The Note: June Comes in Like a Lamb

It's not just the race for Cox's House seat that's coming together -- Roll Call's Ben Pershing looks at the angling his nomination is touching off for the chairmanship of the homeland security committee.

DeLay:

In search of an answer to the question of how the focus on Leader DeLay's ethics issues (i.e., the "DeLay effect") could adversely affect House Republicans' chances in 2006, the Washington Post's Mike Allen headed to Ohio, where Rep. Bob Ney's ties to DeLay and Jack Abramoff regularly get ink in the local press and threaten to jeopardize more than his status as "mayor of Capitol Hill" as he prepares for an inquiry by the House ethics committee. Allen also takes a glance at some other House Republicans who Democrats and liberal interest groups are targeting, and the perception of how things are broken adding to the questions they face. Do yourself a favor and read it all. LINK

Bolton:

We're not sure what to make of this Wall Street Journal newsatorial, but here are the first few paragraphs: "On Thursday, Samir Kassir, a prominent Lebanese newspaper columnist and long-time critic of Syria, was murdered in Beirut when a bomb exploded under the hood of his car. The following day, we learned that Syria had test-fired three missiles the previous week -- one Scud B, with a range of 190 miles, and two Scud Ds, with ranges of 400 miles. The missiles, of North Korean design, are configured to carry chemical warheads, according to Israeli security sources; they can hit any target in Israel along with U.S. military installations in Turkey, Iraq and elsewhere in the region."

"There are several lessons here, but one of them is this: John Bolton was right."

The New York Times' David Kirkpatrick spent some quality recess time with Sen. George Voinovich and was therefore able to craft these must-read paragraphs: "In [an] interview, however, Mr. Voinovich said he supported the rest of Mr. Bush's foreign policy and had his interests at heart in his opposition to Mr. Bolton. 'It is like kids,' he said, laughing. 'You do some stuff for them, and they don't want you to do it, but you do it anyhow.'" LINK

"Besides, he said, he believes that Vice President Dick Cheney has been the real force behind Mr. Bolton's nomination. 'I think the major reason he is going there is because the vice president wants him to go,' Mr. Voinovich said, arguing that Mr. Cheney had promoted Mr. Bolton for the nomination after he failed to become the deputy secretary of state."

"Although Mr. Voinovich has said his colleagues are under pressure from the White House to support Mr. Bolton, he said he had not felt any. 'No one has leaned on me,' he said. He declined to talk about specific conversations, but added: 'I think I have a good enough relationship with Dick Cheney. He respects me. I think he knows I am not a kook. What reason do I have to do this except I have a fervent belief that this is not in the best interest of our country?'"

SCOTUS:

USA Today's Joan Biskupic offers a glimpse at the behind-the-scenes flurry of opinion writing and lobbying going on at the Supreme Court in advance of this first Monday in June, and the questions -- namely whether or not Chief Justice Rehnquist will step down -- that continue to hang over it. LINK

Judicial nomination battles:

Lee Bandy summarizes the criticism directed toward Sen. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina. LINK

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