Good news from Senator Jon Kyl

This may be the first good thing he has ever said.

Republican Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona is expected to announce his retirement Thursday, David Catanese and Jennifer Epstein report for Politico, opening up a seat he’s held for three terms and complicating Republican efforts to hold it.

Kyl will make his official announcement at a press conference this afternoon in Phoenix.

My favorite thing about New START…

…is that of the few people in Russia’s government who are against the treaty, their big complaint is this:

The lower house’s Communists and Liberal Democrats opposed ratification, saying the treaty’s provisions will weaken national security.

“We think this treaty means a strategic defeat for Russia as it in no measure limits the development of the U.S. antiballistic defense,” said Leonid Kalashnikov, a Communist legislator and first deputy head of the International Affairs Committee. “The treaty also doesn’t take into account the nuclear arsenals of the U.S. NATO partners, which leaves us with a 30% inferiority in the number of warheads.”

Both of these issues were picked up by some of our crappier members of Congress (Kyl, McConnell). The difference lies in the fact that they lied about the treaty and said it weakens the U.S. anti-missile defense. Weird, huh? But they do converge with the dissent in Russia when they lament that their country might not have enough nuclear weapons. Call me crazy, but I’m pretty sure a handful would more than do the trick.

Anyway. I’m glad the Republicans were unable to hold together as their usual stubborn group that prevents anything good from happening.

The audacity of Republican ‘leadership’

The U.S. and Russia have long had a deal – dating to the Cold War, in fact – where they have allowed ground inspections of the other nation’s nuclear arsenal. This helps to ensure the other side doesn’t have a secret buildup happening. This deal adds meaningful weight to reduction treaties. It also contributes to security for both sides – but especially the U.S. – because there is more transparency in terms of where nuclear arms are being sent around the world, if anywhere.

But the Party of No doesn’t really give a shit.

One of President Obama’s top foreign-policy goals suffered a potentially ruinous setback when the Senate’s second-ranking Republican said the U.S. nuclear treaty with Russia should not be considered until next year.

The statement Tuesday by Sen. Jon Kyl (Ariz.) stunned the White House and Democrats, who scrambled to save the pact. It came just days after Obama declared that ratifying the treaty was his top foreign-policy priority for the lame-duck session of Congress.

The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) needs 67 votes to pass. Because of Democratic losses in the midterm elections, it would be harder to approve next year, requiring at least 14 Republican votes rather than nine now.

Kyl is making a political stand designed purely to embarrass the President. His actions serve no purpose – especially since Obama has already done a little backscratching by committing money to modernizing the country’s nuclear complex already, as requested by Kyl. The toolsac just wants to make a political move.

Kyl, of course, is taking his cues from Sen. Mitch McConnell. You know, that’s the guy who said the Republicans Party’s number one goal over the next two year is to kick Obama out of office? Yeah, that guy. For once a Republican wasn’t bullshitting. This is really their whole plan – do whatever it takes to embarrass the President. And then when the economy starts to recover as a result of natural growth plus all the Democratic policies put in place that have strengthened our country, they will take credit for that. I promise that when we start seeing good growth and shrinking unemployment over the next 18-20 months, the Republicans will start taking credit – despite getting nothing done by being the Party of No.

But let’s not bother to inspect Russia’s shoddy nuclear complex. I’m sure no weapons will end up in the wrong hands. What reason do we have to be distrustful of that nation, anyway?