The Spectacle Blog

Sick House GOP

By on 4.24.06 | 4:38PM

Quin, believe it or not, it gets worse. Majority Leader John Boehner's office just sent out an email (as a "Majority Matters" alert) reporting that by Frist and Hastert requesting gas price investigations, "Republicans are sending a strong signal to would-be gasoline price gougers tat they will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law." This comes under the headline, "GOP Leaders Take Action on Energy Prices to Safeguard Growing Economy."

I have little to add to my comments below on this silly showboating, but then the email claims Democrats have only "More empty rhetoric" to address the issue, and cites the Detroit News editorial as evidence. They selectively quote the parts of the editorial most hostile to Democrats and their obstruction, but leave out the bulk which depicts the noise about price gouging as demagoguery. Is the majority leader's office really so blind as to attack the very Democratic talking points on which his allies are basing their stunt?

Republicans aping Democrats, and the majority leader celebrates. Aren't you glad the boys are back in town?

Kristol on Manifesto

By on 4.24.06 | 3:37PM

I've been writing in the past week about a sensible-Left document called the Euston Manifesto, here, and also at the end of this column. (My column itself was mentioned by another Guardian columnist, but most of the Guardian blog respondents slammed me and the Manifesto. Oh, well.) Now, kudos to Bill Kristol at The Weekly Standard for advancing the cause in a very good column. I can only hope that there are enough voices on the Left to see that dialogue and making common cause for freedom are goals worth pursuing.

Iraq’s Government

By on 4.24.06 | 3:09PM

I've been travelling, so maybe I've missed something, but it seems like the news that the Iraqis broke their deadlock and formed a government this weekend has been wildly underplayed. Thank goodness for Iraq the Model: Omar reports on Saturday's session of parliament here. And Mohammed looks at the next steps in the political process here.

Today on the Hugh Hewitt Show

By on 4.24.06 | 3:06PM

There's a whole lotta SGO today, and we'll be covering the top stories on the Hugh Hewitt Show while Hugh appears on Comedy Central's Colbert Report.

We'll be talking about the CIA martyrdom operation by Mary McCarthy, the president's speech today on immigration and the war, UBL's latest video love note and a whole lot more. Listen in and call in on 800-520-1234. See ya on the radio.

Re: New Orleans Golf

By on 4.24.06 | 2:53PM

Quin:

That's a puzzle, and I share your concern that more top players haven't signed up for English Turn. Of course, it's scheduling isn't as attractive as it used to be. That notable 1995 tourney that Love won to get into the Masters (Crenshaw's miracle) took place the week before the Masters. And New Orleans, if I'm not mistaken, has been moved around several times. That tends to dampen commitments.

On the positive side, the PGA TV promos for New Orleans are some of the best I've ever seen.

One of these days when I'm healthy, let's play.

Energy idiocy

By on 4.24.06 | 2:42PM

Here's a note to add to Dave's excellent post earlier today. It's a paragraph from yesterday's Wash Post "Sunday Briefing" section: "The White House had hoped to win permission this year for oil and gas drilling off the coast and in the Alaskan wilderness. But $3 per gallon gasoline and record oil company profits have now generated such a backlash that any bill favoring the energy industry is unlikely to pass."

New Orleans golf

By on 4.24.06 | 1:50PM

Okay, I know that I may over-write about two of my favorite cultural obsessions, golf and New Orleans, but I just have to get this off my chest: Too many stars of the PGA Tour are skipping this weekend's Zurich Classic, the New Orleans Tour stop being played at the Nicklaus-designed English Turn club (where I was a member for 12 years). As everybody knows, New Orleans really needs a boost, and the Tour was terrific in committing to return to the city soon after the hurricane. But too many of its stars haven't come through. Tiger Woods has NEVER played in New Orleans, and apparently couldn't even be bothered this time despite the good he could do for the suffering city. (Note: Tiger's father is quite ill, so he now may not play ANY tourneys between now and the US Open, and my wishes go out to him and his family. But even before his father's condition became a serious issue, Tiger wasn't planning to play New Orleans. Hence the rasberry for him.) Vijay Singh won there just two years ago, but he's skipping it. Ernie Els is skipping it. Ditto for Sergio Garcia.

How Cholo Can You Go, Ford?

By on 4.24.06 | 1:28PM

We're so accustomed to watching commercials produced by a professional guild of arch pop craftsmen that the truly amateurish sticks out like a nail, even among the usual inanities and indignities.

Such is the case with the new mindboggling "Ride it like a Ford" campaign. Ford's great lowbrow hope is cheesed out and absurd -- even by its own standards. Full breakdown (no pun intended) here, plus priceless quotes from Americans who just aren't buying it (again, no pun, please).

Best of New Orleans

By on 4.24.06 | 10:14AM

For months, now, the most consistently insightful journalism about post-Katrina New Orleans (and its evacuees elsewhere) has come from New York, from the magazine City Journal and its ace reporter (actually, Contributing Editor) Nicole Gelinas, who deserves a Pulitzer and other big prizes far more than do certain NYTimes revealers of national secrets and Wash Post wardrobe critics. Here, here and here, are three of the many excellent pieces Ms. Gelinas has done on the subject. Her conclusions, boiled down, are that the solutions to the problems all involve creative, small-government approaches. In most cases, the best solutions are exactly the opposite, or at least the converse, of what FEMA and the Bush administration have done. (Donald Powell is a disaster as reconstruction coordinator, by the way.) Of course, LA and N.O. state and local governments have been disastrous as well; there is plenty of blame to go around.

Re: Mine Enemy’s Friend

By on 4.24.06 | 9:59AM

Whalid Phares has a great translation of the bin Laden statement here. Everyone should read this carefully. He's even demanding a permanent seat for Islam on the UN Security Council. (Why bother? They have their protectors already in place.)

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