The Spectacle Blog

Harris Matters

By on 5.3.06 | 5:59PM

We're hearing that Republican Florida House Speaker Allen Bense (R) is quietly talking to state and national GOP fundraisers about challenging Rep. Katherine Harris for the Republican Senate nomination. The filing deadline is May 12. Harris has been under intense pressure to back out of the race in light was a series of gaffes, whiffs of ethical impropriety and staff defections. A candidate should knows she's cooked when her own campaign advisers go public with information that her opponents would normally leak. Timing here, obviously, is critical. Sen. Bill Nelson, who at one time was considered to be a beatable candidate has raised upwards of $10 million, and his seat is now considered safe. All of this comes at a time when national Republican leaders are getting an earful about the dire condition of the party leading into the 2006 election cycle. Day-after reviews of polling numbers in Ohio raise a number of red flags about party enthusiasm and the ability of some candidates to get out the vote.

Moussaoui Lives

By on 5.3.06 | 5:13PM

...and I can live with that. Although terrorism walks a purposefully narrow line between crime and war, Moussaoui's role in the death and destruction of 9/11 is not quite close enough to qualify as murder and not far enough from the event to remove him from enemyhood. Everyone would be content for a really blood-soaked man like Bin Laden to simply disappear, hounded out of existence. If that sort of life sentence for the Prince of Terror satisfies the soul, surely this formal one for a third-rate maniac and evil lummox satisfies too.

Of course, Jed, if they let him out of solitary, that would be the can't-gettingest of no satisfactions.

Imam Moussaoui

By on 5.3.06 | 5:11PM

The verdict in the Moussaoui death penalty trial is in, and surprisingly the jury has returned with a life sentence recommendation. No one - not the feds for sure - will have the stomach to keep Moussaoui in solitary for life. So he will soon be preaching jihad behind bars, and doing more damage in prison than he ever did outside. This is the worst possible result.

Condolences to Tiger

By on 5.3.06 | 3:41PM

If anybody saw the tearful tribute Tiger Woods paid to his father after winning the 2005 Masters, they will understand the sadness of this news -- and appreciate the wondrous blessing of a good father-son bond. May Earl Woods rest in peace, and may Tiger be in our prayers.

World Press Freedom Day

By on 5.3.06 | 12:43PM

Press Freedom Day is being celebrated in the Islamic world, according to this report from the Saudi government "Arab News." The Organization of Islamic Conference has endorsed press freedom with one little catch. Here's the money quote:

The OIC has always underscored the importance of ensuring freedoms for all, chief among which is the freedom of expression. The organization has demanded that journalists performing their professional duties be protected.

However, the pan-Islamic organization said that with freedom comes responsibility. "The publication of the blasphemous caricatures of the Prophet (peace be upon him) last September and its ramifications, have provided each and everyone with the absolute evidence of the consequences of non-abidance by these regulations," the statement said.

"Therefore, the organization demands that an international legislation or a code of conduct be issued affirming the need to prevent dissemination of hatred, premeditated defamation and incitement of denigration," it added.

NBA Gangsta

By on 5.3.06 | 12:38PM

Should an NBA player who settled with the victim in a sexual assault case several years ago be bragging how he likes to play rough on the court? After last night's elbow-fest loss to Phoenix, which saw both him and the fellow defending him ejected from the game, here's what Kobe Bryant had to say: "That's how I grew up playing basketball in Philadelphia. I love playing that style. It excites me more than anything."

O.J. Simpson never had it so good.

Charlie Wilson’s War

By on 5.3.06 | 11:23AM

Democrat Charlie Wilson won his primary race in Ohio’s 6th Congressional district as a write-in candidate on the backs of more than $1 million in Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee funds and more then $1.5 million in AFL-CIO money being poured into the district.

Wilson himself spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to get out enough votes to win. By AFL-CIO estimates, labor loaned Wilson more than 300 volunteers to get Wilson into the November election. In total, more than $3 million was spent to get Wilson on the ballot. This show just how desperate Democrats are to take a chunk out of the Republican majority. But it also shows the silly lengths they are willing to go. That’s two million bucks more than the Democrats should have had to spend to get their boy on the ballot.

This election cycle is going to be fun to watch. Especially if you’re in a business that makes money off of campaigns.

Clueless DeWine

By on 5.3.06 | 10:26AM

Whatever happened to the principled, conservative, smart Mike DeWine who first was elected senator from Ohio? As I noted in today's web column, DeWine (who has been a disappointment on many levels) failed last year to give assurances that the judicial nomination of brilliant White House aide Brett Kavanaugh would be filibuster-proof by "Gang of 14" standards. Now, the Sulla Institute reports that at a campaign party last night in Ohio, DeWine appeared utterly clueless even about who Kavanaugh is, even though the Senate leadership has very publicly announced that Kavanaugh's will be the next nomination pushed to a floor vote. But wait, it gets a little worse: Sulla's "Lucius Cornelius" reported to me via e-mail that even after DeWine "nodded his head" when reminded that Kavanaugh was a judicial nominee, it appeared that "he probably still could not place the name."

Rosen on Roe

By on 5.3.06 | 10:12AM

In this interview in The Atlantic Online, center-left law professor Jeffrey Rosen gets into a fascinating discussion about Roe v. Wade and its effect on American politics for the past 33 years. Rosen's thesis that the Supreme Court should somehow function as "the most democratic branch" of government is sheer nonsense, but Rosen at least maintains some intellectual consistency within that rather untenable argument, and meanwhile his other insights are acutely perceptive. Oh, and by the way, Rosen, who considers himself pro-choice, has always said that Roe was wrongly, or at least poorly, decided.

Louisianans For Life

By on 5.3.06 | 9:38AM

Pepper Bryars, a former colleague at the Mobile Register, has a pro-life blog that he updates almost daily. Today's topic is legislation from my home state of Louisiana; Pepper makes some excellent points. Give it a read!

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