The Spectacle Blog

Post-Roe America

By on 4.17.06 | 5:36PM

USA Today looks at what abortion policy would look like if it were returned to the states. It's an interesting picture, but the authors are a little too attached to a Deeply Divided Nation storyline:

The result, according to this analysis, would be less a patchwork of laws than broad regional divisions that generally reinforce the nation's political split. All but three of the states likely to significantly restrict abortions voted for President Bush in 2004. All but four of the states likely to maintain access to abortion voted for Democrat John Kerry.
How would those regional divisions "reinforce the nation's political split?" Wouldn't returning abortion to the states actually undermine red-blue polarization by removing a divisive social issue from national politics?

Pulitzers Are In

By on 4.17.06 | 3:39PM

File this under the If You Care category: the Pulitzer folks have awarded the journalists who most undermined national security of the last year: James Risen and Eric Lichtblau of the New York Times for the terrorist surveillance story, and Dana Priest of the Washington Post for the secret prisons story.

Well deserved: public service awards to the New Orleans Times-Picayune and Gulfport Sun Herald for their Hurricane Katrina coverage. Heck, the Times-Picayune staff evacuated its offices for weeks and still put out an impressive web product.

Intelligent Declassification

By on 4.17.06 | 12:23PM

My old paper, the Press-Register in Mobile, Al, defends the president's so-called "leak" of classified information, in this editorial this past Saturday.

Credit Where It’s Due

By on 4.17.06 | 11:43AM

Just as I wail and gnash my teeth (see posts below) about the lack of a responsible Left, Michael Ledeen at NRO notes this new, encouraging development. Clearly, I don't agree with the overall worldview of the signers of this manifesto. But these sound like people with whom we can debate rationally, and with whom we can find common cause on some basic, underlying principles and on our love of these United States. May their rationality and civility find a way to crowd out the crassness and nutso anger of the Howard Dean Left.

Bad Language, Good Language

By on 4.17.06 | 11:06AM

Countervailing the barbaric yawps of the blogosphere's sinister side are the remarkable Good Friday meditations composed by Archbishop Angelo Comastri, which are worth reading in full. Occasionally the Archbishop succeeds in identifying exactly the worst of postmodernity's worst ills. This timely precision is a victory for any religion. It is particularly so for Catholicism today.

But the rest of us win as well simply by hearing that such as this is, and can be, still publicly spoken: "our affluence is making us less human, our entertainment has become a drug, a source of alienation, and our society's incessant, tedious message is an invitation to die of selfishness ... Today we seem to be witnessing a kind of anti-Genesis, a counter-plan, a diabolical pride aimed at eliminating the family. There is a move to reinvent mankind, to modify the very grammar of life as planned and willed by God. ... Today bodies are constantly bought and sold on the streets of our cities, on the streets of our televisions, in homes that have become like streets."

Bad Language

By on 4.17.06 | 10:33AM

As a post-script to a parenthetical comment in the blog post immediately below, it really is amazing that the Left so often resorts, in print (or cyberprint), to vulgarities and profanities to make their points. My LEft Wing blogger Maryscott O'Connor seems only too typical: The attitude seems to be, "who needs to bother with reason, with persuasion and with respectful dialogue when it's so much easier to spew F-words?" The number of words that had to be replaced in the Post story by the designation of "[expletive]" is truly astonishing. Somebody needs to tell these Lefties that crassness isn't an argument and it's not a political position, it's just a character defect.

Raging Id: The Post is a Finkel

By on 4.17.06 | 10:26AM

Wlady, I was struck by the same paragraph you were struck by in the David Finkel front page WashPost article about the liberal blogger filled with rage (and with a seriously juvenile vocabulary, juveniles being the only ones unable to express themselves without resorting to vulgarities in every sentence), the paragraph in which FInkel pronounces it "notable" that the "direction" from which the "level of anger" is coming is the Left, which supposedly had previously been "polite" while the "inflammatory rhetoric" came supposedly from the right. Give me a break! This paragraph from Finkel is almost as bad as the story about a decade ago that pronounced the religious right (quoting from memory, so a word or two may be slightly off) "poor, uneducated, and easily led." For any self-respecting mainstream editor -- this is, after all, the front page of the Post, not a Style section piece where opinions sometimes can legitimately sneak into featur-ish stories) -- such paragraphs should sound huge warning bells.

Romney’s Heritage

By on 4.17.06 | 9:23AM

To follow up on a Friday item, the Heritage Foundation has apparently worked for RomneyCare for some time now. Shawn Macomber, TAS expert on most things Mitt and gadfly of presidential hopefuls, says that Heritage helped write parts of the Massachusetts health care bill. When he asked Romney about the bill for his profile in our March issue, Romney immediately cited Heritage's support to bolster the legislation's conservative credentials.

Dorgan-Reid-Abramoff, Again

By on 4.17.06 | 1:10AM

What have we here? Buried in Thomas Edsall's Washington Post's story yesterday on the newly released e-mail exchanges between Jack Abramoff and his helpmate at the General Services Administration David Safavian is a brief discussion of Safavian's efforts to help Abramoff obtain commercial access to the old Post Office building in Washington, D.C. In an e-mail on July 28, 2003, Safavian complained to Abramoff about a career government worker at the White House Office of Management and Budget who was apparently hindering any such transfer plans. Writes Safavian (the all-caps emphasis is his, the boldface mine): "The OMB staffer in the way...does not realize we have a legislative directive FROM CONGRESS regarding this matter. In fact, we had a letter sent to us by [Reps] Don Young [R-Alaska], Steve LaTourette [R-Ohio], [Sens.] Byron Dorgan [D-N.D.] and Harry Reid [D-Nev.]...."

Supplement, War Warning 4: Khan confirms

By on 4.16.06 | 11:57PM

Regard this as a supplement to War Warning, part 4.

[This is a document under construction in at least twenty-five parts over the next many months. (Caveat: this is not for Queasy Anonymous.)]

1. Below find the most helpful and signals intelligence meaty part of the Broad/Sanger version, published NYT Monday 17, of the status of Iran's nuclear fuel production ability.

2. Significant is that A.Q. Khan is mentioned prominently. Best signals source points to Khan as the centerpiece of the new information with regard what Iran has and how soon it can convert its tech into weapons grade material for a production line of uranium warheads.

3. Last December, Khan provided a lengthy description of his work with Iran. Best signals source regards Khan as an honorable gentleman who gave up his lucrative opportunities to enable the building of the Arab bomb for clients that included not only Pakistan but also Iraq, Iran, Libya, Sudan, Syria, Saudi Arabia and the ever ambitious North Korea.