First, my apologies to regular readers of the Wilson Watch; it seems I got a little behind in the blogging while I was covering the Roberts' confirmation hearings. Here now are a hodge-podge of thoughts and ideas that have been piling up until I could find the time to write.
It appears that Judge John Roberts (search) escaped nearly 20 hours of questioning without serious harm and/or consequence. Barring some unforeseen development, he should be confirmed by the Senate. It is my judgment that he will receive at least two Democratic votes in committee (where the politics are very partisan) and go on to pick up at least 60 to 65 votes on the Senate floor. That said; get ready for a real knock-down-drag-out over the next nomination. Democrats are already warning that they will fight tooth and tong if the president nominates a hard-line conservative, as many predict he is likely to do.
The more we learn about the extent of the damage, the more it appears it will take a ton of money to set things right in New Orleans (search) and along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The president has laid out an ambitious plan, but the question is how do you scrape up 100, 150 or maybe even 200 billion dollars without saddling future generations with a ton of debt? Budget hawks on the Hill have let it be known they want to go back and trim some fat in previous expenditures. Look for a major battle to develop over how your tax money is spent in the coming days.
I recently was sent a column from a FOX News fan and fellow blogger who was complimentary of my work and had some advice for the powers here at FOX. Kathleen wrote:
"If Rupert Murdoch wanted to start an All-Brian-All-the-time channel, I would give up sleeping. If ... Brian had to do a whole day's worth of programming live all by himself, I wouldn't leave my sofa for the duration. So you can imagine how happy I was to see him [recently] in the NYC studio chatting with some of the other morning people. Just one small hitch: someone get that man a bigger chair — normal furniture just doesn't seem to suit him."
Well, Kathleen, thanks for the nice words. You are right about the chairs in the New York studios! I really enjoy those rare moments when I get to broadcast out of the FOX mother ship. The people there are extremely nice and accommodating. But, the regular New York anchors must all be petite and/or scrawny, because they don't have one single chair in the entire building that will fit my extra-sized frame. I always feel like I am all legs and elbows on the New York sets. The folks in DC roll my regular office chair to the set for the two hour “Weekend Live” extravaganza.
Yes, I Called Him Rufus:
My apologies to New York Congressman Peter King (search), the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. King and Congressman Tom Davis made an unscheduled appearance from New Orleans on Sunday's show and as I was wrapping up the interview, I started to call Congressman King, "Rufus."
I corrected the mistake almost as soon as it came out of my mouth, but you may wonder how I came up with, of all things, Rufus. There is an explanation.
Recently, I have been plowing through a fascinating book about founding father Alexander Hamilton (search). There are a number of references in the book to one Rufus King — who among other things — served in the Continental Congress. (Click in the box above to see the photo.) Somehow, although I knew better, Rufus popped out instead of Peter. When things like this occur, I blame it on News-heimers (the weird things your brain does when it is overloaded with too many things happening at once).
I am sincerely hoping the congressman has a good sense of humor about this. I am also glad that we do not live under the same rules of public discourse in place during Alexander Hamilton's time, for the good congressman might call me out on the field of honor for having called him Rufus.
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Brian Wilson is a congressional correspondent for FOX News and anchor of the Sunday edition of "Weekend Live."