The Spectacle Blog

Roe Nibbling?

By on 12.1.05 | 2:15PM

That's what Slate senior editor Dahlia Lithwick accuses the Supreme Court of in hearing arguments in Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood yesterday.

Just to be clear about what's happening today: No one is talking about reversing Roe v. Wade. But I can't count five people willing to apply the holding in Casey to these facts either. Instead most of the court is doing constitutional loop-the-loops to try to save the New Hampshire law, even though they are almost all bothered by the lack of a health exception. Mostly they try to graft a health exception back on, whether or not the New Hampshire legislators wished to have one. The larger point is that New Hampshire nipped and tucked the so-called right to an abortion when it passed this law, and most of the court thinks that is just fine.

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Tina’s other Mother

By on 12.1.05 | 1:18PM

Wlady: I am indeed listening, but all I'm hearing is an echo. The Chris Matthews mantra -- Tonkin Gulf was a fraud, so is Iraq's WMD -- is a liberal chant now popular among the more fevered antiwar types.

Even more interesting is Hillary's forced recalibration. Preparing to throw her broom into the ring for '08, she has been wisely running to the right of her party on the war. And, as a result, she's been bashed by the Cindy Sheehanite wing of her party. She can't get the nomination without their support, and the Sorosbucks that come with it. Two weeks ago, the Clinton machine was bashing Cindy Sheehan. Now the Sheehanites are reining her in.

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Tina Time

By on 12.1.05 | 12:07PM

Tina Brown does the counterintuitive thing today and defends Bob Woodward -- because she thinks what he has on tape will soon enough bring down the whole Bush operation. More entertaining to anyone who knew her before she became a girl scout is her reference to "the cynicism of quarterly profit-driven conglomerates enslaved to entertainment values." And in case you didn't know, she compares the scandal over the absence of WMD in Iraq to "the secret deal at Suez in 1956" and -- Jed, are you listening? -- "the phony evidence for the supposed Tonkin Gulf attacks." As she writes, "it's not just tragic; it's embarrassing."

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December Firs

By on 12.1.05 | 8:35AM

The Washington Times called around to federal agencies yesterday asking what they'll be calling their Christmas trees. Most folks are using the traditional Christmas moniker or don't have an official name. Not so surprisingly, Norm Mineta's Transportation Department calls theirs "holiday" trees.

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The Times, They Aren’t Changing

By on 12.1.05 | 8:16AM

Predictably, the bitterest criticism of the president's speech yesterday comes not even from the Dems, but from their think tank, the New York Times. In its lead editorial today, the NYT editors presume to speak for the American people, compare Bush to an isolated Nixon, and do their best to revive their campaign to re-create Vietnam in the Middle East. The money quotes:

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Economy Booming

By on 12.1.05 | 7:21AM

We neglected to note this here, but the Commerce Department revised upward third quarter gross domestic product figures yesterday -- 4.3% growth instead of 3.8%. Naturally, the WSJ is bullish (sub. req'd): "We interrupt your daily doom-and-gloom programming with a word from the economy." Now if only the President would tout this as loudly as his predecessor did and let Americans know it.

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Managing The New Alito Document

By on 12.1.05 | 7:11AM

The new abortion ammo for/against Judge Alito probably will not substantially hinder his confirmation. He weathered the 1985 Justice Department application release well, thanks to the White House's successful message control under Steve Schmidt. Schmidt convinced the press and most moderates that Alito must be evaluated as a judge, not a political job-seeker. Schmidt's already working from that successful playbook on this newly released memo:

"Judge Alito should be evaluated on his 15 years of jurisprudence as a federal judge where he has authored hundreds of opinions," Schmidt said. "On some of those cases, he has upheld abortion rights. In other cases he has not. To leap to conclusions and try to infer future decisions from 20-year-old memos borders on the silly."

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Re: Letter from Toyota

By on 12.1.05 | 6:56AM

Glenn Reynolds says Holman Jenkins is wrong to be so dismissive of hybrids. He says his Highlander "gets double the mileage in town."

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Global Freezing in History

By on 11.30.05 | 6:51PM

Jed, the Gulf Stream has shifted before, north, in the middle ages. It caused a major global power realignment, because it brought the great codfish schools with it -- and moved that source of national wealth marginally out of reach for the vessels of Spain and Portugal at the time. England and the cities of the Hanseatic League benefited, to the extent that by the mid-1300s, the League had taken over global control of the salt fish trade.

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Global Freezing?

By on 11.30.05 | 5:42PM

Another wonderful EUnuch day comes to an end. The first face transplant (partial one, at least) was accomplished surgically in France. And those who are the most ardent supporters of the Kyoto global warming treaty, inevitably, are now facing the prospect of a -- wait for it -- mini-Ice Age that could engulf Europe.

From the Department of Stuff We Can't Make Up comes the report that the ocean current that gives Europe its balmy (atmospheric, not political) climate is failing and may create another ice age on the Continent. The (intemperate) money quote?

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