The Spectacle Blog

Congress Taking on the BCS

By on 12.7.05 | 12:33PM

The House Commerce Committee is looking at the Bowl Championship Series today. That's right. College football. Led by Congressman Joe Barton (R-Texas), the committee will attempt to nag bowl officials into a playoff format.

Their justification? That college football's a big business and sometimes the BCS choices end in "sniping and controversy." Typically, we call that winning and losing.

C-Span plans to air the spectacle sometime tonight after 8 p.m.

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Battle Over Narnia

By on 12.7.05 | 12:08PM

RedState is keeping an eye on the vitriol against The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, to be released Friday. They're dubbing this project the "Narnia Hate Watch." While I'm not sure it will reach such heights, Paul Cella writes, "Not since Passion of the Christ have we seen such hatred for a film yet to be released." Oh well. I've eagerly awaited the film for over a year and plan to see it this weekend.

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Campbell Wins, To Join RSC

By on 12.7.05 | 11:59AM

John Campbell joins the ranks of the House Republicans in Washington today after winning SEC Chairman Chris Cox's old seat in California last night. Reports from the House indicate that Rep. Campbell will join the Republican Study Committee (the good guys).

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Day of Infamy

By on 12.7.05 | 11:53AM

As most every American knows instinctively, today is Pearl Harbor day. All over the country local newspapers and even some major papers are carrying stories and reflections, on this, the 64th anniversary of Japan's attack on America. My own local papers, alas, the Washington Post and the New York Times, ran nothing on the event. Though you can link to an AP story posted yesterday on their websites that was posted yesterday.

Of course, the Washington Times comes through in a major way. And of the networks, NBC headlined the anniversary in its morning lineup, right before the interview with Howard Stern.

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McCain on Imus on Torture

By on 12.7.05 | 8:57AM

So let's get this straight -- McCain said that no good information comes from torture because they (the torturees) will "say what they thnk you want to hear to stop the pain." Imus asked about the exception for an impending nuke. McCain, seeking to be reasonable, agreed that in that "one in a million" situation, "go ahead and do it. It's justifiable." Why would torture work in that situation and not others?

First of all, I'd like someone to cite any examples of torture committed by U.S. military personnel that have gone unpunished. Second, absent any proof to the contrary, I'd like Senator McCain and others like him to stop saying, as he did on Imus this morning, that "this torture has to stop." By saying "it" has to stop, he is saying that "it" is going on and accusing our troops of breaking the law. Third, will Senator McCain take his "exception" to the rule to its logical conclusion?

It's okay to torture when it may help save the lives of a million innocent people. How about half a million? Or 250,000? Or 10,000? Or 100? Or 10? (Am I sounding like Father Abraham?)

How about saving a platoon of U.S. Army Infantrymen from an ambush?

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There’s Always Virginia

By on 12.7.05 | 7:31AM

The D.C. Council passed a smoking ban ordinance yesterday, to the apparent consternation of Mayor Anthony Williams, who's worried about the detrimental effects to business. Worse than that, it's a blow to civil society: a bloc of citizens can declare a minor vice (if that) unpleasant and banish the offenders to the sidewalk. Liberals aren't so tolerant after all.

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The Plot Thickens

By on 12.6.05 | 9:47PM

Last week I defended the late Pat Morita against the PC condescending tribute paid him by Lawrence Downes in the New York Times. Now it turns out Downes fell into the very trap he set for himself. Yesterday the Times ran this dainty correction apropos his piece:

An Editorial Observer column last Tuesday about the death of the actor Pat Morita referred imprecisely to Rob Schneider's background. His mother is Filipino.

I'd say Downes had been precise to a fault in making his erroneous point:

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Two Clarks

By on 12.6.05 | 12:24PM

John Burns may be the New York Times's finest, and certainly toughest, reporter. He's been in Iraq since well before the war. Today he profiles the forever fellow-traveling Ramsey Clark, currently a member of Saddam Hussein's defense team. In his subtle, measured way, Burns undresses Clark -- "a tall, gaunt figure, still with a Texas drawl after decades of living in New York..." Before Burns is done with him, Clark is displaying a propensity for moral equivalence apologetics that during the 1930s would have had him rushing to defend Stalin. Burns reports:

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High Stakes December in the House

By on 12.6.05 | 10:05AM

The House of Representatives returns from its Thanksgiving recess today with an agenda full of crucial items. Moderate Republicans have grown bolder in recent weeks, with their eyes on defeating the modest, $50 billion cuts in the budget increases as well as drilling in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge. ANWR will be resolved in conference.

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