The Spectacle Blog

Willful

By on 11.17.05 | 1:12PM

In his column today, George Will calls members of a school board in Kansas who question Darwinism "the kind of conservatives who make conservatism repulsive to temperate people." Well, we can't have that. I would like to know who these temperate people are. My very unfair guess is that many of them sign his checks.

How many philosophically liberal cultural positions has Will advanced over the years? I've lost track. I do remember him endorsing feminism and state experimentation with gay marriage (this involved a lot of impressive throat-clearing and very thoughtful qualifications). He recently scolded social conservatives for being crudely obsessed with letting unborn children live.

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The New New McCarthy

By on 11.17.05 | 12:27PM

Joe Conason's profile of Bill Clinton in the new Esquire is notable mostly in how blandly soundbite-ish the rhetoric of the ex-president it declares "The most influential man in the world" is. There are, however, points of interest here and there, not least of which is when Clinton notes in defense of George W. Bush that "when you've been president and troops are committed and lives are on the line, I think we have to be very careful what we say." Whoa! When did Ari "watch what they say, what what they do" Fleischer start coaching Clinton? And when will the left side of the blogosphere start condemning the 42nd president for this attack on their right to dissent? Is someone at Daily Kos even now photoshopping a picture of Bill Clinton lighting the Bill of Rights on fire with a cigar? Can I expect an online petition and fundraising request from MoveOn.org in my inbox this very day?

Joesph McCarthy, you wily rascal, the latest form you've taken on is your most dastardly yet!

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Murtha’s Speech

By on 11.17.05 | 11:11AM

Rep. Jack Murtha (D-Pa) is no Kucinich. He's been a defense stalwart for decades. His speech today, in which he says that the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq is impeding Iraq's progress to self government and defense, and calls for immediate withdrawal, is a serious statement from one of the few remaining Dems who have any credibility on defense.

When Murtha says, as he did today, that "the U.S. can not accomplish anything further in Iraq militarily," he removes one of the last restraints on irresponsible Congressional action on the war. The president and vice president are at least beginning to answer their critics on the pre-war intel issue. But they need to act, decisively and consistently, to win back the support of people such as Murtha. We have Republican Roundheels in the Senate, and antiwar whacko Dems in the House and Senate. We simply can't afford to lose the few remaining Murthas in Congress.

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Alaska’s Bridges Blowup

By on 11.17.05 | 10:10AM

Some of our readers have argued that the removal of the Bridges to Nowhere earmark is a token victory, since local Alaskan officials will still receive more than $400 million to spend as they see fit. Symbolic or substantial, the win over pork still has Alaskan Rep. Don Young, chairman of the transportation committee, so angered that he's cornering House colleagues and reminding them he won't forget it. The Hill has the full story.

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House Repub Tussle

By on 11.17.05 | 9:30AM

Before newbies to the leadership ladder start campaigning, there remain some big dogs to push out of the way. Biggest is Rep. John Boehner, who has been waiting for his shot at the leader's chair now for several election cycles.

Boehner has been doggedly fundraising, working K Street and helping his colleagues for years and isn't because he enjoys the hustle of it all. He will be a tough competitor. But the more the merrier.

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Coup Time

By on 11.17.05 | 8:51AM

Rep. Tom Reynolds mean anything to you? Pat Hynes's AnkleBitingPundits.com thinks he will soon enough. The current chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee wants to move up -- way up -- in the GOP House leadership. He's from Buffalo, so there's a lot more to him than there was, say, from Rick Lazio. But how do he and, say, Mike Pence, mesh?

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On the Air

By on 11.17.05 | 7:20AM

I'll be subbing for Mark Larson on KOGO (600 am) in San Diego today, 3-6 pm EST. For those not lucky enough to be living in SD, you can listen live on the net on the KOGO website. We'll be talking about the latest on the Senate Roundheels, Judge Alito, and lots more.

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GOGs Retake the Field

By on 11.16.05 | 5:33PM

Well, now we have a small lesson in leadership. From, unsurprisingly, the Vice President. Striking back at Dems for their "Bush lied us into war" campaign, Mr. Cheney said:

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Alaska’s Bridges to Nowhere Slain

By on 11.16.05 | 3:13PM

Or defunded. But conservatives are rejoicing at the victory over the two transportation projects that amounted to hundreds of millions of dollars in Congressional earmark spending. Andrew Roth has the round up of news and commentary. Next up: parking garages and bike paths.

UPDATE: Readers note that while the bridges are gone, the funds are still flowing to Alaska, probably as a concession to please Ted Stevens. Still, it's a sizable victory.

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Happy Beaujolais Nouveau Week

By on 11.16.05 | 2:42PM

The French wine is officially in season tonight at midnight. The Boston Globe has a terrific dispatch from the Beaujolais region of France. Of course, Wikipedia has a complete entry.

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