The Spectacle Blog

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.

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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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Move the judges!

By on 3.7.06 | 3:17PM

Over at Confirmthem, Andrew makes a great post: It's time to start cracking the whip on the appeals court nominees again. Just because Alito and Roberts were confirmed is no reason to rest on our laurels. Let's get the ball rolling on this!

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Today on the Hugh Hewitt Show

By on 3.7.06 | 12:06PM

Just what did Vice President Cheney have in mind when he said today that Iran would face "meaningful consequences" if it continued to defy the international community's attempts to block its nuclear weapons program? Tune in to the Hugh Hewitt Show today (6-9 EST on the Salem Radio Network). We'll be dissecting the Veep's words and much more, including the latest developments in Meatheadgate: the Rob Reiner ad scandal.

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Bush Comes Around?

By on 3.7.06 | 9:27AM

After some thorough soul-searching, President Bush came to his senses about spending yesterday: "We can't be all things to all people when it comes to spending the taxpayers' money." Ok, so it's not fiscal conservatism at its roots, but it's apparent progress from No Child Left Behind and the prescription drug bill. Next step in therapy: "The government isn't the solution."

While the President is taking a solid step in pushing for the line item veto (I'm really not sure how a tailored version gets around the unconstitutionality of the first go 'round... something not one news report about yesterday's announcement explained), that is hardly an adequate explanation for his spending record. Legislative scapegoats won't do -- and since Bush hasn't vetoed a spending bill, chances are Congress won't take him seriously here.

UPDATE [10:30]: A helpful reader explains the constitutionality of the Bush proposal:

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Getting Crazy With Iran - Like A Fox?

By on 3.7.06 | 8:08AM

Clever Hitchens, looking to make an end run around the thicket of Iran policy, suggests we go to the mullahs and kill them with kindness -- kindness aimed, that is, at their own pro-American people.

Creativity points, clearly, are in order -- but Tehran would grasp easily that a speech by Bush, or any US President, live and in person to the Persian masses means the jig is up, up, and away.

Query then whether we might bully them into doing it. Ponder the opportunity for letting gleam that other weapon of the Cold War...

"An iron veil has descended across a proud and ancient civilization. Mr. Ahmadinejad, tear down this veil!"

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OBL hunt gone cold

By on 3.7.06 | 12:15AM

Signals source, when prodded, says that the report of imminent hot pursuit of OBL is now gone cold. Last weekend, POTUS in Pakistan asked Mushareff for assistance, and Mushareff turned away. This can be seen as the price of strategic alliance with India, and a good price. The bagging of the sickly and operationally insignificant OBL is not a central achievement. OBL is last century's villain. Now the enemy is most readily visible all the time. GPS for Tehran. GPS for the Wahhabbst princes of Araby. GPS for Palazzo al-Assad.

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Re: Durbin, Wyden and Rockefeller

By on 3.6.06 | 9:52PM

Quin: This is a pretty old story that may become new again soon. Over a year ago, I reported that these three were the subject of a criminal referral to the Justice Department. The unfortunate fact is that they're still in the Senate, and nothing has been done to bring them to account for the leak. It's also very likely that the NSA terrorist surveillance program was leaked by one of them or their staff. Stay tuned. This could get really interesting soon.

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Nagin agin, on race case

By on 3.6.06 | 5:00PM

Lord Almighty, my home city's pols keep embarrassing themselves. More evidence that Mayor Ray Nagin has gone to the dark side of demogoguery comes from yesterday's Houston Chronicle, here:

Nagin noted that 23 candidates entered the mayoral fray before the registration deadline last week.

"Very few of them look like us," he told the almost totally black crowd of about 200 persons who attended the meeting at the NAACP Family & Technology Center on Fannin.

This is, of course, "chocolate city" redux. And it's outrageous. Racial appeals have no good place in our politics, and certainly not in the politics of a suffering city that needs to pull together. And to think, Nagin originally was elected with majority white support and only a minority of black support. Anyway, shame on him. What a jack---.

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