The Spectacle Blog

Voting Wrongs

By on 6.22.06 | 2:51PM

Acceptably mild perjoratives just can't quite express the level of outrage that again and again is merited by the House leadership for its political cluelessness or its lack of principle of lack of ethics (sometimes all three at once). Every week, it seems, brings yet another example of how the leadership tries to use strong-arm tactics to substitute for serious policy debate and to overcome principled objections to its desired outcomes from either the left OR the right. The latest example is yesterday's dust-up over legislation to extend certain provisions of the Voting Rights Act, in which an expected vote on the subject was delayed after "rank-and-file Republicans revolted." The Washington Post story on the subject said that Speaker Dennis Hastert and his lieutenants were "surprised" by "the intensity of the complaints" about the legislation. If so, their surprise is just another indication of how (adjectival -- actually gerund -- expletives deleted) out of touch Hastert and Company are with the actualy policy implications of what they attempt to do for purely (and often badly judged) political reasons.

The Examiner’s Slide in to MoveOn-Land

By on 6.22.06 | 12:13PM

Dave, I'm equally baffled. First, the mystery is why Mark Tapscott, the Examiner's new editorial page editor, has been taken in by the pro-regulation nonsense. Has he forgotten his Heritage Foundation roots so quickly? (Or, given Heritage's support for RomneyCare, has Heritage forgotten its free market roots? You decide.)

Thankfully, there are still some clear thinkers at Heritage, like James Gattuso, whose excellent web memo on the topic Tapscott must have missed. Gattuso answers the Examiner's paranoia about the imagined crackdown on speech that could occur without "net neutrality."

Kos on the Defensive

By on 6.22.06 | 11:58AM

As the blogosphere wonders about Markos's shifting positions when politicians hire his friend Jerome Armstrong, Kos has shifted into serious defense mode, threatening libel suits.

The best timeline demonstrating the apparent correlation between Kos's public statements and Armstrong's business relationships is the work of Jim Geraghty.

Privately, Kos's response has been silence (until today). Earlier in the week, he instructed left-wing bloggers to stay silent, the New Republic reports.

Examiner Pulls A Fast One?

By on 6.22.06 | 11:58AM

Dave: I'm wondering if I'm missing something here. The DC Examiner editorial page comes out in favor of Net Neutrality by saying that "Congress should keep its hands off the Internet." Huh? If Congress were to "assure Net Neutrality", as the Examiner advocates, wouldn't that mean that Congress is getting its hands on the internet?

The rest of the editorial seems just as silly. For example, the editorialists argue:

If Congress doesn't require major cable and telephone companies that control access to the Internet to follow "Net neutrality," here's what could very well take place: The New York Times pays Verizon enough money to assure that its Web site loads more quickly than the Wall Street Journal.

The proper response to this is: So? If the Times is willing to pay and Verizon is willing to sell, what business is it of the Examiner or, more importantly, Congress?

And this seems like an equally puerile argument:

Chrysler’s Big Push

By on 6.22.06 | 11:02AM

This is aggressive: Chrysler is getting ready to reintroduce "employee discounts" (remember those from last summer?), along with a 30 day money back guarantee.

Ford and GM came to regret their run at employee pricing. Chrysler is in a much better position over the other two automakers this year. So the question will be: do Ford and GM jump in to protect their dwindling market share, or do they stay small and safe? I'm guessing they will choose the latter.

Progress Canadian Style

By on 6.21.06 | 6:23PM

Wait times for knee and hip replacements are down, according to the Peace Arch News:

The B.C. Health ministry is reporting progress in dealing with its longest and most stubborn surgical wait lists, those for hip and knee replacements.

A new surgical unit at UBC Hospital in Vancouver has been specializing in joint procedures since April 2005, based on a successful pilot project at Richmond Hospital. The new unit has completed 205 surgeries, 60 per cent of them hip replacements.

Health Minister George Abbott said creation of the unit, plus $25 million in funding for B.C.'s five health regions to spend on joint replacement, has reduced the median wait time by 15 per cent for hips and 12 per cent for knees. The median wait for hips was reduced to 19.9 weeks for hips and 25.6 weeks for knees.

Today on the Michael Medved Show

By on 6.21.06 | 2:38PM

I'll be subbing for Michael today (3-6 pm EDT on Salem Radio Network). We'll be starting strong with Larry Kudlow of Kudlow & Co. on CNBC. Other guests include Katherine Bierman of Human Rights Watch (on Gitmo) and Andy Maybo, of the Capitol Hill Police on the Cynthia McKinney exemption to the crime of assaulting a police officer. Hope you can join us. Call in on 800-955-1776.