The Spectacle Blog

Battling Earmarks

By on 5.23.06 | 2:59PM

Keep an eye on Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) this week as he challenges earmarks on the Agriculture Appropriations Bill on the House floor.

The House appropriations "cardinals" are still placing earmarks into the committee reports without revealing who requested them. There are over 400 in this bill. In other words, not a thing has changed in the House.

Pence Wins on Immigration

By on 5.23.06 | 1:54PM

Just got back from a speech at the Heritage Foundation by Mike Pence, on immigration.I really think he has the answer. I'll post a much lengthier commentary on it in about an hour, but for now let me just note that it combines the best parts of the House border-control act with the Krieble FOundation proposal I've touted here several times.

And let me also note this: Pence was very impressive. I'm sure that if he ran for president, for instance, a lot of Americans would welcome his candidacy. Just an observation, not an endorsement.

Leak Prosecutions?

By on 5.23.06 | 11:48AM

The New York Times, the Washington Post and law professor Jonathan Turley are suffering a severe case of nerves about Attorney General Gonzales's statement that the law may require prosecution of reporters who publish government secrets.  Today's WaPo editorial refers, again, to the wrong part of the law in the growing hysteria about the libs idea that the Bush administration is trying to violate the First Amendment and do something the law has never allowed.  (Hat tip to the PowerLine guys for a reminder on what's really the law).

The law that governs the James Risen - NSA terrorist surveillance leak situation is 18 US Code Section 798, which deals with the unauthorized disclosure or use of information regarding signals intelligence.  It says, in part:

(a) Whoever knowingly and willfully communicates, furnishes,

New Orleans explained

By on 5.23.06 | 11:36AM

If anybody really wants to understand what happened in the New Orleans mayoral race, this column explains it all very impressively and accurately. President Bush and longtime Republican office-seeker Rob Couhig put Mayor Nagin over the top. New Orleans will suffer as a result.

Lloyd Bentsen, in memoriam

By on 5.23.06 | 11:33AM

The AP reports that former Democratic senator, treasury secretary and vice-presidential candidate Lloyd Bentsen has died. He wasn't a conservative, but he was one of the old-style, gentlemanly, public-spirited, moderate Democrats whose kind are sorely missed these days. May he rest in the Lord's peace, and may his family know the Lord's grace.

Sometimes a Plane is Just a Plane …

By on 5.22.06 | 3:19PM

ABC News' "The Note" wonders what Karl Rove was doing in the airport in Chicago last week. The question no doubt sent three-quarters of the Daily Kos-sacks into a tizzy. After all, Joe Wilson scandal prosecutor Pat Fitzgerald is based there.

It is true that sometimes you're at the airport for a secret meeting to determine who the Supreme Court nominee will be later this summer to replace Justice Ginsburg.

Sometimes you're at the airport to plot how best to rig ballot machines to give your party landslide victories in an election year when your party is supposed to lose both the House and the Senate.

But sometimes you're at the airport just because your connecting flight happens to be there ... at an airport. Where planes take off and land. We know it's a difficult concept.

What Gouging?

By on 5.22.06 | 2:26PM

The FTC found that gasoline price spikes met local or regional market trends last year after Hurricane Katrina. Which makes sense, because gouging does not exist.

Showdown Debut Day

By on 5.22.06 | 12:45PM

My new book, Showdown: Why China Wants War with the United States, debuts today. I'll be doing a lot of tv and radio, including the MSNBC "Situation" show with Tucker Carlson late tonight and the John Batchelor ABC radio show just a bit earlier.

Lots of other SGO today. If you didn't read Starobin's "Of Mullahs and MADness" on Saturday, please do. It's so terribly wrong, there shall be more on it later. Much more. Is there a nuclear deterrent that can affect Iran? Perhaps. But it's nothing like the one Starobin posits. It's much tougher, much uglier. And possibly just what we need.