The Spectacle Blog

Re: Nuancing the Hillary

By on 1.19.06 | 6:21PM

Apropos of that, Mickey Kaus wrote yesterday:

P.S.: The Michael Goodwin NYDN piece linked above ably outlines the Essential Hillary Dilemma: She's supposed to be the candidate who has the base locked up and can appeal to the center. But thanks to her Iraq vote she now has to re-lock the base while simultaneously appealing to the center. An effective politician might accomplish this while projecting an interesting, variegated, forceful identity. An ineffective politician will look as if she has no identity at all, other than her fabled ambitious calculation. Goodwin:
All this zigzagging from left to right and back again on abortion, health care and national defense is supposed to make her look like a centrist.

It's just making her look confused.

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Nuancing the Hillary

By on 1.19.06 | 4:07PM

So -- as Jim points out -- the Junior Senator from New York believes President Bush is understating the threat that Iran’s nuclear program poses. According to The Daily Princetonian (not to be confused with the journal of the Concerned Alumni of Princeton), Ms. Clinton said, “"I believe that we lost critical time in dealing with Iran because the White House chose to downplay the threats and to outsource the negotiations.” Where is Hillary going?

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Hillary Incoherent, Even As A Hawk

By on 1.19.06 | 3:35PM

Matching the classic rant mode with neo-hawkishness, Sen. Clinton is covered in The Daily Princetonian taking mighty and principled swings at the current adminstration:

I believe that we lost critical time in dealing with Iran because the White House chose to downplay the threats and to outsource the negotiations.

On the verge of an argument that negotiations are futile, that recourse to European soft power is a recreation for the negligent, Sen. Clinton gets Churchillian, moving on to mighty and principled swings at the current administration in Tehran:

We cannot and should not - must not - permit Iran to build or acquire nuclear weapons.

But then, of course, the other shoe drops. Fools that we were, outsourcing negotiations to our Western allies:

In order to prevent that from occurring, we must have more support vigorously and publicly expressed by China and Russia, and we must move as quickly as feasible for sanctions in the United Nations.

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Tel Aviv Bomber Al Aqsa

By on 1.19.06 | 3:22PM

Trusted source speaking to terror gangs identified Tel Aviv bomber as Sam Antar, 20 years old, who belonged to both Al Aqsa in Balata camp as well as Islamic Jihad in Balata camp. Like joining both the Dead Rabbitts and the Bowery B'hoys at Five Points. Dicey but doable if you are a bomb mule, sometimes known as a martyr. His head now rests in a body bag.

Attack commanded by Ala Senakreh of Al Aqsa, who is a regular chatty type. Early indiation that the bomber hit the wrong target. Either premature explosion (fussing with belt in boys bathroom) or just stupid nervous with his prayers, chanted himself into the wrong room.

IDF counter strikes going out now. Aim at Jenin area, at AA and IJ.

Abbas asleep already at Ramallah. Hamas in Gaza refuses to talk on air tonight, as if we might assume Hamas is part of the op. What's Arabic for "born-yesterday-not"?

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Damascus Face-to-Face

By on 1.19.06 | 1:45PM

Mention that Ahmadinejad must meet face-to-face in the same sealed, electronic-countermeasured Damascus room as the al-Assads (courtesy PRC-provided technology stolen from Silly Valley), because sigint can read anything the chatty bad boys put in the air or underground. Damascus is like the old days of the face-to-face in the Adirondacks, Cosa Nostra-style. Also, the terror gangs headquartered in Damascus deal in cash Euros banked in Geneva, and so Ahmadinejad must shove the access codes across the table to his hirelings.

Fun to consider how the gangs could defeat NSA by making a mobile phone call to Vegas to make supper reservations at Bellagio's Le Cirque, and while on hold, they could bounce the call to Gaza. How long before a DNC apparatchik said that satellite spying on Le Cirque is criminal?

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Quisling Rising

By on 1.19.06 | 1:23PM

Hallucinatory and dangerous Ahmadinejad is in Damascus for two days of brainstorming how to attack the tabloid United States, crouching Lebanon, mullah soaked Iraq, and confused Israel using terror gang cut-outs in order to draw attention from the showdown at the IAEA on February 2,3.

Extreme knothead Bashar al-Assad, in his new role as Corgi to the Persian bloodhound, rolled over and announced his support for Iran's nuclear weapons program at Natanz and other semi-secret, completely non-bombable underground sites.

The al-Assads, weakened by family feuding and the beggary of the oil cut-off from Saddam's gang, need Ahmadinejad to approve a new credit line as well as negotiate with the Saudis and French so they can stay in power. You will recall that the Saudis, especially the royal bastard Bandar (who wants to be king once the octogenarian set tumbles off the podium of life), want a Sunni-Moslem Brother solution in Damascus. Tehran nixes Bandar's bright ideas; however, Tehran is stuck with the terminally stupid Bashar and his scary, Medusa of a sister Bushra.

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Bomber Weather

By on 1.19.06 | 12:11PM

Al Aqsa Brigade, the military elite of the Fatah Party, is responsible for the training and deploying of the 20-year-old suicide bomber who just destroyed a sandwich shop in Tel Aviv.

Islamic Jihad claims credit, because the 20 year old, now indicated as Sami Antar, was an IJ recruit from the Balata refugee camp in the West Bank. However the bomber was entirely handled by Al Aqsa, led by the cadres out of Jenin.

The bombing is said to be the first of waves of bombings directed at testing and weakening new acting Prime Minister Olmert as he demonstrates his Sharonism prowess in the campaign for voting in March.

The bombing is also meant to show that PA President Abbas is a fool and false witness, that Fatah is fractured into many parts, that Al Aqsa is the only vigorous part of the old PLO, that the election next week is the end of Abbas as a politician.

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Pence Endorses Shadegg

By on 1.19.06 | 10:48AM

After deafening silence and facing pressure from conservatives to speak up about the race for majority leader, Republican Study Committee chairman Rep. Mike Pence endorsed John Shadegg this morning.

This is great news and should be a great boost for the right man.

The RSC just sent Pence's letter around:

Two weeks from today, the Republican Congress will face a choice of enormous significance in the life of our nation and our majority.  As chairman of the Republican Study Committee, it is always my goal to take action, with deliberation, in the best interests of our members and the conservative movement.

Out of respect for the fact that members of RSC would be supporting a variety of candidates, I had intended to withhold any endorsement in the race for Majority Leader.  But given the addition of a prominent RSC member to the field and given that many members have already expressed a preference, it has become clear to me that an earlier, personal endorsement is now appropriate.

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Roy Blunt Makes His Case

By on 1.19.06 | 9:28AM

In the WSJ editorial page (free link) today. And it ain't so pretty.

The majority of Blunt's piece touts the great economic success of a Republican majority in the House. So they got out of the way... some of the time... when they weren't spending astronomical amounts. Kudos to you.

So what are his big reforms, tapping that wealth of conservative dissatisfaction? Identifying earmarks with the legislators who put them there, no "pay-go" (the system that demands that tax cuts are offset by tax increases), and annual budget reconciliation.

These reforms are improvements. But they're the bare minimum for a very broken system. Blunt says nothing about curbing the soaring budgets or thousands of earmarks. Under Blunt's plan, pork wouldn't necessarily decrease, but we would better identify the porkers. And then the reference to "shadowy 527s"? Blunt's a man of the party establishment, and regulating campaign spending is just another phrase for incumbency protection.

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Tim Kaine, Party Poster Boy

By on 1.19.06 | 8:32AM

Roll Call reports today that Democrats will ask Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine to deliver the Democratic response to the State of the Union Address. The symbolic value is understandable, but I wonder if Howie Dean, et al. have ever seen the guy speak. He's got to be the goofiest Democrat since Tom Daschle. If Kaine delivers it, the Democrat response will be more of a yelp than a counterpunch.

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