The Spectacle Blog

Sadr Watch

By on 3.5.06 | 12:13PM

The AP reports on Moqtada al Sadr's latest moves in the pursuit of Iraqi nationalism:

"Extinguish the flames of the sectarian treachery," said the followers of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and members of the Sunni Endowment, a government agency responsible for Sunni mosques and shrines. "Every drop of blood shed is a waste."

Just so. Why would a package of lies benefit al Sadr more than this basic truth? His support has gone in the past to Shi'ite Prime Minister Ibrahim al Jaafari. But now the PM appears as an obstacle to unity, and al Sadr has shown a consistent willingness to compromise in order to maintain and consolidate political power. My suspicion remains that the power he desires is that independent of Iran. Add to that an intuition that al Sadr will let his support for al Jaafari slip -- and that his profile will continue to rise as a force for anti-sectarianism.

Oscar speak

By on 3.5.06 | 11:17AM

Words to watch for from an Oscar source re tonight's major acceptance speeches. Count who thanks his/her mom, who thanks his/her Dad, who thanks God Almighty. Since 1992, of the 42 major waward speeches (actor, actress, movie) only five actresses have thanked mom, one actor has thanked mom, none have thanked dad alone, only one has thanked God -- Mr. Gibson.

Also, words used only once in all the speeches include "Holocaust," "uxoriousness," "WMD."

Brownie’s Rehab

By on 3.5.06 | 8:48AM

He sat down with Chris Wallace this morning on Fox News Sunday. I won't get into the he said/she said business of this. But does anyone else notice that Michael Brown's qualifications aren't even a matter of discussion anymore? Wallace is a tough interviewer, so he's not softballing Brown. The total disappearance of this matter shows how disingenuous that charge was: now that Brown's opposing the White House on the Katrina response, he's a respected expert.

Oscars Tonite

By on 3.5.06 | 8:26AM

Presenting the New, Politically Correct Wal-Mart

By on 3.4.06 | 3:38PM

Wal-Mart has buckled under the union and left-wing pressure that they sampled in Massachusetts and decided to stock the morning after pill at all pharmacies nationwide. I wrote about the Massachusetts nonsense a couple weeks ago.

This is now the Wal-Mart that is calling on the federal government to provide health insurance. Corporations should learn that giving in to the socialist tide only emboldens critics and is bad for business. Now that Wal-Mart is running scared, the lefties will push harder. Look for other states to take action similar to Maryland's discriminatory bill that forces the retailer to provide more comprehensive health insurance.

I would also guess that free market conservatives and other defenders of Wal-Mart may be less likely to defend the behemoth from the left-wing onslaught. If it won't defend itself, why bother?

Iran on the Global Attack

By on 3.4.06 | 9:45AM

Best signals source reports that on Friday morning 3/3 prayers and sermons in Baghdad and throughout the critical Sunni and Shia mosques of Iraq (and including the critical Wahhabist mosques in Arabia) the message was the same in each case: the Americans are to blame for the Samarra shrine bombing, for the spasmodic mass murder since the shrine bombing, and for the continued threat to peace in Iraq.

In blunt sum, the American occupation of Iraq in order to establish a democracy where there has only been clan warfare and tyranny since the Crusades is now presented to the obedient worshippers as the cause of the clan warfare and tyranny in the Sunni Triangle, the Shia holy sites, the Baghdad slums.

Specter Defends Santorum

By on 3.3.06 | 7:51PM

Dave Holman's cover story today on the efforts of an anti-prolife group calling itself Republican Majority for Choice (RMC) to undermine Sen. Rick Santorum's re-election chances in Pennsylvania caused a nice little brouhaha, with coverage in such outlets as the Huntington Post, Human Events, and RealClearPolitics. It also put on Sen. Arlen Specter on the spot, given that he is a member of the RMC's advisory board. Was this the payback Santorum deserved for his support of Specter's re-election two years ago, which saw Santorum having to choose Specter over true conservative Pat Toomey?

Evidently embarrassed by this turn of events, Senator Specter issued this letter today. A copy was e-mailed to us by one of his staffers earlier this evening, after everyone had gone home:

March 3, 2006

Republican Majority for Choice

1660 L St, NW Suite 609

Washington, DC 20036

To Ms. Stockman and Ms. Merrill:

Re: Chertoff

By on 3.3.06 | 7:26PM

Quin: If Chertoff gets the boot, which he should, there should be a housecleaning. Removing him isn't enough. And his replacement shouldn't be a spec ops guy. The whole idea is to get someone who can plan things on a large scale or small, is used to thinking in C3I terms -- command, communications and intelligence -- and has real operational experience in senior command levels. Time to separate the staff weenies and academics from the TACAMO crew. Take charge and move out, people.

Eye On Pence

By on 3.3.06 | 6:16PM

Word has been building about Mike Pence for some time now, and for good reason. While keeping himself in the background during the post-DeLay power jockeying, Pence has quietly been raising his national profile. On Wednesday he delivered an address to the Leadership Institute just outside Washington, and after several days of reflection it seems safe to say that the politicking conservative will find Pence's prescription for changing the tide in Congress at once bracingly potent and refreshingly delicious.

At the center of his speech was a quote from Dick Armey -- "We do what we ought not to do, in order to get elected to do what we ought to do but never get around to doing." Pence wants a reckoning, and isn't afraid to lay out his reasoning. I consider more of his zingers here.

Who’s Number One?

By on 3.3.06 | 5:59PM

Quin, Dr. Prowler: The Prowler knows less than he/she/they/it lets on. As I see it, Vince Young has to stay in Texas. So New Orleans has two choices. It can hope Houston takes him first, or it drafts him but moves permanently to San Antonio. Meanwhile, I don't know how Leinart can possibly go to Tennessee. San Francisco is bound to file a grievance and hope to reclaim him based on its intentions last year. Why have neither of you mentioned Reggie Bush? Is the Bush name suddenly dirt?

I wouldn't draft him, simply because he's too good. No way in the most brutal of sports can he escape the fate of a Gale Sayers. The saddest moment in Brian's Song comes when we see a clip of lowly 49er Kermit Alexander destroying Sayers' knee. There's never again been so gorgeous a runner as Sayers. Bush comes close. Soon enough, football always snuffs out brilliance.