The Spectacle Blog

Defending Charlie

By on 9.21.06 | 3:56PM

I think you're being too harsh Jed. I think Rangel deserves credit for saying the right thing (for once). I'd love to see more of the same from the Democrats.

Charlie, Hilarious

By on 9.21.06 | 3:40PM

Who - after Michael Moore and Howard Dean - would be the last person you'd expect to defend George Bush?  Gotta be New Yawk Congressman Charlie Rangel. But he did. And only I can tell you why.

Rangel slammed Hugo Chavez for condemning Bush in his visit to Rangel's Harlem/> district today. According to Drudge, Rangel said,

Oppressively Low Prices

By on 9.21.06 | 3:24PM

Paul, this is standard operating procedure for Wal-Mart critics, and a lesson that Wal-Mart appears not to learn very well.:

Wal-Mart capitulates. Critics say, "It's not enough."

Just watch: they'll think about this for a couple days, convene the concerned citizens groups, and decide this is really a bad thing since it'll run "mom 'n' pop" drugstores out of business. Poor CVS.

Permanently Anesthetized

By on 9.21.06 | 1:53PM

Wal-Mart plans to cut prices of many (291) of the generic drugs it sells to $4 per 30-day supply -- an unheard-of deal -- but that's still not good enough for its critics:

The initiative - the fourth since last October that Wal-Mart has adopted to improve health benefits - drew criticism from one of its most vocal union groups, Wake Up Wal-Mart.

"While lowering prescription drug costs is a good thing, Wal-Mart cruelly ignores the fact that it fails to provide company health care to over half of its employees which leaves 46 percent of its workers' children uninsured or on public health care," said Chris Kofinis, spokesman for Wake Up Wal-Mart. "Wal-Mart needs to answer one very simple, but serious question - why not just improve the health care coverage of its employees?"

Wake up, morons -- they just did.

Re: George Allen’s Jewishness

By on 9.21.06 | 12:16PM

The response was pitch perfect in the context of the debate. I should have linked to the whole video, instead of the excerpt.

I could see how it looks so defensive and strange -- like Allen is offended at being called a Jew, as if the very insinuation were offensive.

But the undercurrent to the question provides the context. What Peggy Fox was suggesting, her response to Allen's question shows, was, "Why won't you admit you're Jewish?" This isn't out of left field. Fox had done her homework from the Forward article. It just wasn't the place, especially coming right after questions about the macaca incident. Allen was back on his heels, with the suggestion of racism in the air. Then Fox hits him with the equivalent of, "C'mon, admit you're a Jew." Whether he is comfortable with his newly discovered ethnicity or not, it's an offensive insinuation. The crowd picked up on it -- they weren't overwhelmingly "jeering supporters." The Fairfax Chamber of Commerce debates are usually very restrained events. This question was over the top, and the crowd's reaction reflected that.

Question(s) of the Day

By on 9.21.06 | 11:30AM

If the Commonwealth of Massachusetts continues to refuse to allow me to use my credit card to buy lottery tickets, how will I ever score really, really big? And, considering recent UN speeches by Hugo Chavez and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, when will Eddie Van Halen finally join Wyld Stallyns and put and end to all this world turmoil?

Re: George Allen’s Jewishness

By on 9.21.06 | 11:04AM

I've seen the video, and I'm not sure I'd call Allen's response "pitch perfect." I find it odd that he became that angry over the question. He could have just said, "that's not relevant to this campaign" without getting so melodramatic (citing Jefferson, etc.) With that said, it's certainly understandable how he could have reacted in that way. The reporter, Peggy Fox, had already asked him about the Macaca incident, and then asked him about his Jewish background as a follow-up. In other words, she lumped together the Macaca episode and his Jewishishness as if they were both offensive. The way she asked the question, "Could you please tell us whether your forbearers include Jews...?" --as if his grandfather were a member of the KKK--was more offensive than anything Allen said. I can see why a frustrated Allen, egged on by his jeering supporters, would react the way he did. But I wouldn't say it was "pitch perfect." What's most surprising to me about this whole episode is that a Christian politician finding out late in life that he has a Jewish grandfather has become a political issue, whereas it should be confined to being part of a Jackie Mason comedy routine.