The Spectacle Blog

Lipstick on a Pig

By on 6.30.06 | 5:02PM

I'll close this little tussle with Rep. Jack Kingston's office by congratulating them with utilizing the 'net to communicate with constituents (which they're quite good at doing themselves).

You can dress up a legislator all you want: in nice suits, with funny give-and-takes with Stephen Colbert, a genial presentation, video features, and more. Which is great, and even entertaining at times. But at the end of the day, it's a lot of work to obscure a mediocre conservative record -- like putting lipstick on a pig.

Reveal National Secrets, Get Invited to WH Dinner

By on 6.30.06 | 3:59PM

Evidently, it is politics as usual at the White House. President Bush hosted not only Prime Minister Koizumi but also journalists for newspapers which revealed the SWIFT program: the New York Times' David Sanger, and the Los Angeles Times' Doyle McManus. McManus has defended the publication the story for the L.A. Times.

Message from the White House: we're mad, but we leave it "on the field."

Will Conservatives Seize The Opportunity?

By on 6.30.06 | 1:39PM

I wonder if, instead of griping and complaining, our side should be sending the Supreme Court a thank you note for its Hamdan decision. Bear with me.

In today's giddy editorial lauding the decision, the Washington Post makes this observation:

The central part of the ruling declares that the special military commissions set up on President Bush's order to try alleged members of al-Qaeda are unlawful. It gives the administration a simple choice. It can proceed with cases under current law, using standard military courts-martial, which provide fuller procedural protections for the accused than do the commissions. Or it can go to Congress for specific authorization to deviate from those rules. [Emphasis added].

(The New York Times makes a similar argument today.)

Re: Jack’s Three Hats

By on 6.30.06 | 1:04PM

Dave, the simple fact is that Kingston has been infected by Potomac Fever. He not only enjoys spending Other People's Money, he also thinks that he knows what's best for the rest of us--witness his recent "Fuel Choices for American Security Act."

I, along with James Dellinger, have written about it here. In brief, Kington's bill decides the "right amount" of ethanol that the U.S. should use and the "right amount" of money that needs to be invested in electric/gas hybrid technology. Kingston likes to say that this bill gives the market a boost. At one of the press events promoting the bill (photo here) I asked why, if the ideas in the bill were so good, why wasn't the market already doing these things? I might as well have cracked a loud fart at a funeral.

Great Man, Good Man

By on 6.30.06 | 11:05AM

In the course of my normal web travels, I learned that Ed Capano, longtime publisher of National Review, is retired effective today. When I was just starting out in New York, I got to know Ed and will never forget how kind and helpful he was to me.

NRO has some great tributes up this morning.

God bless you, Ed. The movement is in your debt.

Jack’s Three Hats

By on 6.30.06 | 10:03AM

Jack Kingston fires back at conservative bloggers who questioned his commitment to eliminating wasteful pork and shrinking the size of goverment.

His press secretary implies that I thought he should "hide under a rock" and not expose sunlight. I meant that hiding under a rock would be in his best interests. Clearly, the taxpayers and conservative press benefit from Kingston being so blunt in his unwillingness to practice true fiscal discipline.

Just Which Year Is This?

By on 6.30.06 | 9:47AM

For all the EUnuch ignorance of history, and all their appeasement of terrorism, I'd thought that though it is 2006 here, it was 1937 again in Europe. I still think that's right, but it may soon be 1982 again in Britain.

Thanks to the Argentines, that is. According to this Daily Telegraph report, Argentina is reasserting its claims to the Malvinas Islands. Which, of course, the rest of the world calls the Falklands. In 1982 Argentina invaded the Falklands and claimed it as Argentina's territory. Britain's Maggie Thatcher would have none of it and sent the British fleet, albeit at diplomatic speed, to solve the problem. The war that followed included the spectacular sinking of the pride of the Argentine navy, the General Belgrano, by a British submarine.

This round may be different. There's no Maggie Thatcher in England. Soon there won't even be a Tony Blair. I'm betting the Falklands become the Malvinas in a year or two.

Stiff Webb

By on 6.29.06 | 6:02PM

Responding to the post below, a reader notes how awfully stiff the candidate is. Our American Spectator intern, Maggie McGlynn, and I had a chance to catch Jim Webb and Mark Warner this afternoon in Alexandria for a very brief press availability.

It appears someone has given Jim Webb a good talking to about presentation. His hands, feet, and face are fixed, as he gives short, controlled answers. Having Webb next to Warner reminded me of bumbling Linc Chafee next to John McCain in 2000 as Chafee ran for his late father's seat. Not a pretty contrast. Ms. McGlynn and I noted that when Webb was asked about supporting a possible presidential run by Mr. Warner, Warner literally grabbed Webb by the shoulders (in a friendly but awkward way), apparently to control any outbursts. Webb is a man on a tight leash.