The Spectacle Blog

Iraq Showdown: 7 pm

By on 11.18.05 | 2:56PM

Finally, some Republicans are willing to go to the mat, and play hardball politics the way it should be played. There's a vote now scheduled for 7 pm in the House, to force Dems to say we should or shouldn't pull out of Iraq. Stay tuned. Pelosi and Co. are gonna try to wiggle past it, and the Repubs may yet cave, but right now every Dem thinking of running in '08 is carpet-chewing mad.

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Trouble in Storrs

By on 11.18.05 | 2:56PM

The University of Connecticut is in the midst of the toils and troubles that always comes with having a conservative speaker. This is your example of a typical reaction, as the Campus Establishment (by which I mean, the liberals) are alleging that those in the student government who voted to bring Coulter to campus have a conflict of interest given that they are also members, leaders even, of the College Republicans.

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Careful, John

By on 11.18.05 | 2:24PM

I think it's a big mistake, one that can affect the credibility of his critics at NRO and the White House, to paint John Murtha with too wide an anti-war brush. He is one of the very few Dems who thinks carefully and cares deeply about the defense of our nation as his book, From Vietnam to 9/11, shows. We would do better to answer him and win him over than to try to push him into the left corner. The fact that he has criticized the war -- even that he voted for Howlin' Howie -- says less about him than his decades in Congress.

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The Antiwar Press

By on 11.18.05 | 1:47PM

After stumbling around for a while, the mainstream press has finally found an organizing principle: if an event/person advances antiwar coverage, let's push it hard. Almost everything in the media is now judged according to its relationship to the war, including the merits of journalists. Had Judith Miller provided some fine antiwar articles before her imbroglio, she would still be at the New York Times. Had Bob Woodward smoked out some war-related scandal before this week's controversy, his colleagues would be celebrating not condemning his cavalier and sloppy habits. Who was and who was not on the right side of the antiwar line? That's what determines coverage. Â

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Fair Print

By on 11.18.05 | 12:34PM

As reported this morning by Publishers Weekly in PW Daily, and following up on RET's column in September, the ongoing debate over Google continues:

The debate between publishers and authors and Google and its allies held last night at the New York Public Library was heated, sometimes contentious and mostly civil, and even produced a point on which all sides agreed--that they are miles apart on what they view as fair use in the 21st century.

AAP's Allan Adler said if Google's theory of fair use was adopted, it would put Google in control of other people's content that it downloaded onto its own databases. While Google says it will use the scanned book content in a limited way, that could all change, Adler said.

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Answering Murtha

By on 11.18.05 | 11:49AM

Texas Army National Guard Colonel James K. Brown commands the 56th Brigade Combat Team operating now in Iraq. In a Q&A with reporters this morning, he had some choice words in answer to Rep. John Murtha, who called yesterday for withdrawal from Iraq because we've done all we can do there militarily. Here's the money quotes:

QUESTION: "Colonel Brown, I didn't know if you'd heard the remarks yesterday made by Congressman John Murtha calling for an immediate pullout from Iraq; Congressman Murtha being a Marine for 37 years, Vietnam veteran who had been awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts. Coming from someone like that, what do you think of this call?"

COLONEL JAMES K. BROWN: "Well, certainly I think that, coming from a distinguished American, a distinguished member of our Congress, that's the ongoing rhetoric of a democracy, our own democracy, as we look at the future of our participation here.

"But physically here on the ground, our job's not done. It's been very clear by administration and by the leadership of the military here in Iraq that our exit from this theater should be conditions-based."

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Big Murtha

By on 11.18.05 | 11:21AM

"Vietnam Veteran Reacts to Challenges by 'People With 5 Deferments'" -- that New York Times subhead pretty much captures the problem with Rep. John Murtha's bombshell press conference yesterday. Evidently, Murtha fought in Vietnam so that elected officials who did not would have no standing under our Constitution.

Dana Milbank, who from all indications never served in the military either, nevertheless joins in to attack Republican critics of Murtha who do not "have military service on [their] resume..." (even while saving his cheapest shot for a Republican congressman who is an Army veteran). Suddenly Milbank has great respect for Murtha, an obscure hawk "whose brand of hawkishness has never been qualified by the word 'chicken.'" Milbank confidently declares that Murtha "has long served as Democrats' conscience on military matters because of his moral authority on the subject." But how would Milbank know? Today's column is the first time he has ever bothered to mention Murtha.

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Scientific Standards in the Evolution Debate

By on 11.18.05 | 11:15AM

The Post's other erstwhile conservative, the august Charles Krauthammer, takes his shots at intelligent design today. While a healthy, honest debate on this subject is warranted and even welcome, Krauthammer and his fellow vituperative ID critics aren't interested. He trots out tired and unjustified attacks on ID: "warmed-over creationism," that it's "not science," "as science it is a fraud."

The standard for a scientifically defensible theory, Krauthammer writes, is

that it be empirically disprovable. How does one empirically disprove the proposition that God was behind the lemur, or evolution -- or behind the motion of the tides or the "strong force" that holds the atom together?

In other words, Krauthammer doesn't bother directly to address ID, but rather his caricature of it. ID demands the scientific evidence for evolution between species and, finding little or none, posits the more reasonable theory. Occam would be proud.

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The Democrats Want Another Vietnam

By on 11.18.05 | 11:11AM

Dear Congressman Murtha:

     I’m sorry you feel the way you do. But I’m sorrier that your party leaders have co-opted you, your valiant war record and your credibility on military matters over your congressional career, in their attempt to mislead the American people and damage the Commander in Chief.

What none of our political leaders has said, I suspect for fear of being attacked by the left and the MSM, is that the Democrats want Iraq/> to turn into another Vietnam/>/>. They want America/>/> to lose both the war on the ground and the war of ideas here at home.

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