The Spectacle Blog

‘Death to Traitors’

By on 2.6.06 | 2:10PM

The Supreme Court Building is constructed on the very ground of the Old Capitol buidling that became the emegency Old Capitol Prison for traitors in the Spring of 1861.

For the next four years, Lincoln, Seward, Stanton and the Secret Service Chief Lafayette Baker grabbed whomever they wanted without a warrant, threw them into Old Capitol's dreary rooms, and forgot about habeas coprus, indictments, trials for as long as was useful.

Lafayette Baker's motto on his badge was "Death to Traitors."

When some several of those very same traitors conspired to murder Lincoln and Seward in April, 1865, Baker assigned his cousin to track them down and bring them to the noose. Booth likely shot himself, or was shot; but the Bakers bagged anyone they could argue was attached to the plot and threw them into a hastily constructed court in May, 1865, where the Attorney General and Provost Marshall General engineered a speedy conviction. Some few of the culprits were hanged at Old Capitol Prison.

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NYC Scare?

By on 2.6.06 | 2:00PM

The building in which one of my brothers works, across the street from Grand Central Station, has been evacuated, along with other buildings in the area. He says Park Avenue is snarled with people, and that an NYPD told him it was because of a bomb threat in Grand Central. Could be nothing, but he told me he hasn't seen this kind of muscle on the streets in a long while. We'll see .... is this the beginning of the cartoon's escalation to our shores, I wonder.

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AG Gonzales

By on 2.6.06 | 1:37PM

As expected, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee and gave a rousing defense of the Administration's anti-terrorism program through the NSA.

One thing that is clear is that there is an orchestrated attempt on the part of some Democrat committee members to portray AG Gonzales as nothing more than a pawn for the Bush Administration. Earlier today, Newsweek magazine's Evan Thomas went on a national radio program and claimed that Gonzales was nothing more than a dupe for President Bush. We're seeing that strategy in the questioning from Sen. Chuck Schumer.

What's also clear is that Gonzales isn't going to bite.

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Cartoons and Tehran and Us

By on 2.6.06 | 1:15PM

Report tonght from Druze leader Walid Jumblatt at Beirut that the cartoon rioting in Beirut that burned the Danish embassy and attacked a Marionite church and Lebanese Christians was led by Syrian agents.

This is a five week old story. Why now?

Study the correspondence between the cartoon riots in Europe and now the Ummah and the IAEA spanking of Tehran for its flagagrant nuclear weapons fuel cycle at the weekend.

Easy assumption at this point is that Iran has tasked its best slave state Syria to escalate attacks in Beirut while scaring the Scandinavians out of Damascus and Amman.

Iran is most confident; the IRGC laughs at Western appeasement; the Iranan agents in place in Western governments are busy and cash rich.

Watching for Washington and London and Paris and Berlin to retreat and appease.

The cartoon that makes sense is ancient Pogo wit: "The enemy is us."

Put the cartoons on the WSJ front page. Ask the question of the American public: Does this make sense? Burning for this? Now, ask yourself, who benefits from the riots?

The answer is Iran, Iran, Iran.

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Today on the Hugh Hewitt Show

By on 2.6.06 | 1:08PM

I'm subbing for Hugh again today, Salem Radio Net 6-9 EST. We'll be covering the day's news and starting with a bang. Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) will be joining us at the top of the show. Don't miss this one.

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Strange Image — But Real

By on 2.6.06 | 11:25AM

Reuters PR Manager Yasmeen Khan responds to my question about that picture that I highlighted yesterday:

Our Editorial policy does not allow us to alter photographs, (beyond standard techniques that may be used, for example, to tone pictures). We certainly do not alter photographs to any degree that would change the news value of the picture, and this would include translating any written words that appear on a photo - our standard Editorial policy is to present the facts without opinion, hence altering/tampering/translation is not allowed.

I've checked the photo on the link you sent against the original on our file and it seems to be the same, and I can verify that it was not altered - in fact we have many other pictures of the same demonstration and the signs the protestors are holding are exactly the same as in the picture you've highlighted, i.e they are in English.

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That About Sums It Up

By on 2.6.06 | 11:10AM

Sometimes Howard Kurtz hits the nail on the head, as in this question about why ABC News sent its top anchor into harm's way: "Was this some sort of grandstanding or ratings ploy?" To ask a question like that is to answer it.

UPDATE: A guest on Kurtz's Reliable Sources offers more tough talk: "So what do you do if you have a broadcast called 'World News Tonight'? You bring in an anchor who hop scotches like a pinball from place to place to place to place to place to give the illusion of covering the world." The illusion of covering the world -- again, that pretty much sums it up.

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Super Ward

By on 2.6.06 | 5:14AM

Wlady: Sorry I signed off early. Yes, Randel-el's pass was not only better than Portis's attempts, it was the play of the year. And better than Brunnell. Hurricane Sharon (as you know, another Indiana grad) was screaming when he threw it. Ward really did deserve the Cadillac. The touchdown pass he caught on the run, breaking stride and changing direction, was a thing of beauty. He's been super all season.

Ok, enough fun for one week. On to NSA and the hearings. The hearing will feature riveting testimony, deep-thinkers' questions and fair media coverage. Yeah, well, I don't believe that either.

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Re: Hines vs. Heinz

By on 2.6.06 | 12:56AM

Paul, I was a little embarrassed for Starr -- he should have been walking down a red-carpeted center aisle at Carnegie Hall as he approached the special post-game platform. Instead, he had to wend his way through fans, TV and other cameramen, earphoned producers, who knows who else. It was so unseemly. But he did look great, and he's probably still good enough to give Mark Brunnell a run for his salary-cap busting money.

By the way, where was Terry Bradshaw? He's the greatest Super Bowl Steeler of them all, but apparently he works for another network...

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Re: Hines v. Heinz

By on 2.6.06 | 12:01AM

Wlady: I'd best get to sleep, but I am very happy for Pittsburgh and Cowher, for the reasons you cite and more besides. The Steelers were the great dynasty of my formative years, and I'm glad to see the title restored after so long. It was an odd game, unsatisfying in many ways, but I'm glad they prevailed. As for the postgame, there was at least one note of grace: the presence of Bart Starr to present the trophy. He's as fine a man and ambassador for any sport as we're likely to see, and having him there lent some class to the proceedings, which usually are in need of some.

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