"Already Strained" by Iraq, National Guard Joins Post-Katrina Relief
There's a bit of Iraq War commentary in the headline and lead of John Broder's story on the devastation from Hurricane Katrina, "Guard Units' New Mission: From Combat to Flood Duty."
Broder reports: "State National Guard units, already strained by long overseas deployments, joined federal, state and private organizations yesterday in a broad effort to provide relief in areas thrashed and flooded by Hurricane Katrina."
Later he again emphasizes the burden: "More than 5,000 National Guard troops were called up over the weekend to assist in relief operations, despite the burden of providing troops to support operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Tens of thousands more may be called as the extent of the damage becomes clear, officials said. National Guard officials said many of the troops mobilized for storm duty had recently returned from overseas combat zones."
For the full Broder, click here. 
The Times' Most Sensitive Liberal Strikes Again
Aside from the incredible attempt to pry into the adoption proceedings of his children, the Times has outclassed the Washington Post  in its coverage of Supreme Court nominee John Roberts, the occasional hystericaleditorial  and obsession over his conservatism notwithstanding.
But Saturday's Editorial Observer by the extremelyliberal editorial board member Adam Cohen  marks a return to form for the Times. Cohen takes a joking aside from an opinion by Roberts on an environmental issue and makes Roberts out to be a possible holder of "extreme states' rights views."
He begins: "There could be a lot of talk about toads at the confirmation hearings for John Roberts Jr. In one of the few revealing opinions he has written in his brief time on the bench, Judge Roberts voted to reconsider a ruling that said the Endangered Species Act protected the arroyo Southwestern toad from being wiped out by a real estate development. He strongly suggested that Congress could protect only a species whose demise would affect 'interstate commerce' - but that toad, he wrote, is a 'hapless toad that, for reasons of its own, lives its entire life in California.'
"Judge Roberts's opinion, with its wry reference to the possibility that an entire species could be destroyed, disturbed environmentalists. But its implications go far beyond the environment. It suggests that Judge Roberts - who broke with even a majority of the conservative judges on his court - may hold extreme states' rights views, the kind that could sharply limit Congress's power to protect ordinary Americans from discrimination, pollution and unsafe workplaces. Much of the early discussion of Judge Roberts has focused on whether he would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, but his views on federal power could be the sleeper issue."
Cohen later brings up an old sob story: "Having one more justice who supports weakening Congress could make an enormous difference. Last year, Sandra Day O'Connor, whose place Judge Roberts would take, cast the deciding vote to allow a man in a wheelchair to sue under the Americans with Disabilities Act after he was forced to crawl up the steps of a county courthouse."
Cohen is talking about Tennessee man George Lane, whose story Cohen has used before.
Among the details Cohen conveniently leaves out, but were reported by the Associated Press : "Lane, 40, has been arrested more than 30 times and charges that include drunken driving, drugs and traffic offenses. No longer in a wheelchair, Lane now uses an artificial leg to walk inside the razor-topped fences at Brushy Mountain Correctional Complex, where he is serving time for slamming a fellow prisoner in the head with a crutch at a county jail....Courthouse employees who witnessed Lane's crawl in Benton, about 40 miles from Chattanooga, say that no one laughed and that he refused offers of help. In fact, Lane declined a judge's offer to move the hearing to a ground-floor room; he says he wanted to be treated like everyone else."
You can read the rest of Cohen's editorial here. 
Opposition to Busing, Quotas "Conservative"
Todd Purdum finds what he considers an interesting memo among the voluminous papers of John Roberts' work product released by the White House.
In Tuesday's "Nominee Opposed Police Role for Agencies," Purdum writes: "The latest documents also show that Mr. Roberts co-wrote a 1982 memorandum urging the Reagan Justice Department to get some of its conservative policies - like opposition to busing and quotas for affirmative action - enshrined in law, so they could not be "instantly reversed when a new administration took office."
Given that most Americans oppose busing and quotas, these are hardly "conservative" issues, except perhaps for Purdum, who spent much of Campaign 2004denying  John Kerry was really all that liberal.
To read more Purdum on Roberts, click here. 
"Colleagues in Both Parties" = "Chuck Hagel"
Reporter Carl Hulse on Monday notes that moderate Republican Sen. John Warner will ask Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to testify at a panel on Iraq. Hulse points out that "Unlike some of his colleagues in both parties, Mr. Warner said he did not see parallels between the current situation and the Vietnam era."
When the Times says "both parties," they almost certainly mean "Sen. Chuck Hagel ," who recently cheered the liberal media when made an explicit link between Iraq and Vietnam.
To read the rest of Hulse, click here.