The Spectacle Blog

Hormuz Project

By on 1.31.06 | 7:43PM

Best Iran source reports on four new parallel tunnels under construction in north Tehran, in what is called Mini-City, that are designed to deny and deceive signals intelligence.

The tunnels, called the Hormuz Project, are 50 meters deep, about 150 to 300 meters long, and double concrete walled with a lead layer in between; also there is provision for fiberglass sound proofing. These measures are to shield radiation leakage and to muffle the loud whirring of a cascade array of P-2 gas centrifuge machines for processing uranium into the 90% purity necessary for a nuclear weapon. The tunnels are being built by the Hora engineering company which has its headquarters at Khatam Al Aribia, the main engineering headquarters of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Council (IRGC).

Send to Kindle

Polling Preview

By on 1.31.06 | 6:22PM

Mark "Mystery Pollster" Blumenthal:

From the polling perspective, if recent history repeats itself, we can assume two things will occur after the President's State of the Union (SOTU) speech tonight. First, CNN/USAToday/Gallup and perhaps CBS News will conduct instant reaction polls among speech watchers who will express great enthusiasm for the President and his address. Second, the traditional poll of all Americans conducted in the weeks following the speech will show little or no "bump" in the President's job approval ratings.
By way of explanation, Blumenthal points to a tendency for the SOTU audience to be disproportionately packed with a president's copartisans.
Send to Kindle

Get Smashed on a Tuesday Night

By on 1.31.06 | 5:47PM

It's the State of the Union drinking game! Sample: "Every time the camera shows.... John Kerry: Threaten to talk through the rest of the speech until your friends 'cloture' you, then 1 long drink."

Send to Kindle

SOTU Preview

By on 1.31.06 | 5:04PM

Thanks to a White House source, we can give you the following  excerpts from the president's State of the Union address to be delivered at 9 pm tonight:

Send to Kindle

Timmy’s Better Way

By on 1.31.06 | 4:52PM

The Dems are sending around excerpts from Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine's response to the State of the Union Address. It appears that his theme is "there's a better way."

An interesting note to strike for the party devoid of ideas. Take his section on taxes, for example:

Tonight, we heard the President again call to make his tax policies permanent, despite his Administration's failure to manage our staggering national debt. Over the past five years, we've gone from huge surpluses to massive deficits. No parent makes their child pay the mortgage. Why should we allow this Administration to pass down the bill for its reckless spending to our children and grandchildren?

The better way turns out to be Democratic Party retread: tax hikes. That was Mark Warner and Tim Kaine's "better way" for Virginia -- the biggest tax increase in Commonwealth history. Look for concrete ideas and not more of the same from the Democrats tonight. But don't hold your breath.

Also, we'll be watching the State of the Union tonight on AmSpecBlog. Join us here for running commentary.

Send to Kindle

Hollywood Goes to War, Year 5

By on 1.31.06 | 3:27PM

Alternative history writing project continues at Academy Award bunker where the war in year five is regarded as useful but over budget and wrongly cast.

Of the five films for best, have paid to see one, Munich, and aim to see one more on DVD, Good Night, and Good Luck; am uncompelled by the alternate lifestyle persons in Brokeback Mountain and Capote, and am unattracted to traffic incidents in L.A. in Crash.  Hollywood says you make only the movies you can't get out of: my version is you go only to the movies you can't get out of.

Did hurry to pay to see Syriana, because it is based on a book by a confessional, compelling, ironic CIA officer, Baer.

Send to Kindle

Dhimmied Danes

By on 1.31.06 | 2:21PM

The cartoon-generated Arab boycott of Danish goods has become serious enough that one affected company, Arla Foods (a milk and dairy products exporter with a nearly $500 million annual market in the Middle East) has seen its sales plummet to near zero according to the BBC.

The Saudis -- ever the voice of reason -- are escalating the controversy. Interior minister Prince Naif has called on all Arab and Islamic nations to take a stand, saying that the cartoon depictions of Mohammed were denigrating to him and insulting to all Muslims. The Danes' response is uneven. The government, while defending freedom of the press is at odds with Arla's directors who seem to welcome dhimmitude if it can restore their sales. According to the Saudi government daily, Arab News:

Send to Kindle

Dr. Z and Mordor

By on 1.31.06 | 12:18PM

Best Ummah source reports that the new video from bumpy Dr. Zawahri contains familiar and always revealing theology.

Dr. Z outranks the serial killing Zarqawi just because Dr. Z has intimate connection to the spiritual component of the jihad. When strongman Zarqawi speaks, it is the voice of a regional commander, exhorting, threatening, boasting, otherwise behaving like a Kubrick ape-man in the opening act of 2001.

However when Dr. Z speaks, we can hear the preacherliness of the Global Caliphate: we can hear specially the rationalizations for the murder of innocence promised ahead, like the opening chapter in Hobbitville, nightmares of the Dark Land (Tolkien: Mordor) rising.

For example, Dr. Z says that there is still time for the American public to come to its senses and reject the “butcher of Washington/>/>” George Bush and accept the Al Q offer of a truce. The Arabic word for truce is hudna, and the concept of a ten-year truce is based upon a wrenching plot twist in the peculiarly justified bloodletting spectacle that is the Koran, rated R.

Send to Kindle

Re: The Ayes Have It

By on 1.31.06 | 10:41AM

58 to 42 is about the perfect margin to drive the hard left nuts -- they believe (wrongly) that a filibuster could have stopped Alito, if only the Dems had the spine. Cracking 40 nays should generate much rending of garments, gnashing of teeth, and donkey vs. donkey infighting.

See Ed Whelan for some related points.

Send to Kindle

Re: Sore Loser

By on 1.31.06 | 10:38AM

Dave: Yes, but Alito is a New Jersey Italian, a fact of which the states's two senatorial clowns will be reminded frequently in the coming months and years. Not only did Menendez and Lautenberg vote not to confirm, but they voted against cloture in the 72-25 vote that will really go down as the true measure of Alito's victory.

Send to Kindle