The Spectacle Blog

Boot Cheney, Condi, and Rummy

By on 3.20.06 | 10:46AM

That's Fred Barnes' advice for President Bush. Consider me underwhelmed by his case.

There may be legitimate reasons for each, but Barnes doesn't make those arguments. Rather, Barnes engages in the age-old Washington tradition of speculating about these changes for their own sake: "Things are going poorly -- time for a massive shakeup, for the appearance of a massive shakeup!" Barnes views this through a media lens. While the communications shop is in desperate need of an overhaul, talent shouldn't be tossed to the street for the purpose of spin.

Of the three, Cheney should be retained at all costs. His office is the source of all things economically conservative in the administration. Some may charge Cheney with not holding the Bush team to this so well, but just imagine the state of things if he weren't whispering thoughts of Hayek in W's ear. Of course, since Barnes has already conceded the battle for small government, this point may not be of interest to him.

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Yesterday’s Best Headline

By on 3.20.06 | 8:00AM

Was from the UK TimesOnline: NASA to put man on far side of moon. Yes, this will be terribly expensive. But think of how much you'd pay to put someone there? Like Dick Durbin or Hillary?

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Golfing for the Stars & Stripes

By on 3.20.06 | 2:39AM

Yesterday's broadcast of the Bay Hill PGA tournament (at Arnold Palmer's home course) featured a short story by commentator Jimmy Roberts on golfer Billy Hurley III, who finished near even par.

Hurley is an Ensign in the U.S. Navy, and plays with a yellow "N" on his golf shirt. An Annapolis grad, Hurley served his three years on a missile cruiser, then returned to the Naval Academy, where he taught economics. He is currently playing out an experiment, subject to approval by The Big Dog himself: to play pro golf for the Navy.

Hurley gets his $28,000 salary from the Navy, and that's all. He donates winnings to a variety of military charities and funds. Yesterday's prize money went to a Coast Guard fund, in honor of the tourney's host, who was a Coastie for three years before beginning his own pro career.

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Spice Channel

By on 3.19.06 | 7:34PM

Anyone else put off -- or disgusted -- by that new Old Spice commercial? Talk about not-your-father's-trusted-men's-grooming-products-brand. It's another tip of another iceberg of the public perversity now ordering our comedies their situations. Tour guide through the belly of the beast stops here, then here.

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Re: Murtha’s Madness

By on 3.19.06 | 6:46PM

John: Actually, no. Murtha may be mad, but he's still influential. He speaks for the Dems. At least all save Lieberman and Zell.

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Iran Status Quo Ante Not Available

By on 3.19.06 | 6:18PM

Note that the NYT uses Sanger to make a vaguely academic, determinedly confused, purposefully non-judgmental case for the status quo ante in Sunday NYT, "Suppose We Just Let Iran Have the Bomb."

Facts are inconvenient but required alongside the Sanger wandering-around in the groves of think tanks masquerading as anti-Bush Administration policy wonkhood.

1. The UN Charter is a large roadblock to the US doing anything with regard Iran. The UN Charter Chapter 7, article 42, provides for air, land, sea intervention in the event the UNSC votes to sanction a member state as a war-maker. Violation of the NPT by a signatory (Iran) decribes amply what is the UN's idea of war-making. It will take months and perhaps years to get the UNSC to such a series of votes and resolutions, but the process is well-advanced, and history says that once the talk starts, the permanent members get real antsy to get it over with either way.

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Eleven Iran Reports: Gathering Storm

By on 3.19.06 | 1:41PM

1. Report that Bolton indicates the UNSC will send a "strong and determined signal" to Tehran with regard the nuke fuel program. No timetable. Recall that Bolton told me ten days ago that he is now the prince of multi-lateralism. Bolton goes where France and Britain and German lead, and he goes arm in arm with the reluctant Russians. The Chinese are inscrutably silent, fretting about their oil and gas supply line and all that cash they are slapping into Tehran's hands.

2. Report that Russian UN ambassador joked that unless the UNSC slowed down with its pell-mell pace to demand an IAEA progress report, the UNSC could get to Chapter 7 by June. (Chapter 7, Article 42, of the UN Charter is the guns and guns and guns option.)

3. Inside Iran, report that an Iranian general said that "bandits" or "Rebels" attacked vehicles in the southeast of the country and killed 22. This sounds like Baluchistan action, cross border units fighting Pakistan for independence, willing to gun down Iran also.

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Welcome to the U.S.S. George Washington

By on 3.19.06 | 12:22PM

At dinner last night I met a young man who had served a stint as a nuclear engineer on the U.S.S. George Washington in the 1990s. He reported that the ship stopped in Dubai five times, and met no trouble from the natives. In fact, he even guided some on tours of the aircraft carrier. Imagine that: Arabs taking tours of the crown jewel of our naval battle groups. Someone call Duncan Hunter and Chuck Schumer and begin an investigation.

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Re: Madness and Criminality

By on 3.19.06 | 11:33AM

Wlady: Growl, grump, harrumph. Oh, ok. T.O. isn't a danger to national security, so I guess we can let him slide for a while. Let's hope he does more damage to the Cowboys than Brunnell does to the Redskins next year. Murtha isn't really insane, just liberal. Or can we tell the diff any more?

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