The Spectacle Blog

Judicial Watch

By on 5.10.06 | 6:29PM

Talk about going around the bend. Judicial Watch released the Secret Service visitor logs that it had fought to receive related to the number of visits made to the White House complex by Jack Abramoff.

Turns out Abramoff visited twice. It's important for everyone to remember that while those visits were going on -- all two of them -- Abramoff and his crew of merry influence peddlers were shopping their wares much more often up on Capitol Hill. And they were selling a lot in the offices of Democrats. Two visits to Dems? Hardly.

Now there may be other White House visits, and there may be more to all of this. But the language that Judicial Watch uses to describe the situation is just embarrassing and the kind of overheated, hysterical hype more befitting Howard Dean and It identifies the visits as by "convicted felon" Abramoff. Well, he wasn't a felon when he made the visits.

Fellow Shawn

By on 5.10.06 | 6:16PM

We would be remiss not to mention the events of last evening when our very own Shawn Macomber was awarded a full-time Journalism Fellowship from the Phillips Foundation. He gave a delightful acceptance speech, which incidentally had the audience rolling with laughter and admiration.

Congratulations, Shawn!


By on 5.10.06 | 4:36PM

Wallace received a poorer rating than Brett Kavanaugh, and for the same reason that Kavanaugh has been suffering through delays: his role in the impeachment proceedings of President Bill Clinton.

The Clintons now exert a remarkable amount of influence, particularly during election cycles. The Democrats feel they can attack these Republican nominees with impunity.

NBC Scams Allen

By on 5.10.06 | 4:09PM

Some folks may have seen the NBC report last night about members of Congress using private or corporate jets for travel purposes.

The report almost exclusively attacked Republicans, and particularly targeted Sen. George Allen's use of corporate jets. How did NBC arrive at attacking Allen, particularly when Democrats such as Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Dick Durbin often use corporate facilities for travel?

From what we hear, NBC congressional reporter Lisa Myers picked Allen after she learned that the Senator (who is up for re-election this year) took a corporate jet from Memphis earlier this spring to get back to Washington. In fact, cameras were present at the Memphis airport to film Allen's boarding the plance.

How did Myers know about Allen's travel plans? Because Allen was coming to Washington to attend the Gridiron Dinner.

And who had invited Allen? Why, none other than Myers' boss, Washington Bureau Chief Tim Russert.

Asinine Bar Association

By on 5.10.06 | 4:03PM

The ABA, which stands for the Asinine Bar Association, proves once again that it is no more than a left-wing interest group with no integrity. It has now rated Fifth Circuit Judicial nominee Michael Wallace, unanimously, Not Qualified. This looks like a sick joke. Take a look at this man's resume. If he isn't Qualified, then Bart Starr wasn't a quarterback and Ray Charles wasn't a musician. Somehow, somebody has to clip the ABA's wings -- and SOON.

Today on the Hugh Hewitt Show

By on 5.10.06 | 3:53PM

I've spent the day with Navy Expeditionary Combat Command, a new operation based in Norfolk. There is much to tell.

Before that tale can be told, I'll be subbing for Hugh Hewitt today (6-9 pm on the Salem Radio Network.) Hope you can listen in.

Bense a Bust

By on 5.10.06 | 2:51PM

Florida House Speaker Allan Bense has announced that he will not challenge Rep. Katherine Harris for the GOP Senate nomination. This virtually assures the GOP of a lost opportunity down in Florida.

Harris is a disaster, but fundraising sources we've talk to, who know Bense's thinking in the matter, say that his decision had less to do with the mess that Harris has made of the race against Sen. Bill Nelson, and more to do with Bense's concerns in general about the state of the Republican Party nationally.

Bense's public statement cites family concerns. But we're hearing that Bense was also concerned about the Republican Party's commitment to pushing him over the top, and then challenging a well-financed and well-rested Nelson. "You got the sense that the RNC thought that Allen would run and that they could leave him alone to fight this out successfully," says one source we talked to earlier today. "Coming into the race this late, he would have needed a lot more help. It wasn't clear given all the other things Republicans are trying to do nationally and in other races that he would have gotten the help he needed."

Toyota, and a loss to the judiciary

By on 5.10.06 | 1:52PM

Toyota stock is down marginally today, because, along with reporting that 39% profit increase, the company predicted decreased sales in the quarter and year ahead. Also this, from Dow Jones News Service: JUDGE LEAVES 4TH CIRCUIT FOR BOEING JOB Judge J. Michael Luttig, one of the country's most prominent conservative jurists, has resigned from Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., to become senior vice president and general counsel for Boeing. Shares edge higher. Remember Judge Luttig? Prominently mentioned for the SCOTUS? Guess he's taking himself out of the game.

Toyota Price Gouging?

By on 5.10.06 | 12:51PM

I attended a Business and Media Institute panel this morning on gas prices at the National Press Club. Our own Quin Hillyer moderated.

Cato Institute's Jerry Taylor had pointed and frank comments on just about every topic, but particularly price gouging. In short, either it exists everywhere or it doesn't exist at all. Consumers expect Congress to "do something" when gas prices jump, but say nothing about increases in the prices of T-shirts, cars, or beer at the bar. Why is gas different? It shouldn't be.

Usually the politicians and demagoguges (like Bill O'Reilly) hang their case on the large profits oil companies are seeing lately. A few strong points here: 1- Long term, the oil industry is not a smart buy for investors. Most years are tough, and these "windfall" years are important for the tough years. 2- The profit margins are slim compared to many industries. BP has a 6.8 percent profit margin, while Fox News makes 10.2 percent profit, and other media companies even higher.