The Spectacle Blog

Powell Ill

By on 7.7.06 | 10:59AM

Hmmm. Maybe former Secretary of State Colin Powell is more conservative than he knows. Perhaps Powell got ill from something he ate with former President Bill Clinton. We'd like to think it was simply Powell's untapped conservative constitution's allergic reaction to being in the man's presence.

Wall Street Bombing Rumors

By on 7.7.06 | 10:06AM

The New York Daily News report this morning about what appears to have been an al Qaeda supported plot to blow up the Holland Tunnel in New York in order to flood the Wall Street financial district is drawing a lot of attention in the blogosphere on the heels of the New York and LA Times' leaking of highly confidential intelligence tools that the U.S. was able to use to track terrorist financing. Why?

Because apparently al Qaeda had promised the purported lead plotter based in Lebanon financial support. Other plotters scattered around the world - some presumably in the U.S. - would have been in need of the funds to purchase explosives, to finance travel, etc.

We've been talking to a few folks inside DOJ, the FBI and Treasury this morning, and things are a bit unclear. But this what we're being told.

7/7: One Year Later

By on 7.7.06 | 8:58AM

In the year since the 7-7-05London bombings, the British have devoted much more thought than action to the issue of domestic terrorism.  Why?  This editorial from today’s Daily Telegraph sheds some light on it. Here’s the money quote:

In contrast to what happened after the admittedly much bigger catastrophe in New York on September 11, 2001, there has been remarkably little panic. On this side of the Atlantic, we are perhaps more inured to terrorism. The bombers may do their worst but life goes on. Londoners, to their credit, have taken 7/7 in their stride.

Senate Comedian

By on 7.7.06 | 1:36AM

Yesterday's report that Sen. Joe Biden put his big feet in his mouth again showed Joe not only displaying his characteristic smug bonhomie but yet again lifting material from someone of genuine stature. Watch the tape of Joe declaiming about the need to have an Indian accent to enter a 7/Eleven or Dunkin Donuts in Delaware and tell me he's not doing his best Larry David (Curb Your Enthusiasm) imitation.

Top Ten Reasons For Tomorrow’s AlterNet Pity Party

By on 7.6.06 | 4:27PM

Now that Felipe Calderon has apparently eeked out a win in Mexico's presidential election, it might be worth revisiting this bit at AlterNet describing why the American Left should have prayed harder for a victory by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez pal/ideological fellow-traveler Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. Reason numero uno? Why "An Obrador win will drive Bush and his right-wing cronies batty!" of course! Isn't that the firmest ground to be on in any ideological or philosophical dispute?

Re: New York State Court of Appeals Decision

By on 7.6.06 | 3:48PM

Indeed, Dave, two cheers. But not three. This language sounds right on enthusiastic skim but look again and it's all wrong:

"the present generation should have a chance to decide the issue through its elected representatives"

Not only must the present generation have that chance, that chance is not a chance but a certainty. There is no "should" about it, or there is only insofar as what is not unconstitutional "should" not be held to be unconstitutional. The duty is not moral. Even the right answer wrongly derived is to be appreciated on its merits, but I worry when even would-be strict constructionists lapse into normative language -- the flashing red light of which is that bad old chestnut of imaginitive jurisprudence -- "We believe."

New York State Court of Appeals Decision

By on 7.6.06 | 1:56PM

On gay marriage is a model of judicial restraint and clear writing:

We emphasize once again that we are deciding only this constitutional question. It is not for us to say whether same-sex marriage is right or wrong. We have presented some (though not all) of the arguments against same-sex marriage because our duty to defer to the Legislature requires us to do so. We do not imply that there are no persuasive arguments on the other side -- and we know, of course, that there are very powerful emotions on both sides of the question.

Somewhere Between Small Rodents & Large Vehicles

By on 7.6.06 | 1:55PM

I just happened upon this ad, "Free Lance writer avialable" on New Hampshire's Craig's List:

I am a free lance writer available for your writing needs.
I write on every topic from hamsters to cars. You name it I can write about it.

Well, son, since the first two things I was going to name were hamsters and cars, I have no lingering doubt in either your literary abilities or mind-reading skills. Now let's talk rates. How much do you want for the hamster racing story.....

Re: Nice Try

By on 7.6.06 | 12:46PM

James, the lede still reads like an editorial, calling the legal challenge "an attempt to win equal treatment under New York State's marraige law." That's just begging for the retort: they can get married -- to persons of the opposite sex.