The Spectacle Blog

War Warning update

By on 7.20.06 | 3:35PM

Update search for abducted IDF in Lebanon. The two are separated. No confirm in Beirut at this time. High probability they have been transferred separately to Syria.

IDF invasion of HizbAllah zones imminent. Mobilized at border jump offs.

As soon as hours.

Best theater source expects UN resolution for ceasefire within days. This is a race to degrade Hizb as much as possible (50-75 percent) before withdrawal to be replaced by UN supervised Euro troops -- Brits or French.

More soonest.

And the redline for Israel is an Iran missile into TelAviv. Redline for Cairo and Tehran is airstrikes on Damascus.

Two Cheers for Samuelson!

By on 7.20.06 | 3:23PM

Overall, this column by Robert Samuelson is excellent. Here is one part, though, that is a bit confusing:

…the budget should be balanced -- or run a surplus -- when the economy is close to "full employment," as it is now. Balancing the budget forces politicians to make uncomfortable choices. Which programs are sufficiently needed or popular to justify unpleasant taxes? Balancing the budget also lightens the debt burden. One figure Bush doesn't praise is the annual interest payment on the growing federal debt. Even by White House estimates, it will rise from $184 billion in 2005 to $302 billion in 2011.

In the third sentence of that paragraph, is Samuelson suggesting that taxes should be raised, or that politicians need to make choices about which programs to keep and which to eliminate? Your thoughts would be appreciated.


By on 7.20.06 | 3:17PM

It looked like Armageddon for sure. There on MSNBC was a declaration: "Breaking News!" which went on to say that Israel had dropped a "23-ton bomb" on a Hezbollah bunker in south Beirut. The breaking news item kept reappearing last night during the Scarborough show. Let's see, you wonder, 23 tons is 46-thousand pounds, beyond the capacity of the F-16s being used for the normal work. How did the Israelis deliver such a behemoth, and is there anything left of the Eastern Mediterranean?

It was of course one of those miscommunications which is allowed to perpetuate itself either because producers don't know the difference or aren't watching their product.

The Israeli command had said it had dropped 23-tons of ordnance on that south Beirut target, but not all in one bomb of course. The 23-ton bomb does not exist except in the imagination of a confused television news production assistant. And, perhaps, in the minds of some hapless viewers.

‘Get Whitey’ Laws, Pt 2

By on 7.20.06 | 2:54PM

Reading a column like Michael Daly's makes one realize that it is next-to impossible to parody the left anymore. As you will recall, one Nick Minucci was sentenced to 15 years for beating Glenn Moore with a baseball bat. Minucci was also convicted of a hate crime for using the N-word during the attack. Here is Daly's take on the sentencing:

Glenn Moore has at times played a bit part in this city's troubles and he does not dispute he was up to no good the night Nick Minucci beat him with a baseball bat while uttering a racial epithet.

But, when he stepped up to speak at his assailant's sentencing yesterday, Moore proved he also harbors a small yet precious piece of our city's greatness.

At the same time, Moore taught an important lesson to those of us who tend to divide the world into good guys and bad guys.

Joe-mentum? Not Joe Much

By on 7.20.06 | 11:06AM

The Sen. Joe Lieberman campaign announced that Bill Clinton will be up in Waterbury, Conn., to campaign for the Senator. All while Hillary is declining to publicly do much for her next-state neighbor.

The Clinton arrival comes at the same time as a Quinnipiac poll that shows Lieberman's challenger in the Democrat primary, Ned Lamont, now leading Lieberman by a couple of percentage points. MoveOn and the Kossacks must just be laughing manically about this. After seeing their anti-war babe McKinney essentially lose on Tuesday night (she's in a runoff), this is uplifting news.

There are a number of what we'll call "reasonable" Democrats in Washington and elsewhere watching the Lieberman race closely, not so much because of what it means for Lieberman, but for what the outcome means for the party and the 2008 presidential race. "I don't think people on the far left understand what they are doing," says a Washington-based Democrat political consultant. "It's alarming to a lot of us, and we're not sure why it isn't alarming to more people within the party hierarchy."

Iran Embassy Beirut

By on 7.19.06 | 3:20PM

Two sources, best signals source and best theater source, locate two IDF soldiers abducted by HizbAllah now being held at the Iran Embassy in Beirut. Am told this is not confirmed. Am told this is not for air confirm. This report is now 45 hours old. Emphasize: Not confirm. Watching. Will ask each day. Also, the manpad alert for Gaza and Central Israel continues. Old alert, still on. Confirmed.

Annoying Phrases, Pt 6

By on 7.19.06 | 2:15PM

Tracey Lingo sends this sensible email:

"Disproportionate use of force." Do I really have to explain that one? That's been in the press for the last week since the situation in the Middle East has blown up and I (for one) am quite sick and tired of it. Several pundits have put it better than me: "If rockets were raining down on Chicago or Miami on a daily basis, would you be complaining that our military was using "disproportionate use of force" against the thugs that were dropping those rockets on our cities?"

Tom Cook really dislikes the phrase:

This phrase has quickly become the most annoying noise on news reports. Like a car alarm at 8:00 in the morning, like a mosquito buzzing next to my ear, like a cell phone ringing six levels too loud, the repeated use of this brainless retort sets my nerves on end and nearly causes me to exert a disproportionate use of force against my television.

And Donald Palmer sends these words of wisdom:

McKinney Update

By on 7.19.06 | 9:51AM

It appears the famed pugilist and loudmouth Rep. Cynthia McKinney is headed to a runoff on Aug 8th. Given the makeup of her suburban Atlanta district, there is little hope of a Republican pick up here, but folks we talked to on the ground said the McKinney's staff was surprised she failed to get a majority of the vote in the primary. That means she likely will face off againse Hank Johnson, a lawyer and former local county official.

McKinney showed up her "victory" party last night with Cindy Sheehan in tow. Perhaps they're dating, who knows. Regardless, the fact that McKinney failed to gain a clear majority should be troubling news for the far-left, who have touted McKinney's convictions and courage on the stump to oppose Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Once again, MoveOn appears to have lost yet another election, and one has to wonder how long the MSM can hold off on reporting the abject real-life failures of the extreme leftist political movement in this country.