The Spectacle Blog

De-Nuke Israel?

By on 3.9.06 | 5:33PM

This is the talk of Britain's Jack Straw, who, one might fear, is grasping at himself:

If you want to see a nuclear-free Middle East, you've got to remove that threat from Iran, including the rhetorical threat to wipe Israel off the face of the map. Once you've done that, then we can get on to work in respect of Israel.

Is there real fruit filling in this pie-in-the-sky? Consider.

Re: Has Bush Lost Control?

By on 3.9.06 | 5:13PM

Ah, the joys of reading about American politics in the British press. The revised partisan status of "Frank Lautenberg, a Republican senator from the port state of New Jersey" must come as shocking news to the Republican party, the Democratic party, the state of New Jersey, and to Lautenberg himself.

Sen. Sessions reports….

By on 3.9.06 | 5:13PM

Forgive me, because the headline is just a teaser. I had a very interesting and lengthy discussion today with the very and sincerely honorable Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, and when I get my notes together in the morning I will report on that discussion on this blog. I just write this now as a reminder to myself, and a spur for all you readers to remind me to make my report if I haven't done so by mid-morning. -- Q

Has Bush Lost Control?

By on 3.9.06 | 4:47PM

One embattled ally seems to think so.

Bubble, toil and trouble

By on 3.9.06 | 4:37PM

I think my last post got fouled up, so I'll try again: Kudos to Andrew at Confirmthem for this post, which is a very on-target, and appropriately humorous, critique of a recent speech by the gentlemanly and erudite, but often wrongheaded, Justice Breyer.

Everybody Wins?

By on 3.9.06 | 4:17PM

In the deal that was widely rumored to be in the works, Dubai Ports World will divest the U.S. assets of Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co, the British company that currently manages the port operations.

Short term: Bush is harmed politically. Long term: This reaction will hang over the heads of those who rushed to the microphones.


By on 3.9.06 | 3:37PM

We're already hearing rumors on Capitol Hill that one of the companies that will be interested in the Dubai Port properties once divestiture begins is ... Halliburton.

Makes sense. They are one of the few U.S. firms that could move in and handle the types of operations required.

But wouldn't that just be richest outcome? Democrats will just be spitting mad. And the and Daily Kos types will be screaming that this whole thing was nothing more than a wiley Rovian plot to get Halliburton the deal.

Happy Birthday Lindy

By on 3.9.06 | 11:54AM

Quin: What wonderful news. I knew Mrs. Boggs very well back in the olden days when I was a lobbyist. I had long since lost track of her, and didn't even know she was still alive. She is a Southern Lady in the grand sense, and was a wonderful (and highly effective) political ally. Yes, she is and was too liberal for us on a lot of domestic issues, but a more staunch supporter of national security would be awfully hard to find.

The Ports Mob

By on 3.9.06 | 11:25AM

The Wall Street Journal offers a double shot of facts regarding foreign management of our ports today. First, we learn how extensive foreign management of our ports is. Heck, even China operates terminals in Los Angeles. But the editorial board succinctly sums up the Republican rush to join the Democratic reaction on the ports deal: "Over in the House, Republicans are preparing to block the Dubai port management investment as a sacrifice to Democratic criticism."

If not principled, at least Sen. Richard Shelby is honest about the opponents' motives:

"There's no way that we should or will, leave the national security issue to the Democrats," Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., told FOX News on Thursday. "We could pay a price in the fall [elections] and we cannot afford not to do this."

Hail to Lindy!!

By on 3.9.06 | 10:03AM

Okay, I'm blogging up a storm this morning, but I just read that the longtime former Dem. Rep. Lindy Boggs of Louisiana (also onetime Ambassador to the Vatican) is about to celebrate her 90th birthday in high style. Mrs. Boggs is of course far more liberal on lots of domestic/economic issues than I am, but let me take this moment to offer her a major solute and the heartiest of birthday wishes. She is one of the finest ladies I have ever met, and I know that I am far from alone, even among conservatives, in saying that. Unfailingly gracious, patriotic, and principled (she never yielded on her pro-life position, for instance, even as her party became ever-more stringently pro-choice), Mrs. Boggs' personal kindnesses are legendary. And while she is a very loyal Democrat, she was always willing to work across party lines, in genuine cooperative spirit and with her word always her bond, for the good of her country and her home state of Louisiana. She was even quite gracious to former Rep. Dave Treen (later governor of Louisiana) when he arrived in Congress in a neighboring district (after decennial redistricting) after Treen earlier ran three times against Mrs.