The Spectacle Blog

It’s Not Easy Being Reid

By on 5.30.06 | 3:13PM

"Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid accepted free ringside tickets from the Nevada Athletic Commission to three professional boxing matches while that state agency was trying to influence him on federal regulation of boxing," the AP reported yesterday afternoon.

That's not the Minority Leader's only headache: Hotline notes that his poll numbers are starting to suffer in Nevada: "[Reid's] reputation with home-state voters as a middle-of-the-road Red-state Dem is eroding. If this storyline seems familiar, it is. It's exactly what happened to Tom Daschle."

Reckless Hearing

By on 5.30.06 | 12:17PM

The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing this morning titled "Reckless Justice: Did the Saturday Night Raid of Congress Trample the Constitution?" All four witnesses answered that question in the affirmative. I only caught the very end of the hearing on C-SPAN, but judging from their prepared testimony, none of the witnesses acknowledged the extraordinary constitutional safeguards built into the search warrant. What a joke.

Snow Out

By on 5.30.06 | 9:05AM

At long, long last, John Snow is resigning as Treasury Secretary, the AP reports. Goldman Sachs chairman Henry J. Paulson, Jr. is the expected replacement. Two questions: 1- Will the press refer to him as the Goldman Sachs "chair," an inanimate object? 2- Will the Bush administration begin undermining him within a year?

McCain’s Boxing Tickets

By on 5.30.06 | 7:58AM

The Washington Post and Drudge report this morning that Harry Reid accepted free boxing tickets from the Nevada Boxing Commission while a related bill was pending in the Senate. Say what you will (and what I will) about John McCain, but at least he insisted on paying the full price of his ticket.

There’s More Than One Way to Arm a Nuke

By on 5.29.06 | 2:33PM

Today's New York Times reports that "Iran appears to have slowed its drive to produce nuclear fuel, according to European diplomats who have reviewed reports from inspectors inside the country." The article indicates that, either for diplomatic or technical reasons, Iran's uranium enrichment program at Natanz seems to have stalled. But uranium enrichment is not the beginning and end of Iran's "drive to produce nuclear fuel."

In addition to uranium enrichment, Iran is also on the route toward producing weapons-grade plutonium. This brief (.pdf) from the Institute for Science and International Security shows, with satellite imagery, that construction is continuing steadily on a heavy water reactor in Arak. If it stays on schedule, this reactor could be fully operational by 2009. From the brief:

Outrunning the Critics

By on 5.29.06 | 9:28AM

Sebastian Mallaby reports that the Bush administration has followed through on its promise to fight AIDS worldwide.

Memorial Day Readings

By on 5.29.06 | 2:06AM

We'll be back with our regular main page postings tomorrow. But especially today don't miss the speech Ben Stein delivered this weekend in Arlington, Virginia. Or the Memorial Day tribute penned last year by Shawn Macomber. All this on top of Paul Beston's remarkable lesson in humility.

Iraq’s Position on Iran

By on 5.28.06 | 12:41PM

Omar at Iraq the Model wonders: "Does the CNN have problems with translation from Arabic to English or is it a case of deliberate twisting of facts?"

EUnuchs in India?

By on 5.27.06 | 8:52PM

According to the Sunday Telegraph there are EUnuchs in India. I didn't know that. I thought they were all in EUrope.

Indonesian Quake

By on 5.27.06 | 7:57PM

Having been to Yogyakarta, I'm not at all surprised to see death tolls climbing rapidly. The city is surrounded by a massive sprawl of flimsy-looking shanties, and the earthquake made thousands of people's homes collapse on them while they slept. If you're feeling charitable, the Red Cross is aiding the relief effort.

A silver lining: The amazing Borobudur temple, the largest Buddhist monument in the word, is unharmed. But some of the shrines at the Hindu Prambanan temple have been damaged.

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