The Spectacle Blog

NCAA’s Bureaucrats Know Best

By on 4.28.06 | 6:16PM

Following up on the new NCAA policy banning "hostile" or "abusive" Indian nicknames, the college athletics organization has denied appeals from three schools, including the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux. If you're wondering what's offensive about the Fighting Sioux, so are some Sioux. UND had a letter of support from a tribal leader, to no avail.

Frankly, Scarlett…

By on 4.28.06 | 5:37PM

As reported by the Beeb, Iranian “President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said…Iran did not "give a damn" about UN resolutions over its research.” Ahmadinejad’s statement was in response to an ever-so-tepid report from the IAEA that affirmed that Iran was ignoring UN pleas to stop enriching uranium.

I hereby sentence Kofi and the Kupcakes to write, “Diplomacy that is not backed by a credible threat of force cannot succeed” one hundred times on the blackboard each day for the next week.

As the threat of

Diplomacy “Just Beginning” on Iran

By on 4.28.06 | 1:59PM

Just beginning? That's what President Bush says. Methinks that won't have them shaking in their boots. At this rate, by the time that trusty diplomacy gets toward the end, Iran will have a nuclear weapon.

Union Man

By on 4.28.06 | 12:22PM

Best. Congressman. Ever!

John Sweeney (R-NY) hangs at a frat party….

Bush For Nagin — Huh?!?!?

By on 4.28.06 | 10:45AM

From the WSJournal today, we learn that President Bush's visit to New Orleans yesterday was designed in part to bolster Mayor Ray Nagin's chances in his runoff for re-election against Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu. COME AGAIN?!?!?!?!?!?!? Every time I start to forgive this White House for all its errors and idiocies, it does something new that is so unfathomably wrongheaded that it makes me wonder if the combined brain power of the entire West Wing might be less than the intelligence of, say, James Madison alone -- on one of Madison's BAD days, when he has had insomnia and has a headache.

Wrong on Rove

By on 4.28.06 | 10:25AM

NBC and other news outlets have it terribly, terribly wrong on the Rove grand jury testimony earlier this week, and they keep getting it wrong in the face of the facts they know to be accurate. Today rumors were being circulated by NBC reporters that Rove was being called back for yet another round of questioning.

We've been informed by reliable sources that Rove was not distressed or worried about his testimony earlier this week. That things went well, that he answered the questions readily and that there were no surprises.

The grand jury that Patrick Fitzgerald is using is a sitting grand jury, which meets regularly on Wednesdays and Fridays. That it is hearing a case today -- this grand jury is not exclusive to the Joe Wilson scandal -- is no news. It hears cases all the time.

Remember, Rove is answering questions about events that he actually assisted Fitzgerald with. When Rove and his legal team discovered information that added to Rove's recollection, it was handed over to Fitzgerald immediately. And that evidence actually helped Rove's position.

Re: Dates of Copywrong

By on 4.28.06 | 9:24AM

Update to yesterday/below: The sound of inevitability chimes. A day after saying they won't, Little, Brown will pull the latest work of hype-'n'-plagiarism from bookshelves. Message received. What a halflife have our "truths."

Re: Economic Numbers

By on 4.28.06 | 7:04AM

I'd say it's less than 50/50 that good GDP numbers cause a market selloff today, Prowler. Fed Chief Bernanke said before Congress yesterday that the OMC was unlikely to raise interest rates at their next meeting, and might even be done with that for a while. I don't think Bernanke will be surprised by today's GDP numbers. According to this morning's IBD, "Futures markets adjusted their rate-hike projections on his comments. The chances of a quarter-point June hike fell to 34% from 66% on Wednesday. The market already has priced in a 16th straight hike, to 5%, for the Fed's May meeting."

Worst Idea of the Century?

By on 4.27.06 | 9:39PM

Ok, ok, I'll grant you that the century is yet young. And that there is fierce competition for that title. But we may already have a winner.

Ari Richter writes in the Weekly Standard that the president should consider replacing Donald Rumsfeld with John McCain. John McCain?

Not only must Rumsfeld stay, for all the reasons I've written again and again. But were he to go, McCain would be precisely the wrong person for the job because his track record (the phony anti-torture amendment, for example) would leave too many in the military distrustful of him to ever function well as SecDef.

Among the interestingly incorrect assumptions in Richter's piece is his assertion that McCain would be easily confirmed by his Senate pals. Doesn't anyone remember John Tower? Guess not. And Tower was toppled in a time when the Senate was less fiercely divided on partisan lines.

Dates of Copywrong

By on 4.27.06 | 7:00PM

Blundering bookwriters are having a good -- that is, terrible -- year. Joining the list of the sorrowful that includes failed autobiographer James Frey and the men who would sue Dan Brown, for writing about something they did too, is young Harvardian Kaavya Viswanathan. She takes a nice picture, and pictures never lie. But how many pictures worth of words did she lift unconsciously from two of her favorite books? Enough for a battle to loom; enough to establish a sad pattern of laziness and mindless reprocessing in the ding-dong world of big publishers. Line 'em up and whack away -- they won't get the message without taking their lumps.