The Spectacle Blog

Winner of the Worst Comment of the Day

By on 1.23.06 | 12:34PM

This, from PW Daily:

The Osama Book Club?

Common Courage Press has been scrambling to keep up with demand for Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower by William Blum, currently hovering around #10 on the bestseller list, after an endorsement by Osama Bin Laden in the audiotape he released last Thursday….

Says the author:

"This is almost as good as being an Oprah book," he told the Washington Post.

Yeah, I think I'll stick with Oprah.

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Re: Kaine Conundrum

By on 1.23.06 | 12:02PM

While Tim Kaine's slick, promise-breaking tax raising may be a source of concern for national Democrats, perhaps there's another reason they're scrambling. Maybe, just maybe, they've finally seen footage from his race against Jerry Kilgore and found the eyebrow. As Chad Dotson has noted and reiterated last week at RedState, Kaine's wandering eyebrow could distract viewers from the content of his Democrat response, however brilliant.

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Kaine Conundrum

By on 1.23.06 | 11:51AM

So the day after the Democrat Party elders announce that Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine would provide the party's response to President Bush's State of the Union Address, Kaine confirms their wisdom by announcing that he was raising taxes on his citizens.

And this was his first major policy announcement since being sworn in as governor.

Now Democrats are looking for a way to dump Kaine, or at least water down his appearance. There is talk on Capitol Hill of placing him with at least one other Democrat of national stature. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who had a hand in picking Kaine, has is said by some sources to have offered his own services.

"The Kaine pick is now an embarrassment that we didn't need and could have avoided," says Democratic National Committee staffer. "We wanted to find some everyday citizens to respond directly to the President. But they went for the slick politician, and look where it got them?"

Back where Democrats appear to like it: catching up.

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Reid’s Rantings

By on 1.23.06 | 11:46AM

Word on the Hill is that Sen. Harry Reid very much wants this ethics brouhaha to go away. Like yesterday.

While some in his caucus intend to play the Jack Abramoff scandal for it's worth, Reid feels extremely exposed due to his own political background (he is an elected official from Nevada, after all), and privately has expressed to colleagues concerns that the Democrat Party's sometimes too-close-to-be-legal financial ties to organized labor (they are big in Nevada too, don't forget), might gain greater attention.

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Flaking Out

By on 1.23.06 | 11:41AM

So Rep. Jeff Flake, one of the instigators of the Republican House leadership election, plans to announce his support of Rep. John Shadegg on Tuesday.

Shadegg continues to lag in numbers, but remains critical to the fortunes of all involved in the campaign to replace Majority Leader Tom DeLay.

With almost daily embarrassments trickling out about him, Rep. Roy Blunt is increasingly looking like damaged goods.

Meanwhile, Rep. John Boehner has run an efficient campaign, saying all the right things and embracing Shadegg's candidacy as though he were a fraternity rush chairman welcoming a new charge. Perhaps that's hitting a bit too close to home for Boehner, but he deserves credit for surviving this far into the race without a major shoe dropping.

Before the election began, Boehner was assuring his supporters that his was a clean record. It appears that that may be the case, unless the Washington Post and New York Times are sitting on damaging material, hoping to spring it at a more embarrassing moment.

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Phoning in to the March for Life

By on 1.23.06 | 11:11AM

President Bush will wish pro-life marchers well today at 12:10 p.m. via telephone from Manhattan, Kansas, where he's delivering remarks on the war on terror.

Come to think of it, this pro-life President hasn't ever attended the March for Life, which usually begins on his front lawn, the Ellipse. (This year, they're beginning on the Mall at 7th St.)

Where has Bush been during past Marches for Life? For the march just after his first inauguration, Monday, January 22, 2001, Bush sent a letter for Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) to read to the assembled. I gather from news reports that he was at the White House planning his new administration. That day, his first major policy action was to reinstitute the Mexico City policy, which bars American international aid from pro-abortion groups. Since then, he's addressed the marchers by telephone:

Monday, January 24, 2005: From Camp David.

Thursday, January 22, 2004: From Roswell, N.M., where he was speaking on the war on terror to the New Mexico Military Institute.

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Ford’s Turn Beneath The Guillotine

By on 1.23.06 | 10:18AM

First General Motors, now this. Don't let anyone tell you they didn't see it coming. The staggering failure of the American auto industry (Ford alone lost $40 billion of market value since 2001) led me on New Year's Eve to see within the old crystal ball a fanatical, desperate merger of Ford and GM. Top executives grinning wildly, sweaty palms dripping behind besuited backs; the grisly, vengeful destruction of not just Pontiac but Buick and Mercury; the dazed, upbeat rebranding of the shrunken monstrosity as a "new tradition of greatness," an "all-American original." In the boardroom rush to be like Nissan, the courtiers of Ford and GM are in SHIFT_panic mode.

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Season Five, Episode Five

By on 1.23.06 | 10:10AM

Tonight 24 returns to its normal once-a-week, one-hour regular episode schedule (woe is us!). After four hours, 15 terrorists done away with, two girlfriends, the detection of a new mole, and Jack's return to vigilante/CTU agent status, the next hour should set the stage for the rest of the season -- trying to stop the release of a chemical weapon attack.

In case you have missed a few episodes here and there (shame on you), catch up with Paul Beston's insightful analysis of the show, from our July/August issue.

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March for Life

By on 1.23.06 | 9:45AM

In less than 90 minutes the annual March for Life marking the anniversary of Roe v. Wade gets underway on Constitution Avenue along the Mall in Washington, D.C. Local coverage has been skimpy and rather insulting. The Washington Times's metro section item, "Life March to Shut Roads" (in Washington traffic is the one vital issue), underscores that some "19 surveillance cameras" have been set up along the route "to watch for suspicious activity during the March for Life rally and any counterdemonstrations." The idea that pro-lifers, the most pleasant and normal of protesters imaginable, would need to be monitored speaks volumes about the many warps in our culture. But at least the Times saw fit to publish the name of the march. The Washington Post couldn't bring itself to do that. Its item, headlined "Abortion Opponents to Mark Roe v. Wade," says nothing about surveillance. But neither does it use the word "life" even once.

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Re: Stuck on Stupid

By on 1.23.06 | 9:17AM

Dave: You're dead bang right on all but one point. They ain't the Boys of '92. They're the Girlie Men of 1968. And they always will be.

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