The Spectacle Blog

T is for Todd Seavey

By on 6.5.06 | 10:20AM

So apparently a bunch of anarchists in Guy Fawkes masks gathered recently in front of the offices of DC Comics to protest the comic giant's lack of due diligence in allowing "a multi-billion corporation like Time Warner" to "in the presentation of a film version of V for Vendetta to a mass audience, strike the notion of anarchy as a solution to state control." Todd Seavey, editor of the always fascinating Health Facts and Fears website, decided to engage in a bit of patriotic dissent (this is, after all, the Age of the Dixie Chicks), colorfully captured in this blog post by Valerie D'Orazio (A.K.A. Kamikaze Girl).

Here's a bite before the whole delicious meal:

Marriage Pandering

By on 6.5.06 | 9:26AM

The latest push for a federal marriage amendment is being met with increasing skepticism on the right.

I cannot escape the sense that the President and the Senate are pandering on this issue. The base is upset -- albeit over other, larger issues -- but this is, as the critics say, good old "red meat." The federal marriage amendment may be fine legislation, but ignoring the big stuff for a small, politically easy bone is not impressive.

The Senate’s Unconstitutional Immigration Bill

By on 6.5.06 | 2:15AM

I missed this on Friday, but it seems kind of important. Here's the deal: The Senate immigration bill has a provision that requires illegal immigrants to pay back-taxes before applying for citizenship. But Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution says that bills for raising revenue must originate in the House. Bill Frist has an easy fix for this: attach the immigration bill to a tax bill that started in the House, and send that to the conference committee. Harry Reid, however, won't agree to this, saying that the problem is no big deal -- "technical in nature" are his words. (Apparently, Reid meant his oath to uphold the Constitution to apply only to the general spirit of the document, not the actual specifics.) Refusing to allow the Frist fix almost guarantees that a member of the House will introduce and pass a blue-slip resolution to send the bill back to the Senate before it makes it into conference. Reid's goal seems to be to block any immigration bill from passing before November.

Risk Assessment

By on 6.5.06 | 1:17AM

Dave Weigel casts doubt on what seems to be the latest fantasy on Capitol Hill, namely that bringing up sure-to-fail amendments on flag burning and gay marriage will make conservatives forget about Republican fecklessness on spending and immigration. Of special note:

Viet Dinh for Native Hawaiians Act

By on 6.4.06 | 11:07PM

Former assistant attorney general Viet Dinh supports the Native Hawaiians bill pending in the Senate, which would set up a separatist, race based government in Hawaii. How disappointing. The Supreme Court has already declared unconstitutional a similar system in Hawaii, but Daniel Akaka wants his way.

For more, see one of John Fund's excellent articles on it.

Word is that the White House is giving this bill a pass also.

Maplequeda Arrests

By on 6.3.06 | 3:32PM

The arrest of seventeen Canadians - a dozen adults and five youths - won't be enough to arouse our northern neighbors. Reuters reports that those arrested in Ontario had about three tons of ammonium nitrate - roughly double the amount used in the Oklahoma City bombing -- for use in car or truck bombs. There's speculation that they were targeting government offices.

Canada has been less serious than even Mexico in trying to control jihadist wannabes. Let's hope these arrests indicate that the RCMP and their intelligence folks are getting more leeway to preempt attacks there and here.

Let's not talk about closing "the border." The proper term is borders.

Wen Ho Be Bad

By on 6.2.06 | 6:54PM

So Wen Ho Lee gets rich off his lawsuit. What a pity. You'll remember Mr. Lee: the nuke lab dude who went home with computer files, was suspected of espionage on China's behalf, but ended up earning sympathy because in some ways his case was mishandled. But the fact is that the news organizations STILL have not admitted to ANY factual inaccuracies, nor was the accuracy even officially challenged. And for good reason: The fact is that Wen Ho Lee is no victim. The stories were true, in that Mr. Lee pleaded guilty for "mishandling computer files," as the AP story put it. ANd these weren't just ANY files; they were files with important nuke-related info on them. And TO THIS DAY, Wen Ho Lee still hasn't offered adequate explanation for why he took the files out of the office in the first place, when it was obviously improper for him to do so. Meanwhile, even as a big mainstream media basher, I must say that the news organizations here are getting a raw deal.