updated 8/2/2005 3:41:11 PM ET 2005-08-02T19:41:11

5 p.m. EST

The recess appointment of John Bolton did not come as a surprise to most bloggers today. MS and bloggers alike knew it was simply a question of when and not if for this action.

The comments are pretty much splitting down party lines, as would be expected. I'll share some reaction, but I'd like to send a hat tip to Captain Ed from Captain's Quarters for directing us to an article on yahoo that puts some real perspective on this appointment. So far, President Bush has Video: Bloggers on Bolton made 106 recess appointments. Clinton made around 140 and President Reagan a whopping 243. The point is that although this was a much talked about nomination, it is by no means an extraordinary action, whether you like Bolton or not.

Meanwhile, the liberal blogosphere has made Ohio congressional candidate Paul Hackett its cause du jour. This man, a veteran of this Iraq war, is running in a really conservative district and at first seemed to have no chance. Liberals like Kos and Swing State Project have really been fighting this fight for him, raising as much as $40K per day on the web for get out the vote efforts. Tomorrow is the election, and we'll see if this becomes a story about "the little websites who could."

On the show today, we'll bring you some reaction to the busting of Baltimore Orioles player Rafael Palmeiro for steroid use, just months after the congressional hearing in which he denied ever having juiced.

Also, it's a Hitchens and Reagan rematch! We go tons of response from viewers the last time we had on Christopher Hitchens, so we're bringing him back. Ron can handle it, and both men are great sports.

Join us, and email me your favorite blogs, or questions you have about blogging. I may answer them on the show.

12 p.m. EST

I highly recommend that each of you take a vacation from your daily grind, even if you just install a new air conditioner or hang the new curtains in your bedroom. I had a great week off.

That vacation feeling quickly drained away this morning as I headed into the office. Breaking news already, and I haven't had my first cup of coffee on my first day back from a week of pure bliss. Saudi Arabia's King Fahd died, and President Bush has appointed John Bolton to the U.N., circumventing Congress as they head off to their summer recess.

As Fahd's son Abdullah has been more or less running the show there for several years, it won't be much of a change for Saudi Arabia. In reading Fahd's biography this morning it struck me that he is an interesting case study in the delicate balance required to govern a Muslim nation. Fahd was able to maintain strong relations with the United States while somewhat appeasing the religious fundamentalists in his country. He made concessions that led to the empowerment of the "jihadist" factions in that nation, a misstep that has come home to roost in recent years.

As for the Bolton nod, I wonder to what extent Republicans on the Hill will embrace this decision. When a President makes a recess appointment, he isn't just dissing the opposition party. He's dissing everybody in Congress. Now, one could argue that this is necessary to get things done when Congress makes it clear that little progress can be made. Either way, it's an interesting debate. We will chat with Rich Masters and Ed Rollins about the choice, and whether or not a recess appointment will hurt Bolton's efficacy at the U.N.


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