The Spectacle Blog

Re: A Conservative Budget

By on 3.8.06 | 11:04AM

The RSC budget's out. The quick synopsis: it's great, but it has the chance of a snowball in hell. It's here as a Word document. The highlights:

-It's boldly titled the "Contract for America Renewed." It apparently takes this title from its heavy reliance on a 1995 Contract for America budget, H.Con.Res. 67, which the House passed.

-Eliminate USAID, Millenium Challenge Accounts, and assistance to Egypt. That saves about $32-33 billion over five years.

-Eliminate the space shuttle and President Bush's Mars/Moon initiative. Good riddance to both. Savings: about $18 billion over five years.

-Eliminate Amtrak, the transportation bill earmarks, and the essential air service; privatize the FAA; and devolve federal highway aid. Savings: about $72 billion over five years.

-Eliminate Community Development Block Grants. $21 billion over five years.

A Conservative Budget

By on 3.8.06 | 8:29AM

The House Republican Study Committee will release a balanced budget, in competition with the President's budget, this morning at 11 a.m. EST. We'll keep an eye out for it. Until then, read Mike Pence and Jeb Hensarling's case for it.

Console Thyself…

By on 3.8.06 | 7:13AM

...disaffected Republicans. Democrats are quibbling at the most basic level: control of voter lists. The Clintonista wing of the party is setting up their own operation in competition with Dean's DNC.

Forgery at the Impromptu Spelling Bee

By on 3.7.06 | 10:57PM

Via Reuters:

A Cyprus court jailed Pakistani national Fazal Ur Rehman for eight months for forgery after police spotted spelling mistakes on stamps on an Afghan passport he was carrying -- otherwise it was a near-perfect copy, the Cyprus Mail said Wednesday.

"Ministry" was spelled "Menistry" and the first "n" was missing from government, the newspaper said.

"The passport looked perfect and professionally made ... almost deemed original by forensics," a police officer told a magistrate in the Cypriot capital Nicosia.

Okay, okay. A Cyprus court? Pakistani national? Afghan passport? Huh? It sounds like it's probably a good thing this guy is such a bad speller...

Rational Exuberance

By on 3.7.06 | 5:52PM

After Knopf publishers paid out an estimated $8.5 million advance to former prez Bill C. for his so-called memoir, and Simon & Schuster gave away an easy $8 mil to wifey Hill for details of her life, former Fed Chair Alan Greenspan has just inked what Publishers Weekly is describing as "$8 million+ deal" to tell all. Being the only Fed Chair most of us can remember, he's bound to provide lots of hot currency.

And who's the lucky publisher this go 'round? None other than, Penguin, of formerly Penguin Putnam.

Does this news signal that Andrea Mitchell will soon retire also? And how come she didn't collect as much for her recent book?

Clarity From the Bench, Continued

By on 3.7.06 | 5:27PM

Here's some background on Leif Clark, the Billy Madison-citing bankruptcy judge.

Impeach Pro-Gay Marriage Judge?

By on 3.7.06 | 4:41PM

That's what some Maryland legislators have in mind this week. We just received an email over the transom from Delegate Don Dwyer's office reporting that he introduced an impeachment motion against the judge who overturned the state's gay marriage ban, Judge M. Brooke Murdock. Keep on eye on that situation as a key front in this nationwide battle.

Kept or Liberated?

By on 3.7.06 | 4:34PM

Women, that is. America's Future Foundation takes up the topic of "What does the Right want from its women" for its roundtable discussion Thursday night. Our friends there hope you D.C. working stiffs can make it.

Re: Bush’s Unpopularity

By on 3.7.06 | 4:30PM

John, What's implied in that article, but left unsaid is the rehabilitation of these sometimes political stinkers into history's heroes. President Truman is consistently ranked by historians among the top ten and even top five presidents.

Bush’s Unpopularity, In Perspective

By on 3.7.06 | 3:20PM

Bill Sammon at The Examiner takes a glass-half-full approach:

Although President Bush is suffering through the lowest job approval ratings of his presidency, most of his predecessors had ratings that were just as low or even lower.

Eight of the 10 presidents who preceded Bush had ratings at least as low as 37 percent - the current president's nadir, as measured by Gallup. Some were dramatically lower.

Harry Truman once had a job approval rating of just 23 percent, the lowest ever recorded since Gallup began taking such polls in 1938. Ronald Reagan bottomed out at 35 percent.

"All presidents but two have been in the 30 percent range since Gallup began measuring in World War II," Gallup Editor in Chief Frank Newport told The Examiner. "The two that never got below 40 are JFK and Eisenhower."

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