The Spectacle Blog

Cui Bono?

By on 10.20.05 | 11:22AM

It was the prominently-placed "George Clooney on Keeping America Free" on the masthead of a glossy magazine that arrived in my mailbox recently which drove me to sigh and promptly insert said glossy into the wastebasket. For Keeping America Free is not a subject that I have any interest in hearing from George Clooney about.

But it is refreshing to come across a celebrity who uses his position responsibly and takes the time to study and think about issues that matter. Someone who uses his immense platform not to throw random, knee-jerk barbs and insults at world leaders and institutions or to demand policies that are completely untenable (sometimes outright asinine).

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Joe Wilson, Great American

By on 10.20.05 | 11:07AM

Joe Wilson, that rock-ribbed patriot, declaimed himself yesterday to the San Francisco crowd as uninterested in running for public office. In remarks published by "," Wilson is quoted as saying he was too much a true child of the 1960s to be elected and had "too many wives and taken too many drugs. And, yes, I did inhale." This, from the man chosen by the CIA -- not the White House -- to go to Niger on a secret mission to investigate intelligence on WMD. Were the Plame Name Blame Game not so serious, it would be hilarious. If anyone still working at the CIA was responsible for hiring Wilson for the Niger mission, and in that I'd include le femme Valerie, they should be fired forthwith.

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More on Cohen and Roe

By on 10.20.05 | 10:55AM

Richard Cohen (gasp) has summed up the conservative argument against Wroe better than most conservatives. What the mainstream media and leftist elites have never understood is that conservatives, first and foremost, oppose Wroe on constitutional grounds -- its specious findings of rights that clearly do not exist in the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and its trampling of rights and prerogatives reserved to the states that cleary do exist. That many conservatives oppose abortion based on deeply held religious beliefs is a separate matter. If a condescending liberal (excuse the redundancy) like Mr. Cohen has begun to grasp this not so subtle nuance after 30 years, it is cause for hope.

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A Man of American Faith

By on 10.20.05 | 2:08AM

Even if you didn't know Penn Kemble -- I knew him only slightly, but invariably found him solid, quiet, politely friendly, possessing a unique brand of "cool" -- you will doubtless be moved by Bob Tyrrell's tribute today to his longtime friend and handball rival, who died last Saturday. Kemble, you see, remained the best sort of Democrat, in contrast, say, to the likes of Sidney Blumenthal.

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Cohen Overturns Roe

By on 10.20.05 | 1:21AM

What has come over Richard Cohen? Just when Democrats are ready to knee cap Harriet Miers regarding Roe v. Wade he announces Roe is does not deserve constitutional standing and though he says he remains pro-choice it's clear from the context that he regrets very much having been so callously pro-abortion in the past. He even cites Princeton conservative Robert George respectfully. Roe, Cohen concludes, is "a Supreme Court decision whose reasoning has not held up."

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The Saints Go Marching Out

By on 10.20.05 | 1:04AM

Mayor Ray Nagin is in trouble now. The owner of the New Orleans Saints is reportedly working to move his post-Katrina refugee team permanently to San Antonio. Nagin is threatening to do everything to keep it tied to New Orleans. Who will bother to listen?

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Michael Steele to Announce MD Senate Bid Next Week

By on 10.19.05 | 5:26PM

This went out on the Maryland Republican Party mailing list today:


The time has come for Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele to make a special announcement regarding the future of his public service.

Please join your fellow Marylanders for live music and refreshments on Tuesday, October 25th at the Novak Field House at Prince George's Community College at 11:15 AM.

It's no mystery what the announcement will be; it's been assumed for months that Steele would run for Senate.

Back in March I called for Steele (or Gov. Robert Ehrlich) to run. Since then, Ben Cardin and Kweisi Mfume have emerged as the frontrunners on Democratic side, joined by several potential spoilers. In a July poll, Rasmussen showed Steele running behind Cardin but ahead of Mfume.

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Reporting Without Raines

By on 10.19.05 | 5:05PM

Reading Seth Mnookin's book Hard News, I came across this passage about Howell Raines' indulgence of Judith Miller: "Raines had treated Miller -- like Patrick Tyler and Rick Bragg -- like a star. At one point soon after September 11, he personally instructed her to go out and 'win a Pulitzer.' What's more, Raines had effectively chased investigative editor Stephen Engelberg out of the paper; Engelberg, who had co-authored a book on biological warfare with Miller, was known as the one editor who had the knowledge and background to rein Miller in when she became excitedly insistent about whatever latest supposed scoop had been leaked to her."

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Hugh Hewitt Show Today

By on 10.19.05 | 2:50PM

I'm subbing for Hugh again today on the Salem Radio network. We'll be talking about the Saddam trial, the latest on the quagMiers nom, and a whole lot more. I can't take seriously the rumors that Cheney is one of Fitzgerald's targets. But ya never know. We'll be talking about that, too.

Just saw WaPo's Walter Pincus on FNC. He was one of the reporters who testified before Fitzgerald's grand jury. Pincus is an old enough hand to remember the wisdom of Watergate. As he said, "it's not what you do in Washington that's important. It's what you do after you get caught." (So who at the CIA may be indicted?)

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Iraq’s Judiciary

By on 10.19.05 | 2:02PM

Should it trouble us that all the judges sitting on Saddam's case were judges under his old regime? Of the five sitting on the case, none were involved in Saddam's "extra-judicial" (i.e., murder/torture) "courts." But all were, at one time or another, Ba'athists. According to my sources, the judges joined the Ba'athist party just to get along. Didn't Gen. Patton get in a lot of trouble for hiring former Nazis and saying they joined the Nazi party just like Americans signed up to be Democrats or Republicans? On a good note, the five who will preside when the trial gets going are ethnically mixed. Presumably there will be no Lance Itos among them.

It's thoughtful of the Iraqis to schedule Saddam's trial to begin on November 28. The Miers hearings will be over by then, and by the 28th, the Thanksgiving weekend football games will be over.

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