The Spectacle Blog

Katie after Dour Dan

By on 4.5.06 | 7:17PM

Did CBS choose the most annoyingly perky woman in America as over-compensation for Dour Dan? The man who never hinted at a smile unless he was driving a stake through the heart of a Republican?

The whole exercise reminds me of a scene out of Mel Brooks's "Robin Hood: Men in Tights." You may recall that Prince John, tired of bad news, ordered the Sheriff of Rottingham to give him bad news in a good way. Can't wait to see how Katie handles the first earthquake.

Augusta Who?

By on 4.5.06 | 4:33PM


It's like that every year. I remember the year Tom Kite did not qualify, for some reason; he was at the time the leading career money winner in all of golf. And how many years did Jumbo Ozaki get invited, only to blow up on the weekend?

The rap against the Masters has always been a weak field. That's partly its heritage; it's an invitational. And it's partly the strange selection criteria used to create the field.

I'd like to see Camilo Villegas there, on the basis that the latest, newest hot player ought to get a shot. By other criteria (the top ten money winners), he just missed by a whisker.

Long time before you came on board at TAS (December, 02), I wrote a column you'd like on the Masters, here.


SHILF is Born, Jihad World Prospers

By on 4.5.06 | 3:30PM

1. West Beirut Liberation (read, terror by any other name) Conference, late March, 2006. Attending was Meshal of Hamas, Nasrallah of HizbAllah, also chiefs of PFLP General Command, Zarqawi's now regional command, Moslem Brothers from Cairo, and deputies Syrian and Iranian Intelligence.

2. Two tracks: the public discussion was about political party formation on West Bank, in Egypt, in Iraq. The private discussion was what is to be done about Israel and the United States.

3. Critical resolution was that the defeat of Israeli occupation on the West Bank and in Southern Lebanon and in Syria (Shebaa Farms, Glan Heights) and the American occupation in Iraq is now considered the same struggle. One contest, with unified command structure.

4. No confirm of a follow on meeting in Tehran by Iranian and Syrian intel chiefs to sign off on proposals from West Beirut.

5. New SHILF: Supreme Headquarters Islamic Liberation Force, likely at Damascus. Syria will now go Jihad World to accomodate. Watch for al-Assads in full desert dress.

6. You bet they're cocky.

Field Notes: World War 4, Gulf Theater

By on 4.5.06 | 3:12PM

1. You will recall that Ahmadinejad vanished from the scene for ten days in February. Now confirmed that he spent his ten days at the new Gulf Operations HQ, site of the command and control for the recent Great Prophet war games. Successful demonstration of headquarters, subordinate headquarters, linked by secure communications, linked to National Command Center at Tehran.

2. During the games, National Command Center conducted successful simulation of ballistic missile launch. This means a nuclear warhead launch. Missile type identified as Fajar 3, or Victory 3. Resembles the body of a Russian SS-4 with a mirved warhead resembling Iskander 3, likely Chinese and or Russian assist. Mirved warhead also associated with distribution to Syria.

This Is No Bull

By on 4.5.06 | 2:10PM

From the We Can't Make this Stuff Up Department comes this report that the Hollywoodenheads are now filming the life of Spanish bull fighter Manolete, having apparently received the blessing of a reluctant PETA after assuring the animal rights nutballs that no real bulls would be hurt in making the film.

Said PETA spokeshuman Lisa Lange, " We are concerned [the movie] will romanticize bullfighting,'' but, she said, "There is some consolation that the story ends'' with Manolete's 1947 death from a wound inflicted by a bull. Rowdy Yates, please call your office.

Jaidee? Jaidee no

By on 4.5.06 | 10:54AM

Lawrence -- If Thongchai Jaidee wins the Masters this year, I'll buy you a steak dinner at the DC restaurant of your choice. But thanks for your kind words. As for Geoff Ogilvy, you may be on to something there. Now, here's a list of the "what's he doing at Augusta?" caucus (the players about whom you can't quite figure out how they qualified, even though the Masters web site helpfully explains it to you; i.e. the ones who you didn't realized had played well enough in the first place): Jason Bohn, Ted Purdy, Ryan Moore. Meanwhile, I'd much rather see Jay Haas in the field (not qualified for the first time in years) than a host of the folks who did make it. And I'd still like to see Greg Norman even if he hasn't been healthy enough to play more than about three tourneys a year for the past several years....

Notre Dame Backs Down on Monologues

By on 4.5.06 | 10:08AM

Fr. John Jenkins, president of the University of Notre Dame, released his "closing statement" on the Vagina Monologues performance today. Though he still finds that it is opposed to the Catholic understanding of human sexuality, he will not prohibit its performance on campus: "I am very determined that we not suppress free speech on campus."

How disappointing. It appears Fr. Jenkins has been convinced by the campus multicultis that free speech must enjoy an official forum. Students and faculty are free to discuss even the most corrupt ideas in the classroom, in the residence halls, in the pages of the Observor, and really anywhere else. That doesn't mean Notre Dame should afford them space to spread such pollution.

Kerry, Cuttin’ and Runnin’

By on 4.5.06 | 9:21AM

Within two hours of the president’s Annapolis war speech last November, Vichy John Kerry was on the tube backtracking from everything he, Murtha and the rest of the Cut and Run Dems were saying about Iraq. In his reply to the president’s speech, Kerry managed to retreat in two directions (away from the idea of scheduled withdrawal and away from suggesting any alternative to what the president was doing.)  Now, in today’s NYT, Kerry takes another step back, nearly to his glory days of Dewey Canyon III:

Here’s the money quote:


By on 4.5.06 | 8:46AM

Mr. Bartlett, the man who calls Bush impostor, now declares that tax cuts don't "starve the beast" of government growth. It's not good enough for Bartlett that tax cuts have not recently starved the beast, nor that tax cuts are not currently starving it, both of which are fair enough judgments -- or really, observations. But Bartlett has lost his patience for spectator sports, and only the wrath of judgment can satisfy. He seems audacious enough, in fact, to posit a whole new law of economics -- two new laws, in fact -- to consign the tax-cut "dogma" to the dustbin of history. It's all happening at TimesSelect -- but you can watch Bartlett's logical pinata spill its guts and twist in the wind, free of charge, at Postmodern Conservative.

Dark Horse picks

By on 4.5.06 | 2:45AM


Nice piece on the Masters. Watch for Tongchai Jaidee, who has the most fabulous short game I've ever seen, and Jeff Ogilvy, who is poised for greatness.

Years ago, I won a betting pool on the Masters. You were required to pick three players; if your players finished cumulatively the best, you won. If your players missed the cut you were out. I picked players I was sure would make the cut (like Jay Haas) and won the pot on Friday.