The Spectacle Blog

Re: Illusions of Safety

By on 1.11.06 | 6:02AM

I understand why people are surprised, but not why they're so surprised. Sure, Cleveland Park feels safe, but you can take a Metro from there to some of the most dangerous 'hoods in the country. The illusion of safety is premised on assuming criminals will be lazy. Usually they are -- but not always. And when law-abiding citizens are forcefully disarmed, they become easy targets.

Think this'll make DC rethink its handgun ban? Of course not.

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Loud Whisper Shadegg

By on 1.11.06 | 1:19AM

Co-host Larry Kudlow tonight was irrepressible in his loud whisper campaign for John Shadegg of 3rd Arizona as a fresh challenger to the apparent stand-off between Majority Whip Roy Blunt of Missouri and John Boehner of 8th Ohio in their bruising contest for House Republican majority leader. Shadegg is the fifth ranking Republican in the House now, chair of the House Republican Committee, and enjoys an iron-bound reputation for his chair of the stalwart Republican Study Committee in the first Bush term.

We spoke to Thaddeus McCotter of 11th Michigan, who promoted John Boehner as the man to change the unsavory ways of the pork barrel Republicans. McCotter is not RSC, and did not speak for or against RSC chair Mike Pence of 6th Indiana or other tyros. McCotter spoke in favor of a transformation in the way the House conducts business. Discipline, honor, transparency, humility. Blunt is business as usual -- Delayism without the cash binges. Boehner represents the unglamorous labor of government; McCotter added that Boehner had offered no plum for McCotter's vote, and no favor was asked.

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Illusions of Safety

By on 1.10.06 | 10:16PM

A revealing aspect of the grisly mugging murder of New York Times veteran David Rosenbaum in Washington last weekend are reactions of residents in the pleasant neighborhood in which the crime occurred. The Washington Post's coverage has included fewer expressions of outrage at the cruel fate that met the accomplished Rosenbaum than words of new found fear for one's own safety:

"We already take more precautions after dark. This is just terrible news." "It's a remarkably safe neighborhood, or it feels that way...until now." "We have very small children. We'll have our guard up even more, use our alarms more religiously." Before this crime, "There was no fear of things."

"When there's a terrible murder," the writer Paula Fox said in a New York Times Magazine profile five years ago, "people who are interviewed say, 'This has always been a quiet neighborhood.' That is so dumb and uninformed! The earth is not a quiet neighborhood. There isn't anyplace that's a quiet neighborhood...."

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Boys’ Night Out

By on 1.10.06 | 9:49PM

The Vice President's undisclosed location has been discovered! Wait for it... the new Clyde's in Chinatown. It was noticed that St. Michael's neighbor, and longtime friend, the Secretary of Defense, also dined at the new restaurant this evening. We just don't know if they ate together. Anyway, so soon after his recent hospital visit, what was VPOTUS doing in a joint featuring fatty oysters and wings?

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What the Heck, Over?

By on 1.10.06 | 5:13PM

So now we know who is the Republican equivalent of Joe Biden: Lindsay Graham, aside from preening for the cameras, has done more to corner Alito today than all of the Dems put together. His entire line of questioning on enemy combatants should have elicited from Alito the "can't answer because it may come before the court" response. Unfortunately, the judge may be a bit tired after a long day and got into issues of the Hamdi case more than he should. Graham is supposed to be a Republican, but he is acting like someone who wants to corner Alito and sink him. Can't anyone shut Graham up?

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Catching Up

By on 1.10.06 | 3:30PM

Sorry, we've been busy with Alito hearing stuff. A few things for the late afternoon roundup:

1. The White House is extremely happy with the proceedings in the Senate confirmation hearing of Judge Samuel Alito.

2. Democrats are not. They are so frustrated by their members' poor performance and inability to get traction that they have indicated a willingness to Chairman Specter to cancel a third day of questioning by members (the 20-minute followup question round) and go right to the panels.

3. Look for the conservatives in the House to put formally press Rep. John Shadegg into the House Leader race. There is growing concern about both both Reps. Roy Blunt and John Boehner, and conservatives are looking for a third option.

4. Rep. Jerry Lewis is not that option.

More on all of this going into tonight and tomorrow morning.

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Big Chief Crook Abramowich

By on 1.10.06 | 11:52AM

Expert source Fergus Bordewich identifies the 1988 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act as the primary virus that has infected all of Congress and transformed business as usual graft into a national threat. It is moments before we become the United States of America versus the United Casinos of America, and guess who, with 228 tribes and 405 gambling operations in 30 states, has bought dozens of members of both Federal houses and hundreds of members of state legislatures to protect its interests and silence the opposition? Confessed big chief crook Abramowich was working for Congress-created Big Chief Crook. The sham of Indian gaming rights is the same sham as one for the road rights. There is no rationality in granting the abused native American descendants a license to endorse lawlessness and suicidal vice; and there is no excuse for pretending not to notice that organized crime and ravenous state legislatures now exploit the casinos as robber kingdoms preying on the elderly and stupid. Abramowich exploited the exploiters; he was not much more than a disease carrier like Typhoid Mary.

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Most Fevered Brow of the Week

By on 1.10.06 | 10:58AM

I know. I know. It's only Tuesday, and most fevered brows are scowling at Judge Alito. But none compare with Bob Fitrakis of the Columbus Free Press, who offers the following:

"The Bush administration’s utter contempt for the U.S. Constitution and the specific information we now know about its use of the National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance network should further call into question Bush’ 2004 presidential “election.” In a recent revelation, we have learned that the NSA shared the fruits of its illegal spying on behalf of Bush with other government agencies.

"What are e-voting machines and central tabulators that pass the voting results over electronic networks from the internet to phone lines? No more than data easily spied on and tapped into...

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Finally, a Question

By on 1.10.06 | 9:46AM

Pat Leahy drones about his own biography... "with that in mind," and asks about the Concerned Alumni of Princeton. This is the biggest ammo these guys have. So Sam Alito opposes Ivy League liberals. Next question?

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