The Spectacle Blog

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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Snowe: Not for Filibuster

By on 1.30.06 | 9:31AM

Senate source reminds that Snowe of Maine has never and does not vote for filibuster -- that is, against cloture.

She may vote no on Alito, but not with Kerry and the filibuster crew.

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Roberts and Alito — Regular Charity Cases

By on 1.29.06 | 9:46PM

Thought I'd take a look at Eleanor Clift's latest column (don't worry -- it's not a habit) for what thoughtless/ridiculous things she had to say. I didn't have to read past the first paragraph:

Get ready for the divider, not the uniter, when President Bush delivers his State of the Union address Tuesday to a packed House chamber. It will be a ceremonial evening, with Chief Justice John Roberts likely to be joined by newly confirmed Associate Justice Samuel Alito in the front row to look up admiringly at the man who made their careers.

Made their careers? I could see her arguing that for John Roberts based solely on his posts on the D.C. Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court (obviously discounting his immense legal knowledge independent of the last two points on his resume). But Sam Alito? When Bush took office, he'd already been serving on the 3rd Circuit for 11 years.

Yep, a coupla' bums he found wandering on Pennsylvania Avenue.

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Too Close to Call

By on 1.29.06 | 9:34PM

Admittedly, I'm hopeful that Roy Blunt doesn't have this race wrapped up just yet (see below). But the article on the race in the Washington Post tomorrow confirms my hopes... and suspicions:

With 92 declared supporters, Blunt remains the favorite, well ahead of Boehner's 49 declared supporters and Shadegg's 16. But House members and advisers say the race remains more open than it looks. All three candidates will make presentations to a gathering of conservative House members in Baltimore today. The House returns tomorrow for President Bush's State of the Union address, the first time most members will have the chance to discuss the race among themselves.

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