The Spectacle Blog

The Heroism of Brad Kasal

By on 5.2.06 | 8:32AM

You may remember Marine 1st Sgt. Brad Kasal from the May 2005 TAS article entitled, "Forty Minutes in Fallujah." Kasal, who with a few of his men charged into a house in Fallujah to rescue other Marines who were pinned down, gun-fought the insurgents for almost an hour and received several wounds while saving the lives of those other Marines.

I'd speculated that Kasal's bravery wouldn't go unnoticed, and it hasn't. According to this LA Times Report, Brad Kasal has been promoted to Sergeant Major and awarded the Navy Cross, which is the next-highest award to the Medal of Honor in recognition of valor in combat.

Kasal has been assigned to recruitment duty in his native Iowa. He'll be an inspiration to all the young folks who come into his office, and in all the schools he'll visit. Congratulations, Sergeant Major. You're an inspiration to us all.

A Day Without Whom?

By on 5.2.06 | 7:52AM

James, the morning papers are bearing out your point about the lack of impact of the illegal immigrant "economic boycott." (Ol' Howard Beale, I mean, Lou Dobbs noted how only the Washington Post is calling the protesters illegal immigrants as opposed to just immigrants.)

But when the New York Times writes of letdown in the second paragraph, you know it was a flop. "The demonstrations did not bring the nation to a halt as planned by some organizers...." The papers and wires show photos of downtown L.A. -- how impressive is it to fill Wilshire Blvd. with illegal immigrants on any given day? It makes for an easy front page shot, but what I want to know is: did they play in the streets of Peoria?

A Modest (Immigration) Proposal

By on 5.1.06 | 6:44PM

Mexico is in favor of immigration. Mexico has made drug possession legal, at least in small amounts. So it should follow that all American drug addicts would be given a one-way ticket to Mexico city. Open borders are open in both directions.

Re: Poor, Uneducated, and Easily Led

By on 5.1.06 | 5:35PM

Yet were, say, I to deploy that ignominious phrase, amongst reflections on the Spanish-inflected hoohah wafting through the window of my flat, I would be doomed -- not just doomed but a doomed racist. Fortunately I won't say any such thing. The Wash Post itself reports that illegal immigrants seem rather more difficult to lead than some had predicted. The mixed baggery of the Great School & Business Walkout suggests that at least some of the poor would prefer to work and some of the uneducated to learn. How about that for an American tradition?

Poor, Uneducated, and Easily Led

By on 5.1.06 | 5:05PM

With regard to Dave's post immediately below, the single worst -- nay, not just bad, but flat-out offensive -- line of Ryan Lizza's in his hit piece on George Allen, the one that Dave Holman so brilliantly skewered, was this: "Whuppin' his siblings might have been a natural prelude to Confederate sympathies and noose-collecting if Allen had grown up in, say, a shack in Alabama."

This astonishing bit of cultural condescension (not to mention slander against poor people from an entire state and, by implication, an entire region of the country) has more than just a small whiff of the infamous Washington Post story by Michael Weisskopf in 1993 in which he wrote that followers of the Christian Right are "largely poor, uneducated and easy to command."

‘Hyperbole’?

By on 5.1.06 | 4:32PM

At the New Republic blog, Jason Zengerle razzes me "for painstakingly establishing that, contra the first sentence of Ryan's article, Allen is not the only person in Virginia who wears cowboy boots..." He says I should look up "hyperbole."

That might have explained Lizza failing to see my boots, just feet away in a small group, until he emailed, "I didn't see any cowboy boots at Shad Planking except Allen's."

UPDATE: Amy Ridenour is not surprised.

Anybody home?

By on 5.1.06 | 3:27PM

Awfully quiet in here this morning. We're not...no, we wouldn't do that. Besides, we already write the stuff ordinary Americans can't be bothered to write.

Newspaper Geeks United

By on 5.1.06 | 3:11PM

The Wall Street Journal website is free for the next ten days.

“Socialist Bunk”

By on 5.1.06 | 11:00AM

That's what Sen. John Cornyn's spokesman calls Bill Frist's $100 gas rebate plan. The comments go downhill from there: another Republican Senate staffer said that constituents are asking, "Do you think we are prostitutes?"

Wow. It's a rare day on Capitol Hill when common sense just might prevail.

Overheard @ The Prom

By on 5.1.06 | 9:31AM

Joe Wilson and his wife, She Who Must Not Be Named, were two of the most visible attendees at the White House Correspondents Dinner on Saturday.

In the aftermath, after President Bush stole the show with a bravura performance that outclassed just about everything else that night, Wilson was quoted as telling various reporters that some Republicans blamed him for President Bush's low approval ratings.

Whatever Wilson was being served by ABC News at its pre-dinner party, we'd like a big pot of it, whatever it was, because Wilson must be seeing lots of pretty colors and living in a fantasy world. No Republican with a mind is even thinking of Wilson at this stage of the game. He's a has-been, a washed up, retired, mediocre foreign service officer, who talked a good game of "having contacts" in Africa to his wife, and then failed her when she got him an important gig that should have been assigned to more qualified people.

The President's problems reside solely at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and up on Capitol Hill, where messaging and legislative discipline need to be put on the priority list.

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