Like any self-respecting blogger with a wi-fi card and a two-for-one drink ticket, War Room will be putting on pants and packing our bags shortly for YearlyKos in Las Vegas.
If you're making the journey yourself, print out the items linked below, and you'll have more provocative in-flight reading than SkyMall could ever offer. If you're not, this reading list should keep you busy during the veritable bloggy blackout that will occur this afternoon as left-leaning bloggers -- not to mention the politicians who want to appeal to them and the mainstream reporters who kind of, sort of want to understand them -- shut down their laptops for the trip to Sin City.
The gay marriage vote: The Senate's Web site has the roll-call vote on the motion to close debate on the Republicans' constitutional amendment outlawing gay marriage. Forty-nine senators voted for cloture -- which is to say, more or less, in favor of the amendment -- while 48 voted against it. Three senators who didn't vote -- Democrats Jay Rockefeller and Chris Dodd and Republican Chuck Hagel -- were likely no votes, taking the effective tally to 49 for, 51 against. Among Democrats, only Ben Nelson voted for cloture. Among Republicans, Lincoln Chafee, Susan Collins, Judd Gregg, John McCain, Olympia Snowe, Arlen Specter and John Sununu voted against it. Correction: As several readers have noted, Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd also voted in favor of cloture, but he has said that he'd vote against the amendment itself if it were to come up for a floor vote.
The Democrats and the war: Think the White House would rather talk about gay marriage than, say, Iraq? As Raw Story reports, the Bush administration has abruptly canceled a meeting in which U.S. ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad was to brief senators on the situation there. The White House apparently declined to send a replacement, and Senate Democrats are asking the president why.
Hillary Clinton and the war: Of course, George W. Bush isn't the only politician who'd rather not deal with the hard questions about Iraq. The New York Observer explains that the junior senator from New York "continues to articulate a plan that is difficult to distinguish from that of the White House" -- and that's on the relatively rare occasion when she mentions the war at all.
Detainees in Europe: A new report from the Council of Europe says that more than a dozen European countries have helped the CIA with the rendition of terrorism suspects, and that two countries, Romania and Poland, may have played host to secret CIA prisons. In what we'll assume is an unrelated story, newly released documents show that the CIA helped hide the whereabouts of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann in the 1950s in order to spare West German officials any embarrassing revelations about their own Nazi pasts.
USA Today on Tom DeLay: The Hammer made his fortune in the pest control business, but he seems to dabble in psychology, too. In a parting-shot interview with USA Today, DeLay -- whose resignation from the House becomes official Friday -- says that his Republican colleagues are suffering from "panic, depression and woe-is-me-ism," and he says they'll lose the House in November "if they continue the attitude they have right now."
We say that it's nothing a belt or two at the Riviera won't fix. If DeLay makes the scene, the drinks are on us.