Bloggers on the travails of Harry Reid and Harry Potter.

Bloggers on the travails of Harry Reid and Harry Potter.

Bloggers on the travails of Harry Reid and Harry Potter.

The latest chatter in cyberspace.
July 18 2007 5:45 PM

Up All Night

Bloggers pulled an all-nighter tracking the Senate's now-failed Iraq pullout amendment. Oh, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is leaked—in multiple versions—on the Internet.

Up all night: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's plan to force Republicans to vote on an Iraq withdrawal amendment backfired this morning when, after an all-night session, the Senate failed  to pass a cloture motion on the bill. Cots were dragged into hallways, pizza and Chinese were ordered, and people who never liked each other to begin with pretended to be civil: It was a lot like college except no one got arrested and even less was accomplished.

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Conservative Michelle Malkin live-blogged the whole damn thing. Here she is at 1:56 a.m.: "John McCain—seems a little groggy—weighs in to remind the Senate about progress in Ramadi and Fallujah. Muddled about immigration, but clear-thinking about the war. Thune resumes. 'I believe Gen. Petraeus will be very candid in September … I think we should give him and the troops a chance to succeed.' Side note: Maybe it's my eyes or my TV, but I swear Sen. Thune looks Oompa-Loompa orange." 

Righty Ed Morrissey at Captain's Quarters says Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was hoisted on his own petard: "Instead of denying Reid a quorum, the Republicans showed up for the debate, perhaps charged up by John McCain's earlier speech on the floor. Once Reid figured out that the Republicans would not give him the satisfaction of walking out the door, he caved. In fact, Reid didn't even bother to attend his own No Snooze Until We Lose party after the first instruction motion, choosing to hit the sack instead while Republicans took the podium all night long."

Even Wonkette thinks Reid "pussed out and they set up cots and he changed the times of the roll-call vote so everyone could get a couple hours of sleep, stripping his useless political stunt of what little slightly-comprehensible symbolism it possessed. After all, if we could've forced Orrin Hatch to stay up all night, we might've finally won (lost?) in Iraq. Now, nothing."

Obama supporter David M. Manes at Political Cartel is sad to see the Levin-Reed Amendment give up the ghost: "Another great thing that would be implemented by this amendment is an international mediator set up by the UN Security Council 'who has the authority of the international community to engage political, religious, ethnic, and tribal leaders in Iraq in an inclusive political process.' The US has far too tainted of a reputation to achieve any diplomatic success in Iraq right now. And it's about time we involved the international community, who has a great interest in seeing a peaceful resolution in Iraq."

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Liberal Bill Press at The Hill's Pundits Blog is undaunted by the anticlimactic slumber party and wants more of them: "Even after spending the night on cots, of course, Republicans still refused to allow an up-or-down vote on Iraq. … Harry Reid should keep them in every night—he should keep them in session the entire month of August, in fact—until they're willing to do what the American people want and bring our troops home."

Lefty Bob Geiger names Sen. Lamar Alexander his "GOP Hypocrite" of the evening, for saying " 'It does not show the proper respect for the men and women who are there and their families.' Really, Senator Alexander? But I suppose Republicans filibustering Jim Webb's bill to give the troops adequate medical care and recovery time with their families before being shipped back to Iraq shows a ton of support-the-troops respect, huh?"

Spoiling all the fun: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the seventh and final book of J.K. Rowlings' pubescent wizards series, hits bookstores Saturday but has already hit the Web. Differing copies of what look to be photographed pages of the manuscript are available for download on file-sharing programs like Bittorrent. Potter publisher Scholastic has begun the incantation Cease and desisticus.

Marc at media and marketing site The Next Great Thing writes: "It's a fitting end though, considering that Harry Potter's viral popularity was achieved thanks to the Web. As a recent USA Today article pointed out, the Internet allowed a 'new kind of immersion in fandom' previously unheard of. Youth across the world united over the series, and a 'participatory culture' was born. Just look at sites like The-Leaky-Cauldron and Mugglenet.com, the latter started by a 12-year-old now in his 20s."

Jonah Spangenthal-Lee at The Stranger's Slog wants you all to get a life. Oh, but before you do: "Hagrid dies too. No, I'm kidding. I haven't read a single Harry Potter book. I did try to hunt down a legit leaked copy on the intarweb, but all I found was creepy hot wizard-on-boytaur fan fiction. Jesus people, you didn't see me writing to the New York Times when they spoiled Captain America's death."

Meanwhile, in Israel, conservative Jewish groups are protesting the arrival of the boy wizard's latest adventuring during the Sabbath. Avraham Ravitz of the United Torah Judaism Party told the Associated Press: "We don't have to be dragged like monkeys after the world with this subculture, and certainly not while violating our holy Sabbath." To which Gawker replies: "Not to get all Hitchens on you, but isn't this exactly how some of us feel about, you know, the Bible and its subculture of weird, tallis-wearing followers? Give us this wizard any day."

Michael Weiss is the director of communications at the Henry Jackson Society, a London-based think tank that promotes democratic geopolitics. He is also the spokesman for Just Journalism, which examines how Israel and the Middle East are portrayed in the U.K. media.