The Spectacle Blog

Si, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus

By on 11.3.05 | 1:13AM

Late last night I checked out the Lakers-Nuggets game on ESPN. During a break in the action, suddenly a political ad was played for my Cox Cable area's viewers -- in Spanish. Makes sense, no? The Lakers after all represent Los Angeles, a large Spanish-speaking market.

But wait. I live in Northern Virginia. The ad had nothing to do with California's coming propositions. It was for Virginia's Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Tim Kaine. There are enough registered Hispanic voters in this area to reach out to? That's not something you hear much about.

Instead, the impression is always that most Hispanics here are presumed to be undocumented and thus not citizens, which is probably unfair to many thousands who have become naturalized. Regardless, Democrats must consider them all their own, no questions asked. Otherwise, why not attract them in English?

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Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

By on 11.2.05 | 6:10PM

Courtesy of Drudge:

"GUEST HIGHLIGHTS AT WHITE HOUSE DINNER FOR PRINCE CHARLES AND DUTCHESS: Miss Jenna Bush/ Mr. Henry Hager (Guest); Tom Brokaw; Michael Beschloss, Historian; Mary Cheney, Ms. Heather Poe (Guest); Kelsey Grammer; Nancy Reagan, Mr. Merv Griffin (Guest); Condoleezza Rice, Mr. Gene A. Washington, Director of Football Operations, National Football League (Guest); R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr., Editor in Chief, The American Spectator...Medallions of Buffalo Tenderloin, Roasted Corn, Wild Rice Pancakes, Glazed Parsnips and Young Carrots; Mint Romaine Lettuce with Blood Orange Vinaigrette, Vermont Camembert Cheese and Spiced Walnuts; Petits Fours Cake, Chartreuse Ice Cream, Red and Green Grape Sauce... "

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Quick Quiz

By on 11.2.05 | 3:46PM

OK, all you media watchers. See if you can guess which big daily newspaper ran this as the ultimate paragraph in their principal editorial today:

"The key issue of course is that once again the rigged evidence with which Bush tried first to persuade the UN to invade Iraq and then used anyway with Britain's Tony Blair to justify their independent attack on Saddam, is back center stage. Americans did not seem to care back in 2003. They still didn't care last November when they re-elected Bush -- this time with a legitimate majority. But they care now. In the selfsame week of the White House humiliation over Harriet Miers and the indictment of Lewis Libby and the continued implication of Karl Rove, the number of the U.S. servicemen killed in Iraq crossed the 2,000 mark. People are wanting to know how much longer American dollars and American blood are going to be poured out. They might not have worried had Saddam's overthrow been quick and created a stable Iraq or the death had been on the Iraq side alone. Instead now they see the rising price of failure based on lies and their view is changing to anger. Could the Bush second term perhaps end like Richard Nixon's?"

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Peanut Watch

By on 11.2.05 | 3:17PM

What a surprise. The worst U.S. president of the 20th century has opined that the intelligence used by the Bush administration in advance of the Iraqi invasion was “manipulated, at least.” Of course, this is not the first time he has opened his yap. Last year, he said that the war was “based on lies and misinterpretations” cooked up by “Bush Jr.,” about as demeaning a term of reference from an ex-president as can be imagined. And the Nobel committee used him to get at George W. in 2002, an opportunity he gladly took in his acceptance speech.

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Slate in a State

By on 11.2.05 | 2:38PM

Their Supreme Court analysis has never been great, but Slate's offerings on Samuel Alito are especially hysterical (definition 1, and sometimes 3). One example: Richard Schragger writes, regarding Alito's abortion jurisprudence: "Seeking to cloud this issue by pointing out that Alito authored opinions on both sides of the issue is nonsense. Nothing could be further from the truth." To make his case, Scragger discusses Casey and Farmer, emphasizing the distance in the latter case between the majority opinion Alito's precedent-based concurrence. But he totally ignores Elizabeth Blackwell Health Center for Women v. Knoll, the Medicaid abortion-funding case which I described here. Knoll was a split 2-1 decision, so it's not as if Alito's deference to Clinton admininstration policy was inevitable.

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Mapes’ ‘Essential Truth’

By on 11.2.05 | 11:26AM

The Vanity Fair excerpt from Mary Mapes' book is further proof of the Boccardi/Thornburgh whitewash of CBS's forgery-based National Guard story. While Mapes whines about having to answer questions from Boccardi about her baldly liberal bias -- "Wouldn't you describe yourself as a liberal?" he asked her at one point -- she neglects to mention that his report outrageously ruled bias out as a "factor" in the fiasco. Dick Thornburgh, whom Mapes calls an "empty suit" and delights in reminding readers was one of the first victims of an Ali G. prank, went along with the whitewash. Mapes should thank those guys for letting her off the hook on that. Boccardi knew that she was an axe-grinding liberal but omitted that from his account and declared that "haste" was the cause of the bungling -- a very novel explanation when both Rather and Mapes are standing by the forgery over a year later.

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Anonymous Tips

By on 11.2.05 | 11:08AM

Sometimes they pan out, sometimes they don't. The one we got a few days ago hasn't. According to two highly-placed DoD sources there isn't any new startling find to disprove current assumptions.

One aspect of this seems to be recycled news. There has been a lot of talk about yellowcake uranium -- the stuff produced as the first step in refining raw ore -- in Iraq. But we found tons of it in Iraq when our forces first entered at the al-Tuwaitha site, where Saddam's nuclear weapons program was underway. Whether it was from Niger or wherever, it's indisputable that Saddam's program to develop nukes was a priority of his government. The new Iraqi government has no capability -- or desire -- to build them. But then again, there's Iran.

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Biden Disconnect

By on 11.2.05 | 11:01AM

In an even bigger insult to the body politic than any attempted by Senate Democrat hoodlums yesterday, Sen. Joe Biden spoke in Manchester, New Hampshire last night. He appeared before 125 Granite Staters, which is more hostages than Reid's gang terrorized. The Union Leader reports that Biden delivered "a rousing, fist-clenching political speech," and promised to vote against Samuel Alito if the nominee fails to answer questions in his confirmation hearings. As if expecting Alito himself to pull the plug on Biden's presidential ambitions, Sen. Joe said, according to the U.L., that a "nominee should have to answer whether a medical patient hooked up to a life-sustaining machine has the ability to demand he be disconnected."

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Before Acceptance…

By on 11.2.05 | 10:36AM

...comes denial. David Broder briefly stops at denial today with the headline "President Pushover." Rebuked and even chastened from the Miers fiasco? Sure. "But the message that has been sent is that this president is surprisingly easy to roll"? If by surprisingly easy you mean it takes a month to convince him of a bad move. I wonder if Mr. Broder was walled up writing his column while the Dems stormed the Senate yesterday. That, my friends, is a stunt from the position of weakness.

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