The Spectacle Blog

New Orleans explained

By on 5.23.06 | 11:36AM

If anybody really wants to understand what happened in the New Orleans mayoral race, this column explains it all very impressively and accurately. President Bush and longtime Republican office-seeker Rob Couhig put Mayor Nagin over the top. New Orleans will suffer as a result.

Lloyd Bentsen, in memoriam

By on 5.23.06 | 11:33AM

The AP reports that former Democratic senator, treasury secretary and vice-presidential candidate Lloyd Bentsen has died. He wasn't a conservative, but he was one of the old-style, gentlemanly, public-spirited, moderate Democrats whose kind are sorely missed these days. May he rest in the Lord's peace, and may his family know the Lord's grace.

Sometimes a Plane is Just a Plane …

By on 5.22.06 | 3:19PM

ABC News' "The Note" wonders what Karl Rove was doing in the airport in Chicago last week. The question no doubt sent three-quarters of the Daily Kos-sacks into a tizzy. After all, Joe Wilson scandal prosecutor Pat Fitzgerald is based there.

It is true that sometimes you're at the airport for a secret meeting to determine who the Supreme Court nominee will be later this summer to replace Justice Ginsburg.

Sometimes you're at the airport to plot how best to rig ballot machines to give your party landslide victories in an election year when your party is supposed to lose both the House and the Senate.

But sometimes you're at the airport just because your connecting flight happens to be there ... at an airport. Where planes take off and land. We know it's a difficult concept.

Lincoln-Douglas Once Graced Their Campus

By on 5.22.06 | 2:38PM

And now Illinois's Knox College boasts snooze-inducing comedian Stephen Colbert as its graduation speaker.

That's no joke. But it does speak volumes about the state of education, the intellectual life, and American pop culture.

Weenie of the Week

By on 5.22.06 | 2:32PM

From a Virginia Democratic blog goes to Rep. Thelma Drake for not attending President Bush's fundraiser for her own campaign.

Didn't Tom Kean attribute his absence at an event this spring to traffic problems?

What Gouging?

By on 5.22.06 | 2:26PM

The FTC found that gasoline price spikes met local or regional market trends last year after Hurricane Katrina. Which makes sense, because gouging does not exist.

Showdown Debut Day

By on 5.22.06 | 12:45PM

My new book, Showdown: Why China Wants War with the United States, debuts today. I'll be doing a lot of tv and radio, including the MSNBC "Situation" show with Tucker Carlson late tonight and the John Batchelor ABC radio show just a bit earlier.

Lots of other SGO today. If you didn't read Starobin's "Of Mullahs and MADness" on Saturday, please do. It's so terribly wrong, there shall be more on it later. Much more. Is there a nuclear deterrent that can affect Iran? Perhaps. But it's nothing like the one Starobin posits. It's much tougher, much uglier. And possibly just what we need.

More Dixie

By on 5.22.06 | 11:55AM

Billboard reports that the Dixie Chicks' new album is receiving a cold shoulder on country radio. It is no surprise that stations aren't too keen on the first single, "Not Ready to Make Nice," an in-your-face comeback.

But one pertinent fact is missing from this story (and I haven't seen it reported elsewhere): old Dixie Chicks songs are retaking the country airwaves. There was a time after their London stunt that the Dixie Chicks were as common on country stations as Metallica. Now, their old stuff is back with fairly routine airplay.

So maybe country stations are not still punishing the Chicks for their left-wing politics, but for individual poor songs?

Vet Cards and Oil Canards

By on 5.22.06 | 10:56AM

In today's Washington Times Brendan Conway delivers a fascinating bit on Democratic U.S. Rep. Chet Edwards' attempts to head off a challenge by Republican Van Taylor, a 33-year-old Iraq war veteran who is apparently getting too close for comfort if one is to judge by Edwards' eagerness to throw him in bed with Big Oil. Anyway, it's a great piece on a race that's sure to get more attention in the coming weeks.

Re: Colonial’s Finest

By on 5.22.06 | 8:02AM

'Fraid I'll have to disagree with Reid Collins' suggestion that Ben Hogan missed a 3-foot putt on purpose in order to pocket an extra several hundred dollars from an eighteen-hole playoff the following day. In 1959, Ben Hogan's career was just about through, and he was known to stand frozen over putts for two minutes at a time, unable to focus one eye, damaged in his terrible auto accident. And it was not at all unusual for him to miss short putts. He blew at least two Masters crowns that way.