orderly who become unlikely friends in a nursing home, the discussion was boring because no sensible person would put himself on the other side. Enter Paul Theroux. The travel writer is not a sensible person, and he’d be happy to explain to you why the Arizona law is no big deal. He even brought his own straw man. And there, on the horizon like a majestic ship, or maybe a jet ski detached from a much better ship, looms Meghan McCain, who argues that people should stop being angry at Arizonans. It’s straw man versus non sequitur, and only the old and/or politically well-connected will survive.