The Spectacle Blog

Iraqi Bloggers React

By on 11.5.06 | 9:33AM

Omar Fadhil: "The Day of Justice"

Mohammed Fadhil: "I was overwhelmed with joy and relief as I watched the criminals being read their verdicts."

AYS: "I was watching it alone in my flat, honestly, tears flew from my eyes as the judge announced the 'death by hanging' sentence, I don't know why!"

Sooni: "Finally, we folded the book of tyranny in Iraq... Many whiners from different Arab countries who hate to see Saddam hang but they like to see the Iraqi blood spilled in the name of 'resistance'... Can anyone deny that about 80% of the Iraqi people are happy with this verdict?"

More Pence

By on 11.3.06 | 3:34PM

I find it amusing that Matt Yglesias has pointed to a column I independently wrote as evidence that "Mike Pence is already trying to gin up support for a leadership bid in the wake of a GOP electoral defeat." Pence may be angling for a leadership post, and I hope he obtains one, but I had absolutely no contact with Pence's people in writing the piece.

More substantively, Yglesias calls the analysis that the Republican Party needs to return to its limited government roots "pretty daft" adding that "if the GOP really does react to defeat by moving in the direction of Pence-ism, I think they'll find it doesn't help them."

On Praising The Troops

By on 11.3.06 | 1:28PM

Ezra Klein, over at Tapped has this to say about U.S./>/> troops:

I loathe the tendency -- by politicians and pundits, liberals and conservatives -- to dreamily speak of the great sacrifice, magnificent courage, inspiring intellect, and extraordinary characters of our troops. It's bullshit. And it's bullshit designed to make us feel better, so we don't have to face what we've done to these young people, and don't have to imagine the toll a warzone takes on real humans, rather than imagined supermen.

Re: Convenience Voting

By on 11.3.06 | 1:23PM

Well, I can attest to the trend. I just voted absentee at our Town Clerk's office, dead easy, for no better reason than that I'm driving south to play golf and grab some warmer weather next week.

Any AmSpec golfers in the Fairfax, Virginia area on for a round?

4.4 Percent

By on 11.3.06 | 11:57AM

That was the ridiculously low unemployment rate for October--the lowest rate in five years. It corresponds with a booming stock market, low inflation, and solid economic growth. In addition to low unemployment, wages are up enough to trigger fears of inflation:

Workers' average hourly earnings climbed to $16.91 in October, a sizable 0.4 percent increase from September. That increase was bigger than the 0.3 percent rise economists were expecting. Over the last 12 months, wages grew by 3.9 percent.

Growth in wages is good for workers, but a rapid and sustained advance makes economists fret about inflation flaring up. That's not good for the economy or workers' pocketbooks, ultimately, because inflation can eat into everybody's buying power.