The Spectacle Blog

With Friends Like This

By on 12.8.05 | 10:04AM

Gray Davis, the confederately named former governor of California who was ousted from office in the recall that gave us Arnold Schwarzenegger as his replacement, returned to Sacramento yesterday for the unveiling of his portrait in the state capitol. Whatever it was that brought about his humiliating demise was long forgotten. Davis took credit for investing in young people and raising school standards. Standing next to him, Schwarzenegger heaped praise on Davis for the "incredible" job he did over 30 years of public life -- "he always fought for the underdog, he always fought for the poor..." -- and, more incredible still, talked about how he and Maria have become good friends with the Davises since the 2003 election.

"Every time I have a problem, or any time that I need advice, I still can call him, and he always gives me great, great advice," Arnold said. "So I want to say, 'Thank you very much. It's great to be your friend.'"

Now you know why politicians are such credible creatures.

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Narnia and the Spirit of Christmas

By on 12.8.05 | 9:40AM

We dragged the kids on a shopping trip before Thanksgiving -- Mommy needed something to wear to a Christmas party. For once, my 3 little ones behaved themselves (no small feat) while Mommy tried on various outfits. The boy (age 7) struck up a conversation with the young salesgirl, informing her that he had just finished reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

Her response? She immediately offered 4 tickets to the premier of the movie -- tonight. Turns out her church had bought 700+ tickets. She was heading back to college and couldn't make the show, so she offered them to our family free of charge.

Who knew Santa's helpers worked retail? Score one for the spirit of Christmas and good will toward men.

Our new friend will soon receive a treat-filled care package to help her get through her end-of-semester exams.

I'll give my review of the movie tomorrow.

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Poll Parsing

By on 12.8.05 | 9:37AM

More on the raw data from that New York Times/CBS poll:

-Support for the President's handling of the war in Iraq is up 4 points.

-48 percent approve of his handling of the war on terror in general, versus 45 who disapprove. The approval is only up by 1 point.

-Congress's approval rating is much lower than the President's, though virtually unchanged at 33 percent approve, 53 percent disapprove.

-However, numbers for respondents' individual members of Congress are up to 60 percent approval from 57 percent.

-An understanding of the economy's red hot performance seems to have broken through: 55 percent say the economy is in fairly good or very good condition, up from 47 percent. 35 percent still believe the economy is getting worse, 19 percent think it's improving.

-59 percent abortion should be not permitted or at least restricted.

-Sam Alito's numbers are barely registering, with 14 percent favorable and 10 percent unfavorable. The smears against him haven't taken hold.

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Front Page Good News

By on 12.8.05 | 7:20AM

You'll find President Bush's poll numbers on the front page of the New York Times today. Perhaps conservative cajoling is beginning to work. The latest New York Times/CBS poll finds Bush's approval rating at 40 percent.

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On the Move

By on 12.7.05 | 9:56PM

KUWAIT CITY -- We're on the move into Iraq in about an hour. (It's now 0640 in Kuwait City). The flight was very long, but tolerable. We were whisked through customs last night and managed to get a decent calzone at a place near the hotel. We'll be met by our military escorts who will issue body armor and helmets in a few minutes. Then on to a C-130 for the flight to Baghdad. More later as computer access becomes available.

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Smoking Nags on the March

By on 12.7.05 | 2:46PM

They won again today, this time in Chicago.

We received some interesting comments on my earlier post on the D.C. smoking ban. This issue seems to test conservatives who may personally enjoy smoke-free restaurants, but believe in limited government. Good conservative friends argue, "But my clothes don't smell like smoke at the end of the night." Surely, there's a better justification -- somewhere -- for the imposition of smoking bans. Yet that's what the pro-ban arguments boil down to: a pleasant eating experience. If conservatives believe that is government's business, limited government is dead. D.C. Councilman Carol Schwartz offered a compromise resolution which would ban smoking except in businesses that install high powered fans to clean the air, etc. In other words, businesses could eliminate the health risk. The D.C. Council roundly rejected her proposal.

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