The Spectacle Blog

Another Conservative Passing

By on 3.23.06 | 3:16PM

A couple of friends of ours who formerly worked at the Reader's Digest, passed along the sad news that one of RD's great staff writers in its legendary Washington Bureau, Trevor Armbrister, died yesterday after a long illness.

Armbrister, to those who don't track these kinds of things, was one of the great reporters in Washington, who traveled all over the country doing investigative pieces on everything from child predators to organized crime, government waste, fraud and abuse, to the scandal of organized labor.

He was also the co-author of autobiographies of former President Gerald R. Ford and Speaker of the House Denny Hastert.

So Dean Has a Dem Vision

By on 3.23.06 | 1:44PM

And it's condensible into door-hanger size. When Republicans say the Democrats need a plan, this isn't it:

1) Honest Leadership & Open Government; 2) Real Security; 3) Energy Independence; 4) Economic Prosperity & Educational Excellence; 5) A Healthcase System that Works for Everyone, and 6) Retirement Security. The one sentence descriptions don't provide much more detail.

Bland platitudes barely distinguishable from this President's agenda and most of the Republican Congress won't do it, Howie.

Natural Marriage

By on 3.23.06 | 12:34PM

Polygamy overload!

Bill Tucker, as you already know, tackles it in our "pages" today, arguing that monogamy is essential to civilization. (But if you want the full story, you'll need to subscribe and read his full treatment in our March issue, including an afterword by Tom Wolfe.)

Over at Slate, Will Saletan gives distinguishing polygamy from gay marriage the old college try. His lynchpin? Jealousy. Monogamy is based on human nature because one mate gets mad when the other is sleeping around.

Thank You, Morton

By on 3.23.06 | 11:41AM

As is the case with just about everything Morton Blackwell writes or says, his piece today on the homepage about Abramoff is not to be missed.

The most important thing about it, in my view, is that Morton points out something that no one else really has -- that Jack was highly regarded around here as a "good guy" for a very long time. The fact that there were shady dealings going on underneath the surface was clearly known to only a very few. Indeed, most of us viewed Jack as an activist success story -- a religious and charitable man who remained so even after attaining stunning success in business. I do not know him well. But I can say that in the few times I was around him, I was mightily impressed by him -- for the reasons I just outlined.

Clearly there was another side to Jack, and that is indeed a tragedy and a disappointment. On the heels of his downfall, many (mainly in the media) are having a grand time trying to indict anyone who was ever seen or photographed with the guy -- including the president! Ridiculous -- but typical, I suppose...

Second Only to Jefferson

By on 3.23.06 | 9:53AM

President Bush passes James Monroe today in time in office without vetoing a bill. TJ holds the record at eight years.

Rescued in Iraq

By on 3.23.06 | 9:53AM

Were three peace activists. Facts won't matter to the lefties, but according to this BBC report, quoting MGen. Rick Lynch"

1. the op - conducted, apparently, by Brit special forces - was the result of information obtained from a detainee (no word on whether someone spoke rudely to him to get him to talk);

2. it was mounted with considerable speed, and conducted successfully against a gang that wasn't insurgents but a criminal kidnapping gang; and

3. the Beeb expresses its principal relief: that fewer media correspondents are the subject of kidnappings lately.

The main fact -- that these kidnappings weren't by terrorists but by ordinary criminals -- is terribly important. Be assured that the MSM will miss it entirely.

GOP Convention Arrests Disputed

By on 3.23.06 | 9:50AM

Shawn Macomber will find this of interest, as he spent some time in the brig during the New York convention.

Burnishing Catholic Creds

By on 3.23.06 | 9:46AM

Mitt Romney's traveling to the Vatican today to attend Boston Archbishop Sean O'Malley's elevation to cardinal.

Also, he's declining to issue the annual gubernatorial proclamation celebrating the 1972 Supreme Court case Eisenstadt v. Baird, which legalized birth control for unmarried couples, as a precursor to Roe v. Wade. He issued the proclamation last year, though omitted the traditional references to Roe v. Wade.

This gradual turning away from Roe is a far cry from his answer to Planned Parenthood's 2002 candidate questionnaire. To the question "Do you support the substance of the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade?" Romney answered, "yes."

Re: To Hell With the to Hell With Them Hawks

By on 3.23.06 | 9:15AM

John: Regardless of where the term was first used by Lowry, he was re-positioning NR after its founder, Bill Buckley wrote here that the American objective in Iraq had failed and was the cause for continuing troubles there. Never mind who Lowry might have been referring to, or whether there is anyone other than Buckley (but there are, viz. George Will and others) who subscribe to that view.

So This is the March of Freedom?

By on 3.23.06 | 9:07AM

The trial of the Christian convert is disconcerting on a number of levels.

First, I know it's a bit rhetorical, but this shouldn't be the sort of freedom we're fighting for there. In fact, this isn't freedom at all. Islamic countries may choose to implement strict behavior, but to mandate what a man believes, under the penalty of death, is tyranny under state management.

Second, if this is the sort of mainstream, reformed Islam to which we're looking forward under the Bush administration's new Wilsonianism, I'm not enthused. CAIR's (the American Islam PR effort) claims that "Islam advocates both freedom of religion and freedom of conscience" are quite unconvincing.

Third, isn't it disheartening that our warm weather allies in the war on terror are more vociferous on condemning the trial than our own State Department, whose spokesman called for the trial to be conducting with fairness and transparency. What does that mean? Kill him, as long as there's open, due process? It just shows how much work Ms. Rice still has to do over there -- or isn't doing.

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