The Spectacle Blog

It’s a Big Tent After All

By on 12.5.05 | 7:16AM

The Boston Globe profiles Rhode Island's version of a Republican, Sen. Lincoln Chafee. Of course, the Sierra Club loves him, he drives a Prius (what a hip maverick!), and he's wringing his hands over the Alito vote. Most folks have heard of his "protest" vote for Bush 41 over Bush 43 in the 2004 election, but there's more. The Globe reporter asked him if he preferred John Kerry over Bush, and Chafee weaseled out, saying Kerry "ran a horrible campaign." So you prefer Bush to Kerry? "I didn't say that."

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By on 12.4.05 | 2:40PM

Gertrude Himmelfarb has an excellent review-essay in The New Republic (subscription required) dealing with the philosophical shortcomings of Darwin-anthologists Edward O. Wilson and James D. Watson. Here is her conclusion:

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Dream Dad-in-Law

By on 12.4.05 | 1:12PM

Our man in the old continent sends us a link to this profile of the political relative of the year -- Tony Blair's father-in-law. His name is Tony Booth, and it appears he's modeled his life on My Fair Lady's Alfred P. Doolittle, not that he's ever gotten to the church on time. He may not even sing. But in between his drinking, smoking and wenching, he's also been an actor. His roles have ranged from Hamlet to Sid Noggett, "in the robustly erotic series of films that included 'Confessions of a Window Cleaner.'" He currently resides in Ireland's County Cavan.

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So Fundamentally Wrong

By on 12.4.05 | 12:53PM

I wasn't going to blog today, being occupied with my weekly column and two important NFL games. But Zbigniew Brzezinski's op-ed in today's WaPo is so wrong-headed, I have been too provoked to remain silent. It is useful to remember, when reading his opinion, that he was the mastermind behind the Carter foreign policy and it was on his watch that Iran turned from a valued ally into the most dangerous terrorist nation on earth.

In Brzezinski's view, the president is making an enormous mistake in characterizing the war as an ideological one. He says that by labeling terrorism from the Middle East "Islamist," the president is enhancing the terrorists' power:

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A Lawn Ornament No More

By on 12.3.05 | 2:57PM

Give me a ride over Christmas, Jed? Although I'd think it'd be frustrating having a car like that in northern Virginia.

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No More a Lawn Ornament

By on 12.3.05 | 8:24AM

Yes, somehow -- as if by magic, and surely not by driving an unregistered car - my Mustang Cobra accrued the mileage required to overcome the idiotic DEQ computer code and has passed Virginia emissions testing. It is now street-legal. And I am ready to turn it loose, all 390 horsepower, six speeds and wide, low-profile tires. Now all I need to do is win the SueBee honey contest. The prize is a street-legal version of Richard Petty's "Superbird." Beau and Luke Duke? Amateurs. Unranked amateurs.

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HRC & Recently Profiled Arkansas Abortionist

By on 12.2.05 | 2:28PM

According to this article at, the Arkansas abortionist the Los Angeles Times profiled the other day, William F. Harrison, has claimed Hillary Clinton as a former patient. In an review of Bill Clinton's autobiography, Harrison wrote: "I have known Bill and Hillary Clinton personally since they both moved to Fayetteville to teach at the University of Arkansas law school in the early 1970s. I met Hillary first as her physician and she soon introduced me to her then boyfriend, Bill."

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Seuss vs. McCain

By on 12.2.05 | 1:25PM

Senator John McCain has made the NYT best-seller list again. Except this go around, as PW Daily reports, he has a children’s best-seller on his hands. Character Is Destiny is the Arizona senator’s latest book in his ongoing collected writings on virtues.

Or perhaps we are seeing the beginnings of a new Rove-like campaign tool -- begin catering to the 14 - 17 year-olds now, three years out from the next presidential election. By 2008, a majority of those readers will be of voting age.

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Bullying Lamar

By on 12.2.05 | 12:40PM

The Democratic Party is going after Lamar Outdoor Advertising for not accepting its "Shame On You, Jean Schmidt" billboards. Yes, this is the foremost concern of the out-of-power party in America: the business decision of a private company over a couple billboards in Ohio.

TAS readers may recognize this incident as similar to some Pennsylvania conservatives' problems in getting Lamar to carry their billboards. Apparently, Lamar's prudence runs both ways. Prudence is a key word here -- true censorship, as traditionally understood, involves an outside imposition of authority. Lamar's decision is akin to a private newspaper declining to run abortion ads. No one told them not to -- it's just the sort of business they'd rather not conduct.

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