The Spectacle Blog

Western European Scorecard

By on 4.9.06 | 9:39AM

Britain: Tony Blair -- doomed by cash-for-peerages taint. David Cameron -- useless and nightmarish "new Conservative."

France: Jacques Chirac -- dinosaur in tar pit. Dominique de Villepin -- approval ratings lower than Bush's.

Spain: Socialists widely recognized as unprepared for government; post-3/11 blush off rose in time for next elections.

Italy: Silvio Berlusconi -- more like Berluscrony; his tentacles wriggle over 0% growth. Challenger Romano Prodi -- center-left economics professor not the man for the job.

But since no one else is willing to predict it, even this late in the game, I'll call the Italian election. Berlusconi out. Eurodemocracy is a recipe for paralysis in action -- but only west of the Rhine. Power trio for the new Europe: Denmark, Germany, Poland?

Blame the Collapse on the Dems

By on 4.7.06 | 2:33PM

As I wrote earlier today, the breakdown of the agreement on the immigration bill gives the GOP a huge opportunity: Blame it on the Dems for opposing the amendment on alien felons. BRING THE AMENDMENT TO A VOTE!!!! Put them on record on the amendment. Really, it ought to be child's play to turn this issue into a winner!

Compromise Collapses

By on 4.7.06 | 2:01PM

Via RedState: The immigration compromise didn't pass a procedural muster today after Democrats wouldn't allow amendments and Republicans moved to kill the bill.

That's fine. I'd rather see no new legislation than more legislation that won't be enforced.

Veto? I’ll Believe It When I See It

By on 4.7.06 | 11:30AM

I wish I could believe the president this time. Until proven otherwise, though, a threat of a veto from this president is like a promise from Bill Clinton that he'll be faithful to Hillary. If Bush had used his veto power before now, the budget wouldn't be anywhere near as bloated and the GOP base wouldn't be anywhere near as restless and downright furious as it is.

National Catholic Prayer Breakfast

By on 4.7.06 | 11:09AM

President Bush once again spoke at that National Catholic Prayer Breakfast held this morning in Washington, D.C. While his speech was excellent and what a good social conservative would expect, the real star of the morning wasn't the President, but the man he nominated to serve as Chief Justice of the United States. Chief Justice Roberts sat literally front and center and accepted the standing ovation he received with humility. Across America, as pictures of the event are beamed about, liberal heads will be exploding.

Re: The Masters, CW and Potential Winners

By on 4.7.06 | 11:01AM


The Yankees - Red Sox divisional series of two years ago was good for the first three games, but after that I thought the quality really went downhill.


Fitzgerald’s Words

By on 4.7.06 | 10:57AM

This is what Fitzgerald's filing says:

"During this time, while the President was unaware of the role that the Vice President's Chief of Staff and National Security Adviser had in fact played in disclosing Ms. Wilson's CIA employment, defendant implored White House officials to have a public statement issued exonerating him. When his initial efforts met with no success, defendant sought the assistance of the Vice President in having his name cleared. Though defendant knew that another White House official had spoken to Novak in advance of Novak's column and that official had learned in advance that Novak would be publishing information about Wilson's wife, defendant did not disclose that fact to other White House officials (including the Vice President) but instead prepared a handwritten statement of what he wished White House Press Secretary McClellan would say to exonerate him."

Again, let's recap: President didn't know. Vice President didn't know. Let's move on.


By on 4.7.06 | 10:54AM

More important, is the document filed by Independent Prosecutor Pat Fitzgerald, which on page 27 informs the court and the public -- if press would only report it -- that neither the President nor the Vice President had advance knowledge of the leak of the name of Joseph Wilson's life.

The President is allowed to declassify materials. In fact other senior members of an Administration -- the Secretaries of State, Defense and the Attorney General, for example -- can declassify materials. And what the President apparently declassified was something that was to be made public within days of his actions.

So let's recap. Not an illegal leak, but merely an early release of a declassified document.

Turning Tides

By on 4.7.06 | 10:37AM

In a close vote, New Hampshire kills a bill to ban smoking in restaurants and bars. They'll be living free and dying at the old tavern tonight--and if you don't like it, head on over to one of any number of establishments that have voluntarily gone smoke-free instead of coddling your inner Nazi. Coercion isn't charity, my friends. It isn't even nice.

Uniting GOP on Immigrants

By on 4.7.06 | 10:37AM

Okay, if the congressional GOP has even a tiny smidgen of collective intelligence (which is highly questionable), it will rally around, and make a HUGE political issue out of, an amendment to the immigration bill that the Democrats oppose. I quote today's Washington Times: "A remaining sticking point is that Democrats still don't want certain Republican amendments considered, including one that would prohibit from obtaining U.S. citizenship illegal aliens who have been convicted of a felony or three misdemeanors or refused a court order to leave the country." THIS IS FLABBERGASTING! Not only is the Senate talking about what amounts to amnesty, but the Dems even want citizenship for those who break OTHER laws of our country (in addition to the immigration laws themselves). Citizenship for felons?!?! Or for repeat-offender misdemeanants? Especially those who are here illegally in the first place?!? This blows my mind. What a ready-made issue to highlight one of the few remaining differences -- that of law and order, which Republicans favor, vs.