The Spectacle Blog

Catholic Censorship Envy?

By on 5.8.06 | 3:54PM

Over at Volokh Conspiracy, Ilya Somin, George Mason law prof, claims that Catholic cardinals have censorship envy over the Da Vinci Code:

As senior Conspirator Eugene Volokh has warned, one of the dangers of censoring "offensive" speech is "censorship envy." If one group is given the power to suppress speech offensive to it, others are likely to press harder to get the same privilege for themselves. As Eugene points out in the post linked above, many of the European Muslims who sought to suppress the Mohammed cartoons were partly motivated by the fact that many European countries ban Holocaust denial and other anti-Semitic speech.

Fund On Target, GOP Out?

By on 5.8.06 | 2:49PM

John Fund's column this morning at OpinionJournal is right on target: Republicans are at serious risk right now of losing their majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, but they may, just perhaps, be saved by the obnoxiousness of the Democrats who would replace them. The American people may have tired of Republican rule in Congress, but that doesn't mean they are eager for rule by the Democrats.

The following paragraph from John, repeating a widely reported story, sets the scene for why the Democrats may yet bail out the GOP:

Babbin on Kudlow

By on 5.8.06 | 12:13PM

Our very own Jed Babbin will be on Kudlow and Company on CNBC at approximately 5:30 p.m. today to discuss the General Hayden appointment.


By on 5.8.06 | 12:05PM

The Hayden nomination is interesting on a couple of different levels.

First, assuming that Negroponte and the President firmly believe that the CIA should be a "provider of services" to the broader intelligence community, then a Negroponte deputy should do a good job of keeping the CIA blowhards in career middle management in check.

Second, folks seem to forget that if anyone understands CIA culture its new chief of staff Josh Bolten, whose father was a career CIA employee. No doubt Bolten understands what is happening out in Langley better than most in this White House.

Portrait of Patrick

By on 5.8.06 | 11:35AM

Now that Patches Kennedy is off to the tank to dry up, the media navel gazing is beginning. Howard Kurtz this morning was wondering aloud why the media ignored Kennedy's seemingly endless run-ins and personal problems during his time as both a state legislator and Congressman. Of course, it was because he was a Kennedy. And more important, he was a liberal Democrat. Non MSM entities covered Kennedy, and we didn't need to lower ourselves to the rumor mongering that constantly swirled around Kennedy on Capitol Hill and elsewhere.

Kennedy wasn't just a mediocre Congressman, he was an incompetant, a boob, a Congressman in name only. The only job of significance he undertook was serving as his caucus's chief fundraiser during the early '00s, and he was so bad at it, that then-House Democrat leader Dick Gephardt couldn't remove him because it would only highlight how poorly Democrats were doing under Kennedy's activities.

Hayden’s Opponents

By on 5.8.06 | 9:07AM

The Republican opposition to Gen. Mike Hayden's coming nomination to the top CIA job has picked up the theme the CIA praetorians produced in yesterday's WaPo and NYT. They don't want a military man.

I wonder if they'd be on that theme if the prez was about to nominate Anthony Zinni or one of the other Rumsfeld bashers.

War Warning Part 5: United Nations SC Plan

By on 5.7.06 | 11:43PM

War Warning Part 5, United Nations Security Council Plan

1. The UNSC has accepted the IAEA report that Tehran is in flagrant violation of the NPT.

2. Tehran makes it a policy to boast that it is in violation of the NPT and that it will not acknowledge the UNSC authority with regard the NPT. Tehran's policy includes continuing public statements that are aimed to provoke and humiliate the UNSC. Tehran is following the North Korean path exactly. Tehran does not regard the UNSC as a threat.

War Warning Part 5: Three Sections

By on 5.7.06 | 2:13AM

This is War Warning Part Five, in three sections.

Section 1: Tehran War Plan R.

1. The Tehran war plan has a code name that is unknown. For the purposes of this construction, it is Operation R.

2. The window for R remains September-October of 06, coterminous with Yom Kippur.

3. Tehran will tempt the US with provocations from now through the summer.

4. The major R provocation will resemble a surge of terror strikes from the witch's brew of terror gangs. The surge will be directed against sacred sites as well as strategic and civilian sites; the surge will include Israel, Iraq, the Persian Gulf and possibly Europe. Note that the Al Aqsa and Islamic Jihad gangs on the West Bank are working to show that they deserve to be part of the surge. Hamas is a junior partner. The tyro Zarqawi has proposed himself as a regional commander. Al Q is a full partner, though junior to HizbAllah.