Having just returned from a brief vacation, where I looked back at Washington from the Left Coast, I saw little blurbs of gossip and information that from far away reveal the big picture.

Here are the bits that came through the news:

  1. Tony Snow, the best thing that has happened to this White House in four years, has cancer again, and it may have spread to his liver. This is bad and very sad news for all who know Tony personally and for this White House team that needs his leadership.

  2. The Iranians' seizure of 15 British marines is needlessly provocative and possibly much more significant geopolitically than has been acknowledged by the White House thus far.

  3. The Democrats are having a field day beating up the executive branch, especially the Justice Department, and the Attorney General has done a fairly lousy job explaining himself. Getting thrown under the bus by his ex-chief of staff yesterday was not helpful.

  4. The Democrats finally won a short-term victory on the war supplemental. They got their votes, and some Republicans’, and now they have a bill that will surely be vetoed by the President. It is too early to tell who won this battle, and only God knows how much pork has yet to be added to get the conference report to final passage.

  5. So here is the Big Picture. Washington is screwing around, playing political games here at home, while the Iranians are licking their chops and hoping that we leave Iraq so that they can finally dominate once and for all their neighbor and long-time adversary. The Iranians are so confident that they can win the endgame that they are playing a risky game of hardball by seizing those British Marines and then parading them on television. They are calculating that we have a weak hand because of our political shenanigans, and that we won’t do what it takes to win this game in the long run. I hope they are wrong, but given the realities of the situation today, they may be right.