The Spectacle Blog

Dorgan-Reid-Abramoff, Again

By on 4.17.06 | 1:10AM

What have we here? Buried in Thomas Edsall's Washington Post's story yesterday on the newly released e-mail exchanges between Jack Abramoff and his helpmate at the General Services Administration David Safavian is a brief discussion of Safavian's efforts to help Abramoff obtain commercial access to the old Post Office building in Washington, D.C. In an e-mail on July 28, 2003, Safavian complained to Abramoff about a career government worker at the White House Office of Management and Budget who was apparently hindering any such transfer plans. Writes Safavian (the all-caps emphasis is his, the boldface mine): "The OMB staffer in the way...does not realize we have a legislative directive FROM CONGRESS regarding this matter. In fact, we had a letter sent to us by [Reps] Don Young [R-Alaska], Steve LaTourette [R-Ohio], [Sens.] Byron Dorgan [D-N.D.] and Harry Reid [D-Nev.]...."

Supplement, War Warning 4: Khan confirms

By on 4.16.06 | 11:57PM

Regard this as a supplement to War Warning, part 4.

[This is a document under construction in at least twenty-five parts over the next many months. (Caveat: this is not for Queasy Anonymous.)]

1. Below find the most helpful and signals intelligence meaty part of the Broad/Sanger version, published NYT Monday 17, of the status of Iran's nuclear fuel production ability.

2. Significant is that A.Q. Khan is mentioned prominently. Best signals source points to Khan as the centerpiece of the new information with regard what Iran has and how soon it can convert its tech into weapons grade material for a production line of uranium warheads.

3. Last December, Khan provided a lengthy description of his work with Iran. Best signals source regards Khan as an honorable gentleman who gave up his lucrative opportunities to enable the building of the Arab bomb for clients that included not only Pakistan but also Iraq, Iran, Libya, Sudan, Syria, Saudi Arabia and the ever ambitious North Korea.

Random Sunday Notes

By on 4.16.06 | 7:49PM

The abuse we take.  While talking to two of my favorite radio producers on Friday, someone called my cell phone which plays, “Off we Go Into the Wild Blue Yonder.” Which prompted the Marine to say, “Oh.  Circus music.”  In response, I am reduced to quoting Eleanor Roosevelt who said, “The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States/>/> Marine Corps.”

Re: And They Say We’re Nuts

By on 4.15.06 | 5:54PM

Wlady, I'm not so sure I'd characterize the piece as a "loving portrait," if that's what you were implying with the Montana militiamen reference. The author did call the Angry Left "crass."

Still, the backhanded reference to some widespread angry right was cheap and lazy. The author considers his Newt Gingrich reference sufficient evidence without any actual example of a Newt comment rising to the level of unhinged vitriol of these folks. It's almost as if he believes the junk the Clintons peddled after Oklahoma City: that Rush Limbaugh was to blame. Rush, Newt, and the mainstream right may be passionate, but their tone doesn't approach the Angry Left's irrational hate.

As anecdotal as it sounds, take a look at the top blogs. Compare the top three liberal blogs (Kos, Eschaton, and AMERICAblog) and the top three conservative blogs (Instapundit, Malkin, and lgf... and Power Line if you don't count Instapundit. I'm not sure he would). The difference in tone is night and day.

Re: And They Say We’re Nuts

By on 4.15.06 | 2:00PM

Dave: Something about that Post piece bothered me. I think it's right here, in a genuine nutgraph. I've hightlighted the key sentence:

What's notable about this isn't only the level of anger but the direction from which it is coming. Not that long ago, it was the right that was angry and the left that was, at least comparatively, polite. But after years of being the targets of inflammatory rhetoric, not only from fringe groups but also from such mainstream conservative politicians as Newt Gingrich, the left has gone on the attack. And with Republicans in control of Washington, they have much more to be angry about.

In other words, it's okay. Just payback time, in response to what the crazy right started. Though somehow I don't recall coming across loving portraits of Montana militiamen in the Post's Style section back then.

St. Jack, St. Tom, St. Bobby, etc.

By on 4.15.06 | 9:52AM

Heavens, having two editors fight over one of my reviews. I blush.

I vastly admire Jack Nicklaus. Either my comparison of his book with Jones's was an interesting contrast, as I think it was, or it was a gratuitous aside. Considering I devoted an entire paragraph to the comparison, I don't think it's gratuitous.

The original description of Jack as a kind of stuffed shirt -- along with the "Karnack" nickname from Tom Watson -- you can find in John Feinstein's "A Good Walk Spoiled," 1996. It's an established story. Of course, the least criticism of Nicklaus will irritate some people; has for a long time.

Watson himself can stick his nose in the air, too. It was he who wrote the letter to the Masters Tournament Committee that got CBS's Gary McCord kicked off the broadcast for remarks Watson saw as unbefitting the dignity of the tournament.

It all gets to be a little bit much, and makes me remember fondly such players as Brian Barnes, who once marked a putt with a beer bottle.

And They Say We’re Nuts

By on 4.15.06 | 8:37AM

You just can't make this stuff up. Remember "angry white men" in 1994? They've got nothing on the Angry Left. The Washington Post has the goods today in a devastatingly hilarious snapshot.

The main subject of the piece has a blog with fairly strong readership. This is how she describes her evolution:

Then George W. Bush was elected. Then came 9/11, Afghanistan, Iraq, Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, the Patriot Act, secret prisons, domestic eavesdropping, the revamping of the Supreme Court, and the thought "It has come to the point where the worst people on Earth are running the Earth." And now, "I have become one of those people with all the bumper stickers on their car," she says. "I am this close to being one of those muttering people pushing a cart.

"I'm insane with rage and grief.

"But I also feel more connected than I ever have."

Howard Dean, your troops are ready. It gets better.

Re: Big Dog and the Ankle Biters

By on 4.14.06 | 7:12PM

Ned and Tony DiP: Thanks, guys. This is important. Rumsfeld is one of the people who's making a big difference - for the better - in this war. I have every desire to see him stay as long as he can stand it.

Mrs. Jackson, MLG, R. Trotter and Evelyn: Many thanks for your notes. I think - given the President's statement today and the expressions of support from people such as you - the Big Dog will be here for the rest of the Bush administration. And that's a very good thing.

Big Dog and the Ankle Biters

By on 4.14.06 | 1:55PM

I'll be on Fox with Neil Cavuto today, about 4 pm EST talking about Rumsfeld vs. the generals. Hope you can catch it.

Heritage for RomneyCare?

By on 4.14.06 | 11:49AM

Why is the Heritage Foundation's top health care researcher at Romney's bill signing ceremony (see the photo)? Has Heritage gone big-government pragmatic?