The Spectacle Blog

Bet on Kansas

By on 3.8.06 | 1:44PM

Conservatives should be paying attention to the legislative session unfolding in Kansas, where state officials are considering passage of a bill that would allow the state to own and operate casinos in order to generate revenue to fund education budget shortfalls.

The bill, which has been floated before and failed, is a pet project of the governor, Democrat Kathleen Sebelius, and right now Republicans in the statehouse are telling associates that they support the legislation.

This is all the more mindboggling given that most Republicans in Kansas haven't seen much of the legislation's language. Given what Washington Republicans have just gone through with Indian casinos, Jack Abramoff, and lobbying, do they really think it's a good idea to get in bed with state-owned and operated gambling? And it if it isn't state-operated, just who is going to run these parlors of sin and temptation for them? Donald Trump?

Soros Bullish on Katrina Fallout

By on 3.8.06 | 1:16PM

George Soros' Open Society Institute is preparing to dole out a goodly sum to ensure that all the positive, fawning coverage Hurricane Katrina's death and destruction has been receiving finally gets balanced out a bit with the hitherto unheard bad news:

The Katrina Media Fellowships, sponsored by The Open Society Institute (OSI), will support media makers working in print and radio journalism, photography, and documentary film and video to generate and improve media coverage of critical issues of poverty, racism, and government neglect in the Gulf Region that were laid bare by Hurricane Katrina. This one-time fellowship will be awarded to mid-career or veteran print or radio journalists, photographers, or documentary filmmakers with proven track records as serious media-makers. OSI will give special consideration to applicants who have been displaced from or are residents of the Gulf Region. OSI expects to award 12-15 fellowships. Fellowship recipients will be announced in mid-May 2006 and receive between $15,000-$35,000, to cover a stipend and project expenses.

Re: The Fairer Sex

By on 3.8.06 | 12:48PM

Dave: either a socialist plot or plain human bad habit. Like the pagans of Rome we name our months for our gods.

Re: The Fairer Sex

By on 3.8.06 | 12:23PM

So James, does that mean that the designation of March as National Women's History Month must have been a Socialist plot?

Or perhaps a presidential one: it's an opportunity for politicians to pander. In President Bush's case, he used yesterday's bully pulpit to tout the accomplishments of women in Iraq and Afghanistan. This was the right move: highlighting freedom where there was so little. But the rest just smacked of false hamming it up -- Look! I like women! I even have women friends and cabinet officers. I even married one! The Bill Clinton legacy continues...

The Fairer Sex

By on 3.8.06 | 12:10PM

In accordance with Socialist Party tradition, today marks International Women's Day (official United Nations enthusiasm provided here). It's a fine occasion to consider the latest hip sexaholic feminist manifesto to hit bookshelves -- Sex and the Seasoned Woman: Pursuing the Passionate Life. Lakshmi Chaudry has hit back, from that other side of feminism you hear nothing about. I review in detail here.

Overload?

By on 3.8.06 | 11:57AM

Well, almost. On today's Hugh Hewitt Show, there's almost too much to talk about. We'll get an Iraq update from Gen. Kimmett of CENTCOM, talk to Cong. Dan Lundgren (former California attorney general) about the expanding story of Meatheadgate (Rob Reiner's slush fund "First Five Commission"), Arizona Gov Napolitano sending national guard troops to the Mexican border, the Dubai port deal snafu, and a whole bunch more. Too bad we only have three hours. See ya on the radio.

Re: A Conservative Budget

By on 3.8.06 | 11:04AM

The RSC budget's out. The quick synopsis: it's great, but it has the chance of a snowball in hell. It's here as a Word document. The highlights:

-It's boldly titled the "Contract for America Renewed." It apparently takes this title from its heavy reliance on a 1995 Contract for America budget, H.Con.Res. 67, which the House passed.

-Eliminate USAID, Millenium Challenge Accounts, and assistance to Egypt. That saves about $32-33 billion over five years.

-Eliminate the space shuttle and President Bush's Mars/Moon initiative. Good riddance to both. Savings: about $18 billion over five years.

-Eliminate Amtrak, the transportation bill earmarks, and the essential air service; privatize the FAA; and devolve federal highway aid. Savings: about $72 billion over five years.

-Eliminate Community Development Block Grants. $21 billion over five years.

A Conservative Budget

By on 3.8.06 | 8:29AM

The House Republican Study Committee will release a balanced budget, in competition with the President's budget, this morning at 11 a.m. EST. We'll keep an eye out for it. Until then, read Mike Pence and Jeb Hensarling's case for it.

Console Thyself…

By on 3.8.06 | 7:13AM

...disaffected Republicans. Democrats are quibbling at the most basic level: control of voter lists. The Clintonista wing of the party is setting up their own operation in competition with Dean's DNC.

Forgery at the Impromptu Spelling Bee

By on 3.7.06 | 10:57PM

Via Reuters:

A Cyprus court jailed Pakistani national Fazal Ur Rehman for eight months for forgery after police spotted spelling mistakes on stamps on an Afghan passport he was carrying -- otherwise it was a near-perfect copy, the Cyprus Mail said Wednesday.

"Ministry" was spelled "Menistry" and the first "n" was missing from government, the newspaper said.

"The passport looked perfect and professionally made ... almost deemed original by forensics," a police officer told a magistrate in the Cypriot capital Nicosia.

Okay, okay. A Cyprus court? Pakistani national? Afghan passport? Huh? It sounds like it's probably a good thing this guy is such a bad speller...

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