The Spectacle Blog
Well, that didn't last long. John Roberts put in a good word for umpires at the start of his confirmation hearings. Now last night an umpire returns to his more typical role as arrogant regulator, gives the White Sox an extra out, and the Angels go down to bitter defeat. Given that the umpire in question initially gave an out sign on the swinging third strike, only to reverse himself for reasons best known to his hypnotist, people will be comparing his cynical, incompetent performance to that of the basketball officials who gave the USSR three chances to defeat the U.S. in the 1972 Olympics. I don't think we've heard the end of this.
Thursday is a special time for Washington Post readers -- it's Tina Brown day. If there's ever been a sillier sharper super snob in newsprint, I've not yet come across him, er, her. She's a Brit, of course, now living in New York, probably dreaming that Tom Wolfe might still write a novel about her. Briefly, in her U.S. career, she saved (if that's the word for it) Vanity Fair, vulgarized the New Yorker while serving as editorial groupie to Bill Clinton, moved on to an even more ambitious undertaking with Talk, which blew up in her face. Then a chat show on cable that drew fewer viewers than a typical act at Hyde Park Corner, leaving her with only thing to do: write about herself and the "values" and politics of her Charlie Rose set. Who'd have thought that such a dynamo would end up doing her best work as a catty scribbler.
Somehow we missed this quote from Manuel Miranda reported in the New York Sun: "I think Ed Gillespie is way out of his league. He's running this as if it's a campaign."
Miranda was referring to Gillespie's serving as an adviser on the Harriet Miers nomination. Miranda, who has a number of axes to grind against a number of Republican establishment and conservative types (he was a victim of political infighting in the Senate Judiciary Committee, and was forced out of his position in the Senate), including Senator Orrin Hatch, has in classic Inside the Beltway fashion created a job for himself as judicial adviser to the Bush Administration whether they know it or not. But he shouldn't be taking pot-shots at or second guessing in the press a fellow like Ed Gillespie.
There are few in this town who could dispute that Gillespie did a bang-up job for Dick Armey and House Republicans back in the 1990s, or for Republicans nationally in the 2000 or 2004 elections. He by all accounts did a fine job with John Roberts. He surely is doing the best he can with Harriet Miers.
Okay, last post of the day. Maybe. I hope.
The discussion of the Ayman al-Zawahiri letter to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi -- OBL's deputy to his putative subordinate in Iraq -- is ignoring one critical aspect of it. Yes, it shows al-Qaeda is under enormous pressure. Yes, it shows how al-Q is engaged in a media war. And yes, it shows that what's left of the al-Q leadership ain't happy with the results in Iraq. All good so far.
But why is Zawahiri holding out the tin cup to Zarqawi, asking -- please, sir -- send us $100 large? Maybe because the bucks flowing from Syrian banks to Zarqawi in Iraq are more reliable -- and easier to tap -- than OBL's other funding sources? And maybe we can do a whole lot more to disrupt them. Follow the money? Sure. But not forever. At this point it's probably more important to stop it than follow it in either direction.
Anderson's fundamental error is here:
This is the anti-evolution disclaimer the Dover teachers were ordered to read to their ninth-grade classes before they could teach evolution: "Because Darwin's Theory is a theory, it continues to be tested as new evidence is discovered. . . . Gaps in the Theory exist for which there is no evidence. . . . Intelligent design is an explanation of the origin of life that differs from Darwin's view." In a letter to the school superintendent explaining their refusal, the teachers at one point became especially emphatic: "INTELLIGENT DESIGN," they wrote, caps lock on, "IS NOT SCIENCE. INTELLIGENT DESIGN IS NOT BIOLOGY. INTELLIGENT DESIGN IS NOT AN ACCEPTED SCIENTIFIC THEORY."
The teachers are right; the school board... is simply wrong. [Last set of ellipses mine; others his.]
Erick over at Red State writes here what many of us had been hearing in the last few days but couldn't quite nail down the way he has.
What is now clear is that the White House badly bungled the selection process, and continues to do so. On morning surrogate calls for the past few days we've been hearing such excuses as "The White House Counsel's office has been understaffed and under pressure on a range of issues," or "Karl [Rove] is out of the loop and distracted."
When the New York Times is able to get some of the same Republican staffers in the Senate to say in its pages what they have been saying to people like us for weeks now, you know that things aren't going well.
Wlady: Sure, it's been ugly. But what is coming soon is going to redefine the word. The president now says that Miers's religion was a major factor in the nomination. That opens a door that was closed from 1776 until this morning: a barrage of questions to savage Miers about how her religion will shape her judgments. Questions of religious belief that were as bad only in 1960 when JFK was accused of placing Catholicism over patriotic duty. It was wrong then, and off-limits since.
Now, the hyperlibs have been given an open season on religion and there's no bag limit. The anti-religion lefties will be screaming for a secular court, and the MSM will pile on enthusiastically. The only good thing about it is that some of the libs may be too scared to join in this Inquisition. Schumer, Durbin and Leahy won't be. They'll do a Torquemada on Miers.
Here we have another liberal getting red-faced and dogmatic as Intelligent Design scientists expose the pretensions of Darwinists. Jacob Weisberg likens ID'ers to segregationists; KurtÂ Andersen likens them to "Holocaust deniers."Â Neither of theseÂ guys could explain evolutionary theory. But what they can do is repeatÂ the DarwinistÂ creed over and overÂ again and hope that their Leninist smears (LeninÂ said never engage your critics, justÂ call them "traitors" to good causes and people will know "what's what") will dissuade too many people from questioning it.
"This is gonna get real ugly." Jed, you mean what's happened the last 10 days has been ugly, but not real ugly? The Bush coalition has split, Democrats and libs are doing victory dances around the campfire, and no one even remembers what they did to Tom DeLay's scalp.
When you mentioned "the president's statement that he hadn't sat down with Miers and discussed Roe v. Wade," it reminded me that when asked at his October 4 press conference whether he'd ever discussed abortion with Miers, Bush prefaced his reply with the Clinton-era standby, "Not to my recollection." Richard Cohen may have been right again when yesterday he surmised that Bush talked to Miers about abortion only while standing.