The Spectacle Blog


By on 12.22.05 | 9:58AM

As a tactic, appending a controversial piece of legislation to a larger appropriations bill is a sneaky, but classic, method of forcing Congressmen to prioritize. Yet any doubts about how appropriate it is to do so should be alleviated in the ANWR case -- drilling in Alaska is directly related to our activities in the middle east. So don't mind Sen. Lieberman's speech castigating the Republicans for disrespecting the "rules" of the Senate -- he's disrespecting his own hawkish record, and showing us the same stuff that made him a viable vice-presidential candidate for Gore.

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Re: The PATCO Solution

By on 12.22.05 | 9:46AM

As the New York transit strike slogs through Day 3, the biggest outrage seems to be directed not at the strikers, but at Mayor Bloomberg, who called the strikers' conduct "thuggish", "unconsciounable" and "cowardly." Of course, the strikers' union and its supporters are calling Bloomberg a racist for calling the thugs thugs.

But what no one seems to recall is that the term "thug", as applied historically to New York unions, goes back quite a long spell. Even before Jimmy Hoffa became part of the New Jersey landscape, it was simply routine to refer to union "thugs" around New York, if only to differentiate them from Mafia, political and other common New York thugs, especially street thugs. It ain't racism, folks. It's merely a more precise use of the Queen's English.

One can only wonder how long it will be before Dominique de Villepin comes to the defense of Transport Workers Union Local 100 prez and strike leader, Roger Toussaint. Bloomberg is no racist. But is he an anti-French xenophobe? We can only hope.

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Re: Terrorist Victory in Germany

By on 12.22.05 | 9:19AM

Dave: Yep, saw that. If he was in Lebanon yesterday, will he be part of the government of Syria today? He is sure to be feted in Lebanon, Syria and other fetid places where terrorists seek succor. In any event, methinks a warrantless search for him is in order. Wherever he is should be declared a free fire zone.

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Johnny Damon

By on 12.22.05 | 8:20AM

Dave, I'll miss Johnny Damon. It was fabulous watching him run like a deer in center field, and he was an exciting and productive hitter, capable of igniting team rallies again and again. To top it off, despite his simian appearance, he was magnetic, charming, and generous in his personal interviews.

But he came to the Sox from somewhere else, we got the peak of his career, and now he's off somewhere else. The Yankees got him not only for the money -- which an athlete has to average out over his entire life, not his much shorter working life -- but because, year after year, the Yankees are the best team in baseball, and any player with some pride wants to play with the best. Why do you think the Celtics used to land such good players as backups (think Bill Walton)?

Good luck, Johnny. May you have many more healthy playing years.

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Terrorist Victory in Germany

By on 12.22.05 | 8:07AM

AP reported yesterday that Germany released convicted murderer and airline hijacker Mohammed Ali Hamadi. Hamadi had been serving a life sentence for the 1985 TWA hijacking and murder of Navy diver Robert Dean Stethem. Germany had insisted on trying Hamadi and wouldn't extradite him to America because we have the death penalty.

A German foreign ministry spokesman denied any connection between Hamadi's release and the earlier release by terrorist kidnappers of a German woman, Susanne Osthoff, who had been held for three weeks in Iraq. Right.

On his release, Hamadi left Germany, destination unknown. Let's hope that when Hamadi engages in future acts of terrorism, which he most certainly will, they occur in Germany.

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Re: McConnell Wins in VA

By on 12.22.05 | 1:16AM

Dave: The Washington Post's account suggests the McDonnell-Deeds attorney-general recount in Virginia lacked any of the Florida 2000 recount's acrimony. Sure, the stakes were smaller. What's more, what would it look like it two men vying to uphold the law in their states resorted to cheap politicking in order to prevail? The story even ends on an upbeat, if somber, note:

The recount attracted the attention of at least one soldier serving in Baghdad. McDonnell's daughter, Jeanine, 24, a second lieutenant in the Army, called him on his cell phone about 2 p.m. in Richmond, 10 p.m. in Baghdad, to ask whether he had the results yet. The day before the recount, McDonnell said, she had gone out with her unit in a convoy and been shot at.
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McDonnell Wins in VA

By on 12.21.05 | 8:09PM

Democrat Creigh Deeds conceded the Virginia attorney general's race today after preliminary recount tabulations showed he could not overcome Bob McDonnell's lead of 323 votes.

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Re: ANWR for McCain Amendment

By on 12.21.05 | 3:33PM

Jed, You are correct. I'll also consider that a bright spot in this episode in the Senate's long line of failures.

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