The Spectacle Blog

It’s That Bad

By on 11.22.05 | 10:12AM

It's really cool that President and Mrs. Bush were able to play tourist in Ulan Bator, Mongolia, at our expense. No sitting U.S. President before Bush ever visited Mongolia. There's a reason for that. It's called prioritization. Usually U.S. presidents in trouble at home board Air Force One and head to Beijing. That Bush felt it necessary to also visit the land that time -- and everyone else -- forgot, illustrates how bad things are for Bush at home.

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3 words for John Kerry: Pot, Kettle, Black

By on 11.22.05 | 8:39AM

John Kerry attacking Vice President Cheney for allegedly lying about pre-war intelligence is about as credible as Ted Kennedy lecturing anyone on drunk driving or the proper way to treat young waitresses.

The Junior Senator from Massachussets launched his political career by slandering the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines fighting in Vietnam. When pushed about his testimony before Congress, he has admitted that he didn't really witness any atrocities (as he testified under oath), but heard about such misconduct from other service members who heard about them from others, and so on and so on and so on. We know that the overwhelming majority of troops fighting in Vietnam were the best of their generation -- something that cannot be said of Kerry, even taking into account his military service.

To charge the President and Vice President with lying about intelligence in order to manipulate the Congress and public support to remove Saddam Hussein by force is as immoral as falsely charging one's brothers in arms with war crimes.

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We Dare Not Ignore

By on 11.22.05 | 8:08AM

There are some people whose advice we ignore at our peril. A letter to the editor to the WaPo published today, from someone in that category. Here it is in full:

"One of the most critical issues that members of Congress must address is the wisdom of setting a schedule for our continued presence in Iraq. In this regard, I would hope that they would look back to September 1983, when both houses of Congress held War Powers Act hearings on our presence in Beirut as part of a multinational force. I asked Congress then not to set a schedule for our withdrawal from war-torn Lebanon. I said, 'If the time is too short, our enemies will wait us out; if it is too long, they will drive us out.'

"My warning was ignored, and Congress passed a law that said that Marines would stay for 18 more months. That in essence told the Iranians, the Syrians, the Druze and the newly organized Hezbollah: 'Put your plans on hold for a year and a half.'

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Woodward on Wilson/Plame

By on 11.22.05 | 7:49AM

WaPo's Bob Woodward -- he of the recently-partially-revealed memories on the Plame leak mess -- has a very important data point quoted in today's paper. Woodward said:

"Remember the investigation and the allegations that people have printed about this story is that there's some vast conspiracy to slime Joe Wilson and his wife, really attack him in an ugly way that is outside the boundaries of hardball. The evidence I had, firsthand, a small piece of the puzzle I acknowledge, is that was not the case." (emphasis added).

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Whining Reporters

By on 11.22.05 | 6:58AM

Freed from any semblance of objectivity in his "Washington Sketch" of Cheney's speech yesterday, Dana Milbank voices what David Stout only hinted at (see my article): Cheney's a meany for saying he's open to debate, and then engaging in it.

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Re: Time Person of the Year

By on 11.22.05 | 5:18AM

After all is said and done, I'd have to go with President Bush. Those purple fingertips would be impossible without him. Whatever his other deficiencies - like his seeming disinterest, until recently, in responding to the slanders brought against him - his steadfast refusal to give in to the withdrawal chorus is a profile in courage. Now if he'd just get out that veto pen …

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Time “POTY”

By on 11.22.05 | 2:08AM

Jed and Lady G., let's refine that concept for the sake of a dynamite cover photo. "The Iraqi Voter," purple fingertip rampant.

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Re: Time Person of the Year

By on 11.21.05 | 7:43PM

Dear Lady Godiva: The Iraqi people -- at least those who have risked so much to help create democracy in their nation -- are more than deserving of the nomination, and the honor. But let's limit it to those Iraqis who are on the right side of the equation. Their struggle is a long way from over.

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Down Syndrome Eugenics

By on 11.21.05 | 6:32PM

For those of you following our society's head-first dive into eugenics (which George Neumayr chronicled in the June issue), don't miss the New York Times' latest on the disabled community's justified fears of what expanded prenatal testing means for them.

One gets the sense that the Times tried to get abortion supporters on record for the story, but failed:

Supporters of abortion are especially wary of wading into a discussion over the ethics of prenatal testing, lest they be seen as playing into the opposing side in the fraught national debate over abortion rights.

In other words, they have no problem with aborting the child because it has Down syndrome -- they just can't say so because it looks bad.

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