The Spectacle Blog

Air America Bankruptcy

By on 9.13.06 | 4:48PM

The best bit in that Think Progress article for me, Dave, is the last graph:

Radio giant Clear Channel is so committed to progressive talk radio that, this week, it will announce a partnership with the Center for American Progress and MSS Inc. to conduct a nationwide search for the next Progressive Talk Radio Star.

Wait, I thought Clear Channel was the arm of the Evil Empire homogenizing American culture and signaling the End of All Things Good? I guess corporate behemoths are alright if they're carrying the right (left) bucket of water.

This is nothing new, by the way. I wrote about progressive's love/hate relationship with Clear Channel a while back. None of that is going to stop me, of course, from trying my very best to be America's next Progressive Talk Radio Star.

Reform? What reform?

By on 9.13.06 | 4:02PM

Just now catching up on smaller news items from yesterday and, behold, amidst the justifiable rejoicing that occurs as Congress passes language requiring more transparency for spending earmarks (a hat tip to The DC Examiner's Mark Tapscott and many conservative bloggers for that one), there is much reason, again, to be disgusted with Congress: According the the WashPost, this worthy earmark-related bill is supposed to suffice as the entirety of internal congressional reforms, after promises in January from Speaker Hastert and others that serious lobbying reform/gift reform would take place. So citizens can remain assured that their Reps and senators are still able to accept golf junkets and ritzy free meals while pretending that they aren't swayed legislatively as a result. These people are incorrigible. If not literally, then at least figuratively, they are crooks. Bleep every last one of them.

To be clear, the problem is NOT with lobbyists, it is with a Congress whose rules and behavior makes lobbying, by virtual invitation, a matter less of exercising reasoned persuasion than of spreading around enough goodies to be paid attention to.

Think Progress and Orwell

By on 9.13.06 | 3:32PM

Get a load of this headline over at Think Progress:

Air America To Declare Bankruptcy, But Progressive Radio Remains Strong

Here is the, um, reasoning:

The right wing is sure to seize on Air America's financial woes as a sign that progressive talk radio is unpopular. In fact, Air America succeeded at creating something that didn't exist: the progressive talk radio format. That format is now established and strong and will continue with or without Air America. Indeed, many of the country's most successful and widely-syndicated progressive talk hosts - Ed Schultz and Stephanie Miller, for instance - aren't even associated with Air America.

Problem is, Air America is pretty much the elephant in the pup tent. To say that progressive radio remains strong despite the demise of Air America is like saying that the Roman Empire is still strong despite the sacking of Rome.

Tough Steele

By on 9.13.06 | 2:35PM

The Maryland Democratic primary did not turn out the way the Republican Party might have liked, and Real Clear's analysis is interesting, but folks need to remember that the key to Rep. Ben Cardin's victory was Baltimore City, which he has represented forever. This will not be an easy race for Steele, but he has the money and the backing to pull it off, particularly if he can exceed the African-American support that he got back in 2002.

Baker’s Coven

By on 9.13.06 | 2:09PM

This report in Washington Monthly could be good news, or it could be bad. It says that Jim Baker is becoming the key man for an end game in Iraq. While Baker clearly is good at managing end games, and is ruthlessly competent, I think more of the tea leaves here point to the WRONG end game. It looks to me like Baker is intent on managing an exit strategy, when what is needed is a VICTORY strategy. Anything that involves the former without the latter would be a cop-out and a betrayal of all who have fought and been injured or died in Iraq. Of course, it was Jim Baker's State Department (April whassername) who gave Saddam the clear impression that he could waltz into Kuwait unmolested in 1990 in the first place, and Baker has always been far less of a friend to Israel than to wrongheaded (and in effect, anti-Israeli) notions of "stability" on a region. Sept. 11 of 2001 showed us what a fat lot of good "stability" did us.

Steele Yourselves for Battle

By on 9.13.06 | 10:49AM

This entry from the Real Clear Politics blog explains why the most fascinating race to watch in November, and perhaps the one that's most exciting for conservatives, might be Michael Steele's battle for U.S. Senate. Really interesting stuff.

Chafee Wins

By on 9.13.06 | 7:58AM

Which means that in November Rhode Island voters will have a choice between a Democrat and a Democrat.

Indeed, going into the primary Chafee even adopted the worst tactics of the Dems, making baseless charges of voter intimidation.

Add to that the shameful way the National Republican Senatorial Committee treated Steve Laffey, and this whole episode stinks like three day old fish.


By on 9.13.06 | 2:15AM

Indeed, Chafee has won. In the Maryland primary, Ben Cardin is leading; he'll be a tougher challenger for Michael Steele than Kweisi Mfume, but he'll also be a less-bad Senator than Mfume.

(As long-time readers may recall, I live in a neighborhood where there aren't any seriously contested Republican primaries in which the victor has a real shot at winning office, so I'm a registered Democrat. I took the risk-averse route and voted for Cardin.)

Chafee vs. Laffey

By on 9.12.06 | 10:31PM

I'm hanging out with the Club for Growth gang, following returns in the Rhode Island primary. Pat Toomey looks very unhappy -- which is to say, it's looking like Chafee is going to win.