Well, the wars are still going on. A House resolution authorizing the Libya war for one year failed yesterday, but another House resolution actually defunding the Libya war also failed. Bob Novak, God bless his soul, might say that this is like Solomon solving the whose-baby-is-this problem by slicing the baby in half. It's possible that Mr. Obama has gamed Republicans into this corner, but that's nothing to celebrate. Those of us who live closer to the ground than our Beltway cloud-minders value human life on a pretty personal level, and we don't want Democrats playing with our lives, either. That's true even if the games they play actually hurt Republicans. Which, in the case of the Libya war, I can't even say for sure is true.
Meanwhile, closer to home, the Pennsylvania Senate apparently didn't vote on SB 1, the school-vouchers-we-can't-afford bill, yesterday. (The PA legislature website states that the last action on SB 1 took place on April 27, and also lists no Senate roll call votes for Friday, June 24.) The PA Senate comes back tomorrow in late afternoon, so maybe they're planning to pass it with no one watching. However, the Washington Independent reports that SB 1 "has been slow to win support from conservative senators who view the legislation as too costly." Which I'm extremely glad to hear! I admit I think so little of Republicans these days that I don't expect actual conservatism from them. Then again, the Pennsylvania House did pass HB 934, Daryl Metcalfe's nefarious voter ID bill, on Friday, despite its striking non-resemblance to anything a conservative might actually do. To think the man actually had the gall to say the bill addresses "significant voter fraud plaguing Pennsylvania's elections"! I guess he figures everyone watches Fox News, so he didn't have to prove that said "voter fraud" was happening, let alone "significant." The bill goes to the state Senate now; I'm sure I'll have new alerts fairly shortly.
After considerable input from good citizens like yourself, Interior Secretary Salazar says he now supports a 20-year ban on uranium mining claims in land surrounding the Grand Canyon. Of course, Mr. Salazar could change his mind, given that he hasn't actually imposed said 20-year ban, but merely extended a moratorium on new mining claims in the Grand Canyon area for six more months. Presumably we'll be back before those six months are up to give Mr. Salazar further advice as he requires it. Hopefully he won't heed the counsel of Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ): according to Mr. Franks, protecting the Grand Canyon is all about giving in to "rabid environmentalists." Never mind that too many of Mr. Franks's past pronouncements were all about giving in to rabid birthers. Mr. Franks wants you to believe that if you want uranium-free drinking water, you're some kind of extremist. Funny how often extremists call everyone else an extremist.
The Chinese government has released Ai Weiwei -- you may have called on China to release him some time ago -- but we also learn that (per the Xinhua news agency) he has pleaded guilty to tax evasion, the crime they always try to get you on when they can't get you on anything else. The BBC dryly notes that the release coincides with the Chinese Premier's visit to Germany and the U.K., where Mr. Ai has fairly strong professional ties. Still, I get the feeling that the man has been, for all intents and purposes, silenced, so I'm not celebrating a whole lot.
Oh, yeah, almost forgot: Congress ain't raised the debt ceiling yet. I haven't attended all the 13-dimensional chess being played over this, but I suspect that when Mr. Obama does swoop in at the last minute and solve everything, his approvals will go up again, just as they did after the Bush tax cut "compromise," just as they did after Mr. bin Laden's death. Every time Mr. Obama cleans up a Republican mess (and it doesn't even matter how well he cleans it up!), the American people seem to like him better. I hope, for our sakes, that Republicans finally catch on to this, and stop trying to set everything on fire.