The Spectacle Blog

Guns or Butter?

By on 1.30.06 | 5:43PM

That should read, "Nukes or Butter?" If you compare the EUnuchs' reactions to a Saudi boycott of Danish products to their continued dithering on Iran, you should conclude that the nations of shopkeepers of Europe are following in the footsteps of their fathers and grandfathers. Their fathers appeased Hitler. Their grandfathers, the Kaiser. Now they're appeasing Ahmadinejad.

Unfair comparisons are one fuel of politics. And it’s hard to be fair to Europe/> when it’s in one of its moods. Which is practically all the time.

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Drone War and its Discontents

By on 1.30.06 | 5:04PM

It is impossible to escape the impression that the LA Times commonly uses false standards of measurement against the military undertakings of the United States. That newspaper, for which it was not good enough to be against the troops, turns out to be against the drones, too.

The final graf in this vaguely agonized stand epitomizes its tone of mournful disapproval with a wistful coda: "The CIA does not even acknowledge that such a targeted-killing program exists, and some attacks have been explained away as car bombings or other incidents. It is not known how many militants or bystanders have been killed by Predator strikes, but anecdotal evidence suggests the number is significant."

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Cloture on Alito

By on 1.30.06 | 4:48PM

72 Yea, 25 Nay

UPDATE: Roll call here (I'm pretty sure the bit about the Rear Admiral under "Nomination Description" is a mistake, which for all I know will be fixed by the time you click through).

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Dr. Z Rapping

By on 1.30.06 | 3:18PM

Bump on the noggin rapper Dr. A Zawahiri is back on air with talking points for Pelosians and Deaniacs.

Am eager to see this crosscut with Sheehan campaign against less than limber Dianne F. in California.

The puzzle for historians will be how George Bush would have done so well without enemies as wildly predictable (we have been waiting impatiently for the Sony camcorder shipment to reach Waziristan since the Jan 13 missile strike took out Dr. Z's MTV son-in-law and his editing skills) as Al Q and the cobra-hissing Dr. Z.

This excerpt from whining jeremiad that is specially dreamy, everything we want in Goebbels-deriviative fantasies of cherry blossoms and bile:

"Butcher of Washington, you are not only defeated and a liar, but also a failure. You are a curse on your own nation."

This is the day before the SOTU roll-out. Call for rewrite! Draft 25. Get Dr. Z's curdling lip in there!

Am I deaf? Is this the sound of box office? Roll file film, go to Arabic croaking, underline: defeated, liar, curse.

The RNC does not earn this luck. It is the hot streak of being on the gun side of history.

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Woodruff, the Muse, the Reaper

By on 1.30.06 | 2:36PM

Have walked Nativity Square wearing a flak jacket and a mobile phone during the siege of '02, have ridden in a HUMVEE without armored doors on the Philadelphi route in Gaza during Hamas/Islamic Jihad attack, have darted along the alternate route at the Jordan River wire, through the minefields, at sunset, to avoid the IDF patrols and the fleeing Al Aqsa gunmen from another attack on the West Bank, have entered Hebron several times in an unarmored vehicle with only a pistol armed guide and my mobile phone and blackberry to walk the Casbah and puzzle, have stood on Masada at noontime on the second day of the Iraq operation, expecting Iraqi incoming from H3 - all this is true, all this was reckless and vainglorious and inexcusable. If anything negative had happened, not only would I have expected condemnation from my sponsors, not only would I have deserved the fury of my family (who did not accede to risking the family unit before Dad departed to be Mr. War Correspondent), but also there would not have been one cent of life insurance cent available because of the clear violation of the war zone warnings. Will I do similar again? Likely.

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Defending Democracy

By on 1.30.06 | 1:36PM

To argue, as David Yerushalmi does, that Hamas's victory shows "the fallacy of the democracy thesis," one would have to first establish that the Palestinian Authority is a democracy. It isn't just yet; as Glenn Reynolds is fond of repeating, democratization is a process, not an event. If, as Yerushalmi speculates, Hamas proceeds to "eliminate any real democratic limits on tyranny by simply eliminating or reducing to a caricature the democratic institutions," then the democratization process will have failed. But Hamas's victory shouldn't scare us off from the goal of completing that process.

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Palestine Empty Pockets

By on 1.30.06 | 12:18PM

Hamas takeover of the Palestinian Authority means endless trouble going forward, and the grotesque, apocalyptic scenario of a Hamas link up with the Muslem Brothers to take over Cairo at Mubarak's death -- but most especially right now it means that the Gaza/West Bank terror gangs are out of cash.

The PA meets a payroll (read: handout) for estimated $137,000 per month. Estimates are that the PA needs $68 million per month. This is the entire legitimate income of Gaza and the West Bank and the various neighborhoods of the so-called diaspora, where the undead and the unborn are on the payroll along with Grandpa Refugee Terrorist. As of now, the PA cannot make January's payroll. And with the cut-off of funds imminent from the EU and the US and other known appeasers, the PA is laughably broke, pockets turned out underneath the Lord of the Rings robes.

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Pet of the Week

By on 1.30.06 | 11:56AM

Reuters reports that President Bush claims Bill Clinton is like a member of the Bush family. Apparently the animal-loving Bushes have a new dog.

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Chafee Against Alito, For Cloture

By on 1.30.06 | 11:07AM

The former mayor of Warwick will vote against the filibuster and against Alito's nomination. Jim Baron, the Pawtucket Times/Woonsocket Call columnist with whom I was acquainted as a pup intern at the Times, argues Chafee's playing both sides in a "cynical political calcuation." The NRSC money keeps flowing Chafee's way, which will help in his primary race against Stephen Laffey, and he can claim some moderate/liberal credibility when/if the general election rolls around.

The party should cut him off.

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Bush Hits 50 Percent

By on 1.30.06 | 9:35AM

In his approval ratings, according to Rasmussen. Don't hold your breath waiting for the major press to report this as loudly as they do when his ratings dip.

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