The Spectacle Blog

Re: Chicago

By on 7.27.06 | 3:28PM

Clearly, the city council has fallen into the hands of maniacs. The "living wage" nonsense is only the latest in a series of laws in which they've stuck their noses into every aspect of life. (Hat-tip to Hit & Run, where they've been on top of this stuff for a few days.)

RE: More on judges

By on 7.27.06 | 12:04PM

Quin: I think the problem goes beyond judges. It is the tired, worn out GOP leadership in both Houses of Congress. They do not seem to understand (or they don't care) that issues like tax cuts, spending cuts, and judges are ones that fire up the base. Futhermore, there are some good health care bills that are languishing, that could attract some swing voters if Congress would pass them (or, they might attract some swing voters if at least the GOP would make a stink about them and then campaign on them in the Fall.)

Thank goodness Bill Frist is retiring. As for Dennis Hastert, I think a coup is in order.

More on judges

By on 7.27.06 | 11:32AM

Wow, today really is the day for home-run columns on judges. This piece by Sean Rushton at NRO is an absolute must-read. He really lays out the case for why judges are a political ace in the hole for Republicans if they only had sense enough to use the issue. Of course, asking Republican officials in DC to show good sense is like asking porpoises to swing from tree branches.

Novak Correct on Judges

By on 7.27.06 | 10:55AM

Robert Novak has an excellent column today on judicial confirmations. The White House won't push hard enough (or get its nominees to the Senate fast enough), the Senate GOP rank and file won't tell the leadership that it's a priority, and the leadership won't do quite enough (although Frist sort of/kind of intermittently "gets it") to push the rank and file to back any plans it (the leadership) has to make judges a priority. Sen. Graham and Sen. McCain (the latter more understandably, considering his heroic history) may have legitimate concerns about "torture" of detainees, but they are blaming lawyer Jim Haynes MISTAKENLY for supposedly (but not actually) advocating torture. And Graham's opposition to Haynes has risen (or fallen) to the level of asininity: arriving late for the hearing on Haynes, having his timeline and other facts wrong; in general, just being, to put it bluntly, a jerk. Meanwhile, Frist's reported decision not to have any more floor time for debate on judges before the election (which is still more than THREE MONTHS AWAY) is indefensible and pathetic.

Controlled Substances

By on 7.27.06 | 10:51AM

There's a report out that Tour de France winner Floyd Landis tested positive for testosterone during the race. I knew that substance was prohibited in French government officials, but I wasn't aware they had banned it in American men. It's probably an obscure regulation put in force sometime around Christmas 1945.

Google Meets Grover

By on 7.27.06 | 8:04AM

No, this isn't a story from "Sesame Street" as the title might seem to portray.  No, this is far more frivolous. Grover's meetings are off the record, but yesterday's meeting involved the kind of misdirection that has to be reported.

Yesterday at Grover Norquist’s "Wednesday Meeting" was attended by Jamie Brown, a former White House legislative liaison whose portfolio involved mostly judicial issues.  She also was a Department of Justice political appointee during the first term, working for Attorney General John Ashcroft in the legislative shop, as well as third-party outreach.  Since then, Brown has signed on with Google to be their chief policy and lobbying representative in Washington/>/>. 

A Gingrich Run?

By on 7.26.06 | 3:31PM

We're hearing from sources close to Newt Gingrich that the reported memorandum outlining plans for a presidential run "does not exist," and that there are no plans at this time for him to run for anything. Moreover, according to the source, Newt and his wife did have a social dinner over the weekend with another couple in Virginia's horse country, but it was not in any way a "strategy session."

Re: How To Be Somewhat Unelectable

By on 7.26.06 | 12:50PM

John: A friend of mine described Pennsylvania as Pittsburgh and Philadelphia with Alabama in between. Casey is going to have to do better than leading people to think that he will raise taxes and that he is no different from other Democrats on values issues. And, as you are well aware, the immigration issue has been HUGE this year. It animates many voters and I'm betting a lot of them are paying attention.

As for the polls, two things: I should have pointed out that a few months ago Casey was ahead of Santorum by close to twenty points, so his lead clearly is shrinking. The second one is embarrassing. The first poll I referred to was from last year. Oh boy. This D.C. heat is really getting to me.