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Following news of Roberts' involvement in 1996 gay rights case, the White House "immediately sought to reassure [his] conservative backers. . . but it appeared that not all of them had been convinced." Limbaugh: "There's no question the people on the right are going to say: 'Wait a minute. Wait a minute! The guy is doing pro bono work and helping gay activists?'" [NYT, LAT]


Roberts' private practice work did not always jibe with conservative agenda, yet "some activists on both sides remain secure in their conviction that he is an emphatic conservative who will move the high court to the right." Kristol: "I don't think this is serious. Most conservatives are very pleased." [WP]

Bush and company plan major push for Roberts during dead of August. [WT]

Novak told by CNN to "take some time off" after on-air scuffle with Carville. [WP, NYT]

Deficit forecast worsens: "legislation passed by Congress this year will add $35 billion to next year's budget deficit and $115 billion through 2010." [USAT]

Rehnquist briefly hospitalized for fever. [WP, NYT]

Death toll rises in Iraq: 18 U.S. troops died on Wednesday. Bush: "We will stay on the offense against these people." [WP, WT]

Negotiations under way for the Pentagon to shift the majority of detainees at Guantanamo to Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen. [WP, USAT]

Confidential government assessment issues generic warning of domestic terrorist attacks, possibly including suicide bombings; Al Qaeda remains a threat. [NYT, USAT]

Pentagon will release photos of soldiers' coffins in response to FOIA suit. [NYT]

Former Israeli lobbyists indicted for "conspiring to gather and disclose classified national security information to journalists" and possibly leaking information to Israel. [WP, NYT]

Influence of women's groups like NOW has significantly waned since last Supreme Court nomination. [WSJ]

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Image: Marriott Hotels

Great GOP wordsmith Frank Luntz, the guy who gave us the "death tax" and who urged the George W. Bush administration to talk about "climate change" since it was less politically motivating than "global warming," did some more of his characteristic word magic today! While staying at the Hotel Imperial in Vienna, Austria, Luntz offered this cautionary tale about the evils of socialism, as illustrated by the shoddy conditions in a 5-star luxury hotel owned by Dubai's "Al Habtoor" conglomerate and operated by Marriott:

Talk about your grim hellholes! Apparently, there's only one elevator in the entire building, and it's been broken for three days, proving that European-style socialism is a failure that should never be imported to the USA, where -- damn it! -- all buildings work!

As some smartass pointed out, now Luntz may have to take the STAIRS, like a common Bolshevik!

We're still trying to get our heads around how a delay in getting an elevator fixed in a luxury hotel owned by the United Arab Emirati proprietors of Dubai's

  • Habtoor Grand Resort
  • Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah
  • Habtoor Palace, LXR Hotels & Resorts
  • V Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton
  • Hilton Dubai Al Habtoor City
  • Metropolitan Hotel Dubai
  • Al Habtoor Polo Resort

as well as

  • Imperial Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Vienna (Austria)
  • Hilton London Wembley (United Kingdom)
  • Hilton Beirut Habtoor Grand (Lebanon)
  • Hilton Beirut Metropolitan Palace (Lebanon)
  • President Abraham Lincoln Springfield – a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel (United States)
  • InterContinental Budapest (Hungary)
  • The Ritz-Carlton, Budapest (Hungary)

is an example of the horrors of socialism, but then, we don't earn the big bucks like Luntz does. Austria is among the 14 richest countries in the world, so we're fairly certain it's not a commie hellhole. Then again, there is a very strong social safety net, so maybe people in subsidized housing stole all the elevator parts. Or perhaps the elevator would have been fixed sooner if only Austria didn't have such strong unions. It's a mystery.

Or maybe it's that NATIONAL socialism that's the problem, seeing as it has socialism RIGHT IN THE NAME!

Adolf Hitler, once a day labourer outside the Hotel Imperial Vienna, returned as the Führer and "delivered a speech to a rapturous crowd from [the hotel] suite's balcony, on 14 March 1938", according to www.famoushotels.org.

We suppose it's worth noting that the Imperial is decidedly not owned or operated by the Austrian government, where a far-Right coalition has recently imploded -- although maybe Luntz is confused about that, since official state guests are traditionally housed there. In any case, the elevator's busted, it's in Europe, Europe is socialist, and Frank Luntz is homesick for America, where no elevator ever goes unrepaired for an entire weekend. It simply has never happened because of our efficient free market!

Still, Luntz's tweet inspired some valuable reflections on how economic theory shapes the reality of everyday life. This is the kind of Austrian economics we can support.



In conclusion, capitalism always allocates resources efficiently and fairly, although that still doesn't explain why Frank Luntz has a job. And now it would be your DOKTOR ZOOM'S BIRTHDAY PARTY OPEN THREAD, if only the socialists would fix the elevator, the end.

Yr Wonkette is entirely supported by donations from you, the reader. Please send us money so socialists won't make us take the stairs.

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