The Spectacle Blog

Gore, Continued

By on 1.16.06 | 12:13PM

Gore just mis-defined that unitary executive theory, unsurprisingly. The unitary executive theory does not say that executive power is unchecked by the other branches of government. It says that executive agencies should be answerable to the President. Does Gore not know the facts, or just not care about them?

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Gore Speaks

By on 1.16.06 | 11:50AM

Boy, did we dodge a bullet in 2000.

One more time: We don't know the technical details of the NSA program, and for good reason. Those technical details may, and probably do, make FISA inapplicable. James Risen's sources leaked information not because they were concerned about FISA, but because they thought the program was questionable under the Fourth Amendment. The caselaw isn't with them on this: A national security-related "border search" simply isn't an unreasonable search. If FISA is inapplicable, Article II warmaking powers, which certainly include spying on the enemy, are applicable.

All of Gore's screaming about "disrespect for the law" is entirely off point.

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Re: So Far …

By on 1.16.06 | 10:17AM

Lady G: I thought when you wrote "hell hath no fury" you might be alluding to these poor viewers in South Carolina, who missed the last 10 minutes of 24 due to the station switching to the local news at 10:00 (the NFL game that preceded 24 ran long).

Of course, it wouldn’t be modern America/>/> without one jilted viewer opining that he found the station’s screw-up “disrespectful.” No, just incompetent.

Jed: Along with the soap opera element, the other real stretch of credulity is all the inside jobs and moles, in every season. This season, we already we have a presidential chief of staff in on the scheme (whatever the scheme is), and past seasons have seen infiltrators galore, right up the chain of command.

There are plenty of bad guys in the outside world to do the trick just fine, thank you.

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Re: So Far…

By on 1.16.06 | 9:55AM

Paul and Lady G: Yes, "24" is off to a rocking start, and -- fortunately -- the soap opera aspects have yet to make their tiresome appearance. That's what turned me off to the show a year ago. For professional anti-terrorist operators and analysts to be so consumed by the who's sleeping with whom intra-office jealousies was too much for me. Maybe that's what makes good tv, but I'da fired the whole lot of 'em and replaced them with people who could keep their minds on their work. They could solve that with a name change. Instead of calling it "24," how about "As the World Burns?"

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Which MLK?

By on 1.16.06 | 9:19AM

On the far left, there is often grumbling that we don't celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr.'s legacy in toto. King was a socialist, and stridently antiwar. This tends to get swept under the rug; if it didn't, it would be hard to countenance a national holiday. That part of King's legacy belongs only to the left.

What we celebrate is not what is divisive but what is unifying about King's legacy: his fight for equality against racism, his dream of a colorblind society -- what can be plausibly described as "King's Conservative Legacy," but which of course is bigger than that.

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Re: Happy Holiday

By on 1.16.06 | 8:32AM

Wlady, Speaking of speeches, Al Gore (with our very own Bob Barr) is delivering a "major address" today at the DAR Constitution Hall in Washington. I'm sure they'll invoke MLK Jr., but what would be the reaction if President Bush were to deliver a major address today on an apparently unrelated topic?

Anyhow, the group putting on the event, the Liberty Coalition, is a mix of odd bedfellows: Grover Norquist's ATR, the American Conservative Union, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and Townhall with the ACLU, Mothers Against the Draft, Amnesty International, and MoveOn.org. And the event is co-sponsored by the anti-Federalist Society, the American Constitution Society. I'm not sure what to think of this amalgam, but we'll know more when Al takes the stage at 12 noon today. C-Span is carrying it live.

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Happy Holiday

By on 1.16.06 | 8:12AM

Happy Martin Luther King Day. Good luck especially in having a listen to the one and only "I Have a Dream" speech. For some reason, the King family holds all rights to it, so that the one of 20th century history's greatest publicly delivered speeches is not in the public domain. Only in America! Read all about it in Sunday's Washington Post

There'll be lots of AmSpecBlogging today, but no regular lineup. We return in force on Tuesday.

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Re: So Far…

By on 1.16.06 | 8:11AM

Paul: Want to see real anger on Monday night's "24"? Wait until Jack's old girlfriend meets his new girlfriend. As the saying goes, "Hell hath no fury ..."

Sunday night's episode, though, was a good prelude (along with all the usual "24" audience easy-to-guess foreshadowing) to tonight's two hours. Jack is most definitely back, and needed.

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Horrors

By on 1.16.06 | 7:52AM

John, I'll have to e-mail my pal Hunter and ask why he's going to horror flicks at all. I have two boys, 11 and 6, and the movies we end up going to with them are quite horrible enough. I particularly worry about the sexual image imprinting from many cartoons, with their dominatrix female characters in thigh high boots and thrusting bazooms.

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So Far …

By on 1.15.06 | 10:09PM

The best line in the "24" season that debuted tonight was as follows:

"Listen kid, let's get one thing straight. The only reason you're still conscious is because I don't feel like carrying you. Now get in the truck."

But there will be more. The show's two-night season debut continues tomorrow. I'd say it's off to about a B+ start. It's tough to see patriots like Michelle Dessler and former President Palmer finally taken down by the forces of darkness. But Jack is back, and he looks angry. Something tells me he'll get his man.

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