The Spectacle Blog

House Leadership

By on 2.2.06 | 10:00AM

As of 10 this morning, it remains unclear who is standing where in the race for House Majority Leader. The team of Rep. Roy Blunt insists they have at least 100 backers locked in, but no one is certain of a number that still remains in flux.

In order to get 100, Blunt last night identified Rep. Wayne Gilchrist as a supporter. But Gilchrist has been a Rep. John Boehner backer up until now.

The smart money, according to GOP caucus members, remains on a second ballot that has Boehner emerging as the leader. That said, Blunt's performance yesterday, handing the conservative Republican Study Group a legislative win in the spending wars, may have helped him more than his poor performance at the caucus retreat earlier this week.

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Head wounds

By on 2.2.06 | 9:35AM

Medical source reports that the wounds to ABC team, specially Woodruff, are most threatening. Suggestion that shrapnel penetrated the skull. Woodruff transferred to the best of the best for head wounds. U.S. medicals have a deal of experience now because of the IEDs. My experience is that prayer works well, too.

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Cartoon Kerfuffle Continues

By on 2.2.06 | 8:24AM

According to this BBC report, the editor of the France Soir newspaper was fired for reprinting the editorial cartoon depictions of Mohammed that have Muslims in an uproar. Several European papers, like France Soir, republished the cartoons originally published by the Norwegian paper, Jyllands Posten, setrting off protests and a trade embargo against Norwegian products in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere. (Michelle Malkin has posted the offending cartoons here.)

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I’m From the Government and I’m Here to Help

By on 2.2.06 | 7:30AM

President Bush might want to go review old Reagan speeches and pick up some general distrust of government as the solution. The verdict is in on his State of the Union: Bush thinks the federal government is the primary agent of change. See more from David Hogberg today, then check out George Will and Bob Novak echoing his thoughts.

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Decent Budget News

By on 2.2.06 | 6:48AM

The House voted (again -- it's a redo from last year because the Senate slightly changed the bill) to cut slightly the growth of entitlement spending yesterday. It's a solid first step. But the way Roy Blunt's gloating a conservative might suppose the battle is won. Makes you wonder what Blunt would/will do once he's majority leader.

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Kathmandu and PACOM

By on 2.1.06 | 9:21PM

Kathmandu source reports that a general officer from PACOM flew in yesterday, February 1, on the critical day of a national protest by a coalition of the disenfrachised against the peculiar one-man state of King Gyanendra. The general, visiting the Amerian embassy, told the international media present that the United States was concerned at the deterioration of the state. Why does the US get involved in the roof of the world? Because Nepal is an agreed-upon battlefield between the two superstates of the 21st century, India (the team we support) and China (the team we are correct to fear), and also because the Maoist guerillas who control the high ground in the countryside are a sincere terror-for-hire gang and King Gyanendra is now taking arms and momney from Bejing as well as the jihadist crowd in Islamabad. Also, Gyanendra is a rascal and bully, and the people of Nepal deserve better than to be abandoned to beggary and injustice by a so-called international community.

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Blunt Closer and Closer

By on 2.1.06 | 5:38PM

Late word from House gallery source that not only did Roy Blunt deliver squeakily the vote, 216-214, to complete Mike Pence's September initiative for Operation Offset -- cutting money from the budget to match the money spent on Katrina relief -- but also that Blunt is within celebrating distance of the 117 votes he needs for GOP leadership. Importantly, source does not say that 117 is a done deal. Blunt remains heavy establishment favorite, however this is a secret, secret, secret ballot and there is no motive for anyone ever to reveal his or her vote.

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8 Noms For The Cowpokes

By on 2.1.06 | 3:24PM

For those who dare to care: I predicted for 2006 "More bisexuality. The gay phenomenon is so last year" -- and sure enough Brokeback Mountain rides in with eight, count 'em, Oscar nods. Though director Ang Lee had the fashionable, acceptable attitude when he said, "I didn't know there were so many gay people out there. Everywhere, they turn up," it should be clear that Brokeback Mountain is less a gay cowboy movie than a bisexual cowboy movie. (Or, as the Washington Post calls it with such adult wit, "cowpoke.")

The distinction matters because the motive collapses into incoherence, a land where everything is possible but nothing is true. Reflecting such ritually subjective terms, Lee gushed, "I think I'm amazed how people everywhere have had the sensitivity to want to get into the complexity of the issue, the probability of love, the illusion of love, all those things. It's not simple things [sic] you can categorize as right or wrong."

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Pay to Smear

By on 2.1.06 | 2:18PM

In my e-mail inbox, two messages, one on top of the other. The first, from the New Republic, reads: "Today at TNR Online: Bush's Diminished Presidency." The second, right underneath, from the Republican National Committee, announces: "What They're Saying About President Bush's State Of The Union Address." I bet that doesn't include the New Republic's line (which in any case no one will read because TNR wants readers to pay for its web content!).

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