The Spectacle Blog

Re: Anything for the Coalition?

By on 10.17.05 | 10:31AM

Grover Norquist doesn't need my help defending himself in this dustup with the social conservatives over his decision to keynote the Log Cabin Republican dinner, but alas...

Anyone familiar with Grover's "Wednesday meeting" knows that it serves mainly as a forum for the broader center-right community -- not just for the more hardcore among us. (As a contrast, Paul Weyrich runs a similar weekly meeting where the focus is much more on social conservatism.) Anyway, Grover's focus as the host of these sessions has always been on identifying key issues on which most groups on the right can agree, and then working to move the ball forward on said issues. I neither find it unusual nor disturbing that he would appear at a Log Cabin event, as there are a host of issues that come up at his meetings which I am sure the LCRs support enthusiastically. Grover's "thing" is inclusion and consensus-building, it always has been, and everyone knows that. So to smack him around for being there for a group that's probably been there for him on some key fights is, I think, a little uncalled for.

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Miers Latest

By on 10.17.05 | 9:49AM

Word out of the White House this morning is that in prep sessions for her hearings, Miers has been working on outlining her arguments that Roe. v. Wade is "settled law."

This takes on greater significance given John Fund's report on the Arlington Group's conference call to discuss the Miers nomination. White House staff involved in the Miers nomination process knew this story was coming over the weekend, and have been attempting to construct some push back on it. "There really isn't any," says one outside consultant in the matter. "It's not like Roberts who had his own testimony to fall back on in his discussion of Roe during his Supreme Court hearings. Harriet has nothing." Roberts had testified two years ago that he believed Roe was settled law.

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It’s Monday

By on 10.17.05 | 8:40AM

And the horses are fast out of the gate. First, our friend John Fund has a report in the Wall Street Journal that is sure to shiver a lot of liberal timbers. According to John's piece, two days after President Bush nominated Miers, Texas Supreme Court Justice Nathan Hecht and Dallas US District Judge Ed Kinkeade --- sitting judges both -- assured a group of religious conservative activists that Miers would overturn Roe v. Wade.

Here's the money quote from Fund's piece:

"Dr. Dobson says he was surprised to learn that Messrs. Hecht and Kinkeade were joining the Arlington Group call. He was asked to introduce them, which he considered awkward, given that he'd never spoken to the former and only once to the latter. He introduced them, nonetheless, by saying, "Karl Rove suggested that we talk with these gentlemen because they can confirm specific reasons why Harriet Miers might be a better candidate than some of us think."

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Luck of the Non-Irish

By on 10.17.05 | 2:15AM

I was all set to pronounce here on the USC-Notre Dame game. But I ran long and out came a mini-column. So it's posted in the main page lineup, where you can boo it without being penalized.

I do agree it was a game for the ages. By the way, did you know that Justice Clarence Thomas was in attendance? I didn't either, until informed by top Washington Post sports columnist Michael Wilbon. Apparently the game was such a draw that it attracted scores of celebrities. (Yes, Notre Dame has come to this.) "So many private jets descended on South Bend it looked like McCarron Airport in Las Vegas three hours before kickoff," Wilbon wrote. But I still can't figure out if Wilbon was ridiculing Thomas when he noted: "Every NFL team seemed to have at least one representative in the house, and they were B-list celebs when considering Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas attended." Somehow I suspect that that "they" was meant to be "there."

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Myth of the Purple Finger?

By on 10.17.05 | 12:25AM

Over at Daily Kos, Armando seems unhappily resigned to the best case scenario with regard to Saturday's referendum in Iraq.

"Yes the Constitution will win the vote," he writes writes in a post that hinted at the same sectarian strife CNN's Christiane Amanpour did (see my post today on AmSpec's main page). "And then what? Will our troops come home now? Will the Iraqi government be able to govern? What is different now than yesterday?"

Well, first of all, the country will have a constitution. Sure, it is somewhat flawed and gives way too much weight to Islamic law, but, then again, the United States has amended our own constitution 27 times. Whatever one thought about the war, the high turnout among all Iraqi factions to vote on a constitution should be welcome news.

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Is it Monday Yet?

By on 10.16.05 | 9:25PM

Fortunately, no. But don't be impatient. Mondays always come, usually too soon. Before we finish our coffee, we'll be back in the quagMiers of Harriett's nomination. By mid-day, we'll be counting Iraqi votes on fingers and toes, and within another day or two wishing whatever Iraqi version of Lance Ito is presiding over Saddam's trial would restore order sufficiently for reporters to figure out just what in blazes the prosecutor said in his opening statement. But please don't mix the Saddam files with the Rove/ Libby/Miller/Wilson/Plame case or the transcript from today's Meet the Press. It wouldn't do at all to shuffle the Team Clinton stories trashing Louis Freeh with the NYT coverage trashing the Bush White House. Well, okay, maybe it would. This is Gypsy Curse Week: we live in interesting times. Get a good night's rest. You're gonna need it.

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On Time

By on 10.16.05 | 7:50PM

Time is reporting what we were hearing -- and reporting -- from White House sources last week ... that the White House was shifting the Miers nomination fight away from her personality and focusing on her career.

Problem is, there isn't much the White House wants to discuss there. Word inside 1600 is that looking over court filings Miers was responsible in pulling together prior to her stint in public service -- and which clients and others were willing to release -- there isn't much the White House feels comfortable letting out into the public view. "It's pretty dim stuff," says one White House vetter. "There's some paper, but not a lot. It's frustrating."

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Sunday in Baghdad (Updated: 6:08 p.m.)

By on 10.16.05 | 12:50PM

More from our man in the Iraqi capital, John Connly Walsh:

It is early Sunday morning in Baghdad. The Referendum took place yesterday and all the Iraqis I know are immensely proud of both the turnout, and the peaceful way it was conducted. My friend Ferras said to me this morning: "I hope George Bush is as proud of us as I am -- and I hope he TELLS us that!"

It is still very peaceful here this Sunday morning. However, jets have been roaring overhead non-stop all morning. They are always so high that I can't see them and, for some reason, they rarely leave contrails here. The direction of the sound makes it clear the planes are headed west. That is not surprising since that is the location of Anbar province and the Syrian border....

UPDATE: (6:08 p.m.) And now, a Sunday afternoon entry from John Walsh:

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Card Playing

By on 10.15.05 | 5:03PM

White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card is disputing our report from last Monday that he essentially railroaded his pick to the Supreme Court, Harriet Miers, through the selection process, and shouted down opposition to her from conservatives in staff meetings.

That's fine. Throughout this process our sources, as well as those of RedState, Bench Memos, and others, have proven consistently reliable in providing color and context to the innerworkings of the SCOTUS process. We'll trust our sources over those who are pushing the Miers nomination so hard any day.

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Live From Baghdad

By on 10.15.05 | 4:45PM

Our man in Baghdad, John Connly Walsh, has just filed an eyewitness report on Referendum Day in Iraq. A sampling:

The polls closed literally a minute ago. The people in charge of security today must be letting out an immense and very long sigh of great relief!

Just as I finished typing that sentence all hell broke loose! Heavy machine gun fire, nonstop AK fire, all of it from less than 200 yards north of us. I raced up to the roof with my M-5 along with one of my colleagues who has been here twice as long as I have. All I could hear him say was: "This is much worse than right after the last election."

Read the piece in full here. It's already posted for Monday.

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