The Spectacle Blog

Galen’s Latest

By on 12.5.05 | 9:52AM

We're sure that to a certain generation of female, Republican and conservative stalwart, Rich Galen, is an attractive, even a sexy man. So be it. But for the rest of us, he's also a smart man, as evidenced by his latest "Mullings."

Meanwhile, up on Capitol Hill there is a growing sense among Republicans that something has to be done about the appropriations process. Over the next year it should be interesting to see which GOP House member with a jones for leadership figures out how critical this issue is and uses it to pry the Majority Leader's mantel away. If someone doesn't, it may be the Minority Leader's mantel they are competing for.

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More Saddam Trial Antics

By on 12.5.05 | 8:42AM

It seems Saddam Hussein's trial is facing larger challenges than security: the defendant is proving less than cooperative, staging a walk out today. Perhaps they could seat him in a room, provide a video connection, and get on with the trial.

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Iran’s Nukes

By on 12.5.05 | 8:07AM

Seems like only last August that our intel guys were doubling their estimate of the time Iran would consume before achieving its nuclear weapons ambitions. The experts on whom I rely say Iran is about one to two years away. Actually, it WAS last August that the intel guys said never mind five years, it'll be at least ten years before the Iranians can make the world safe for Islamic terrorism.

That was then. This is now. As the Jerusalem Post reports this morning, Mohamed el-Baradei, Nobel laureate and Chief Magoo of the International Atomic Energy Agency, now says that our pals in Tehran are only months away from having a bomb or two or three or four.

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Condi at Bat

By on 12.5.05 | 7:45AM

Secretary Rice continues to astound, and take unprecedented actions, such as use the considerable bully pulpit of the State Department to actually support American goals and objectives. The consternation at Foggy Bottom must be enough to, say, blow some of the fog out of there.

Dr. Rice leaves for Europe, where the EUnuchs have organized a reception that includes demands for disclosure of the CIA overseas detention facilities where terrorists are held. UK foreign minister Jack Straw sent her a letter last week demanding details. Rice, as has CIA Director Goss and Defense Secretary Rumsfeld -- and the president -- said we do not torture detainees. Here, again, the damage already being done by the McCain amendment. Torture is already illegal, and will continue to be regardless of the fate of McCain's misbegotten and thoroughly misunderstood amendment.

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It’s a Big Tent After All

By on 12.5.05 | 7:16AM

The Boston Globe profiles Rhode Island's version of a Republican, Sen. Lincoln Chafee. Of course, the Sierra Club loves him, he drives a Prius (what a hip maverick!), and he's wringing his hands over the Alito vote. Most folks have heard of his "protest" vote for Bush 41 over Bush 43 in the 2004 election, but there's more. The Globe reporter asked him if he preferred John Kerry over Bush, and Chafee weaseled out, saying Kerry "ran a horrible campaign." So you prefer Bush to Kerry? "I didn't say that."

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By on 12.4.05 | 2:40PM

Gertrude Himmelfarb has an excellent review-essay in The New Republic (subscription required) dealing with the philosophical shortcomings of Darwin-anthologists Edward O. Wilson and James D. Watson. Here is her conclusion:

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Dream Dad-in-Law

By on 12.4.05 | 1:12PM

Our man in the old continent sends us a link to this profile of the political relative of the year -- Tony Blair's father-in-law. His name is Tony Booth, and it appears he's modeled his life on My Fair Lady's Alfred P. Doolittle, not that he's ever gotten to the church on time. He may not even sing. But in between his drinking, smoking and wenching, he's also been an actor. His roles have ranged from Hamlet to Sid Noggett, "in the robustly erotic series of films that included 'Confessions of a Window Cleaner.'" He currently resides in Ireland's County Cavan.

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So Fundamentally Wrong

By on 12.4.05 | 12:53PM

I wasn't going to blog today, being occupied with my weekly column and two important NFL games. But Zbigniew Brzezinski's op-ed in today's WaPo is so wrong-headed, I have been too provoked to remain silent. It is useful to remember, when reading his opinion, that he was the mastermind behind the Carter foreign policy and it was on his watch that Iran turned from a valued ally into the most dangerous terrorist nation on earth.

In Brzezinski's view, the president is making an enormous mistake in characterizing the war as an ideological one. He says that by labeling terrorism from the Middle East "Islamist," the president is enhancing the terrorists' power:

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A Lawn Ornament No More

By on 12.3.05 | 2:57PM

Give me a ride over Christmas, Jed? Although I'd think it'd be frustrating having a car like that in northern Virginia.

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