First, the good news:

Key backers of the Senate immigration bill said yesterday they are willing to consider a compromise that would delay the guest-worker program and “amnesty” portions until the borders have been secured…

On Monday, Mr. Specter, the Pennsylvania Republican who will lead House and Senate negotiators in the conference committee, told The Times that border security should be the top priority in the final bill and that he is open to a compromise that would make the guest-worker program and path to citizenship for illegal aliens contingent on first ensuring a secure border and improved interior enforcement…

[J]ust a month ago, many of these same senators — including Mr. Specter, Mr. Graham and Mr. Kennedy — voted against a proposal that would have set out a similar timeline requiring border security and improved enforcement before the rest of the Senate bill could proceed.

The Times says the House isn’t budging and that they still plan to hold public hearings next month on the competing bills. God only knows what polls they’re seeing inside Congress, but Rasmussen reports a 63-19 preference for a hypothetical enforcement-only proposal over a hypothetical amnesty-only plan. Strangely, people say they prefer a “comprehensive” approach to enforcement-only by a margin of 52-30 — but Rasmussen thinks it knows why. It depends on what the meaning of “comprehensive” is:

In official Washington, “comprehensive” reform means addressing the issue of undocumented workers and including a path to citizenship for illegal aliens. Among the general public, circumstantial evidence suggests that many poll respondents may have interpreted the word “comprehensive” to mean taking additional steps to reducing illegal immigration in addition to securing the border. Many who say they prefer “comprehensive” solutions respond to other questions in ways that clearly reflect enforcement-first or enforcement-only approaches to reform.

No wonder they’re so hot for hearings. They’re going to use the platform to dismantle Bush’s newspeak about his plan.

Now for the bad news, which is putting it mildly. This is, potentially, a “turn on your TV right now” kind of badness.

Iran should be allowed to enrich uranium for power generation provided there is close monitoring by U.N. inspectors to ensure it is not trying to develop atomic weapons, Germany’s defense minister said on Wednesday.

The minister’s comments may suggest that after years of failed negotiations with Iran, Germany and some other Western powers are willing to compromise with Iran over enrichment in order to resolve peacefully the nuclear stand-off with Tehran.

But it is unclear if this view would be acceptable to hardline camps in Washington and London, Western diplomats say.

According to someone at the IAEA, the comments were received as “a welcome surprise.” The German government’s already in spin-crisis mode. Yesterday, I wrote:

Khamenei’s already served notice that Iran won’t give up enrichment, so Europe can go one of two ways now: indulge the spoiled child by allowing the U.S. to drop out or show some “tough love” by making U.S. involvement a condition of its own participation. It’s too soon to tell which it’ll be — but I know how I’m betting.

Consider this me doubling down.