The Spectacle Blog

Malaise Moment

By on 2.2.06 | 12:40PM

As the reviews of the President's SOTU speech come in, a clear distinction is being drawn between the political points he scored against foolish Democrats and the alarmingly unconservative substance of his some of his remarks. Three years ago Bush was haunted by the "16 words" included in his address about Iraqi efforts to purchase uranium in Africa. This time five little words may come back to haunt him: "America is addicted to oil."

When a President suggests that his own country is afflicted with a moral or genetic flaw, he's basically pointing the finger of blame at the citizenry. Jimmy Carter tried that in his famous "malaise" speech, and look where it got him. Will the "addicted" comment go down as Bush's "malaise" moment?

Of course all the usual suspects are now free to revive the old nostrums. My favorite response so far is the lead letter in today's New York Times correspondence section, especially this:

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Re: House Leadership

By on 2.2.06 | 10:22AM

The House Republican Caucus meets at noon to vote (by secret ballot) on the new majority leader. Results will be posted here as soon as they're available.

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Who Do the Youngs Think They Are?

By on 2.2.06 | 10:20AM

The ejections of Cindy Sheehan and Mrs. C.W. Bill Young (that's Beverly to Rep. Young) from the House chamber during the State of the Union Address has provoked a great deal of self-righteous chest-thumping, on the front page of the Post no less.

Such infantile behavior is expected from Mother Sheehan, as RET writes in his column today. But I expect more class from Republicans. Not the Congressman Young or his wife. She's still calling Terrance W. Gainer, Capitol Chief of Police, an "idiot." The Post reports that she had "saltier" words for him Tuesday night. Young is so kind as not to call for Gainer's head, but he wouldn't rule out legal action. What a gentleman.

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House Leadership

By on 2.2.06 | 10:00AM

As of 10 this morning, it remains unclear who is standing where in the race for House Majority Leader. The team of Rep. Roy Blunt insists they have at least 100 backers locked in, but no one is certain of a number that still remains in flux.

In order to get 100, Blunt last night identified Rep. Wayne Gilchrist as a supporter. But Gilchrist has been a Rep. John Boehner backer up until now.

The smart money, according to GOP caucus members, remains on a second ballot that has Boehner emerging as the leader. That said, Blunt's performance yesterday, handing the conservative Republican Study Group a legislative win in the spending wars, may have helped him more than his poor performance at the caucus retreat earlier this week.

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Head wounds

By on 2.2.06 | 9:35AM

Medical source reports that the wounds to ABC team, specially Woodruff, are most threatening. Suggestion that shrapnel penetrated the skull. Woodruff transferred to the best of the best for head wounds. U.S. medicals have a deal of experience now because of the IEDs. My experience is that prayer works well, too.

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Cartoon Kerfuffle Continues

By on 2.2.06 | 8:24AM

According to this BBC report, the editor of the France Soir newspaper was fired for reprinting the editorial cartoon depictions of Mohammed that have Muslims in an uproar. Several European papers, like France Soir, republished the cartoons originally published by the Norwegian paper, Jyllands Posten, setrting off protests and a trade embargo against Norwegian products in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere. (Michelle Malkin has posted the offending cartoons here.)

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I’m From the Government and I’m Here to Help

By on 2.2.06 | 7:30AM

President Bush might want to go review old Reagan speeches and pick up some general distrust of government as the solution. The verdict is in on his State of the Union: Bush thinks the federal government is the primary agent of change. See more from David Hogberg today, then check out George Will and Bob Novak echoing his thoughts.

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Decent Budget News

By on 2.2.06 | 6:48AM

The House voted (again -- it's a redo from last year because the Senate slightly changed the bill) to cut slightly the growth of entitlement spending yesterday. It's a solid first step. But the way Roy Blunt's gloating a conservative might suppose the battle is won. Makes you wonder what Blunt would/will do once he's majority leader.

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Kathmandu and PACOM

By on 2.1.06 | 9:21PM

Kathmandu source reports that a general officer from PACOM flew in yesterday, February 1, on the critical day of a national protest by a coalition of the disenfrachised against the peculiar one-man state of King Gyanendra. The general, visiting the Amerian embassy, told the international media present that the United States was concerned at the deterioration of the state. Why does the US get involved in the roof of the world? Because Nepal is an agreed-upon battlefield between the two superstates of the 21st century, India (the team we support) and China (the team we are correct to fear), and also because the Maoist guerillas who control the high ground in the countryside are a sincere terror-for-hire gang and King Gyanendra is now taking arms and momney from Bejing as well as the jihadist crowd in Islamabad. Also, Gyanendra is a rascal and bully, and the people of Nepal deserve better than to be abandoned to beggary and injustice by a so-called international community.

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